A Chittagong court has framed charges against seven people including four officers of the Rapid Action Battalion or RAB in a 2012 case over the robbery of around Tk 20 million from a shrine in the port city.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Nur-e-Alam Bhuiyan indicted the seven chargesheeted accused of the case while they were present in the dock on Tuesday.
The court fixed Oct 23 for taking depositions, said Public Prosecutor AKM Sirajul Islam Chowdhury.
Defence Counsel Shahbuddin Ahmed said the court dismissed his clients' plea to be acquitted of the allegations and framed charges under Section 395 and Section 397 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.
The accused are ex-commander of RAB-7 Zulfiqar Ali Majumdar (dismissed), Flight Lt Sheikh Mahmudul Hasan (on forced leave), former Deputy Assistant Director of RAB-7 Abul Bashar, Sub-Inspector Tarun Kumar Basu and three others - Didarul Alam, Anwar Mia and Manab Barua – who worked as RAB's sources.
A RAB team led by Zulfiqar Majumdar raided the Talshara shrine at Chittagong’s Anwara Upazila on Nov 4, 2011. They broke a safe and took away Tk 20 million, as per details of the case started in March 2012.
Following the ‘raid,’ RAB arrested five Myanmar citizens and handed them to police but did not mention anything about the money.
Md Idris, a chauffeur of the saint at the shrine, started the case with Anwara police against 12 people.
RAB headquarters conducted an inquiry into the case that found RAB men’s involvement in the robbery.
Zulfiqar was arrested at Dhaka’s Moghbazar in May 2012 but he secured bail from the High Court the following month.
Investigating Officer of the case Inspector Abdus Samad submitted chargesheet against seven people on Jul 26, 2012.
Zulfiqar and Mahmudul moved the High Court for scrapping the case that year. The High Court rejected Zulfiqar’s plea in 2015.
In August last year, the High Court dismissed Mahmudul’s plea.
The chargesheet finally reached the trial court four years after it was submitted to the court's general recording officer.
“This is a sensational case. The nation thinks high of the elite force but they robbed a shrine. The money had been collected as funds for renovating mosque,” said Public Prosecutor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury.
Zulfiqar and his body guard have given confessional statements in which they detailed how the robbery was carried out. Three more accused have also confessed, added Chowdhury.
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