Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Slain RU teacher Prof Shafiul's son questions police probe

  • Rajshahi Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-04-15 21:26:23 BdST


The police probe which formed the basis of the court verdict on the killing of Rajshahi University Prof AKM Shafiul Islam has been questioned by his son.

Regarding the verdict passed by Rajshahi's Speedy Trial Tribunal on Monday, the professor's son Moumin Shahrid said that his father could not have been killed over a 'trivial' reason such as inappropriate behaviour. There were other motives behind it, he believes.

Prof Shafiul was hacked to death on Nov 15, 2014 amid a string of clandestine attacks on writers, bloggers and teachers by militants in different parts of Bangladesh.

The police probe was initially directed at militants. Later, the Rapid Action Battalion after arresting six people in connection with the case, claimed that the incident stemmed from the teacher's 'inappropriate' behaviour with a district administrative officer.

The focus of the police probe also turned in that direction later. Based on the probe report, the court on Monday handed death sentences to three suspects, one of whom is the administrative officer's husband and the former president of Chhatra Dal at the university.

Highlighting the court's observations on the case, the lawyer for the state Entajul Hoque told reporters after the verdict that Social Science Department's Prof Shafiul had behaved 'unceremoniously' with the university's section officer Nasrin Akhtar Reshma.

"Reshma raised the matter with her husband Abdus Samad Pintu. Pintu had in turn threatened to deal with Prof Shafiul. A few days later, Shafiul was hacked to death in front of his residence. Pintu planned the killing over the incident with Reshma."

The two others who have been sentenced to death alongside Reshma's husband are Ariful Islam, the former president of Rajshahi's Katakhali Municipality Juba Dal, and Sabuj Sheikh, a Juba Dal activist.

On the verdict, Moumin Shahrid said, "A university professor couldn't have been murdered over such a trivial issue. I feel that the murder couldn’t have been committed over such a shallow reason."

"The real motive or cause of the murder didn't come out in the probe. The matter needs to be investigated more thoroughly."

A Facebook account by the name of Ansar Al Islam Bangladesh-2 claimed responsibility for the murder of Shafiul in a post made after his death.

But on Nov 30, 2015, investigating officer Rezaus Sadiq, after submitting the charge sheet in Shafiul's murder case, said that the killing was perpetrated on the basis of the teacher's conflict with administrative officer Reshma.

The investigation did not reveal any involvement of Ansar Al Islam Bangladesh in the murder.

"Considering all this, I will question the probe not the verdict. I don’t have any misgivings with the verdict. The court passed the verdict based on the credibility of the probe. I can't cast any doubts on the verdict.” said Shahrid.