Police fail to crack Awami League leader Tipu murder case a year on
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan promised to name all the people behind the murder of Awami League leader Jahidul Islam Tipu, but police have not wrapped up the investigation in a year.
They have arrested 24 suspects in a case filed by Tipu’s wife Farhana Islam, who was elected a councillor of Dhaka South City Corporation with the ruling party’s backing after the killing of Tipu on Mar 24, 2022.
“A murder is a murder. Won’t the main criminals be tried because they are leaders of the ruling party?” fumed Farhana, speaking to bdnews24.com on Sunday, two days after the first death anniversary of her husband.
Three of the arrested suspects have given confessional statements to the court and one of them, Sumon Shikder Musa, named several Awami League leaders in his statement.
After the arrest of Musa's brother Saleh Shikder, Motijheel Awami League leader Omar Farook and two others, the Rapid Action Battalion said some local leaders of the ruling pary took help from the underworld to kill Tipu.
Musa allegedly worked as a link between the underworld and the political circle in the killing. He was spotted in Oman last year and later extradited to Bangladesh.
Police detectives arrested a suspect, Masum Mohammad Akash, in Bogura days after the murder and said he shot Tipu.
Samia Afnan Prity, a college student who was travelling by a rickshaw, also died after a stray bullet hit her when a gunman opened fire through Tipu’s car at Shahjahanpur.
Rajib Al Masud, a deputy commissioner of police’s Detective Branch which is investigating the case, said: “It’s almost in the final stage. We’ll submit the report after clearing up some minor things.”
Musa detailed the planning of the murder in his statement, according to Farhana.
Police said he named 19 people, including Golam Ashraf Talukder, organising secretary of Dhaka Metropolitan South Awami League, and Maruf Ahmed Mansur, a ward councillor of the city corporation.
Musa said in the statement top fugitive criminals Jisan Ahmed and Jafar Ahmed Manik executed the plan from abroad.
He said he had known Ashraf for a long time and got a student admitted to Motijheel Ideal School with Ashraf’s help in December 2021.
After some days, he met Ashraf and Mansur at a restaurant near the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.
Jubo League leader Maruf Reza Sagar, Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Sohel Shahriar Rana and several others were also there. Maruf and Sohel were arrested in the Tipu murder case.
Musa said Jisan and Manik joined the meeting via video call and proposed to drive Tipu and his followers out of the area because everyone was angry at him due to his refusal to share income from school admission and development work contracts.
They met again at a restaurant on Bailey Road and decided to kill Tipu outside the AGB Colony to keep Ashraf and Mansur out of suspicion.
Ashraf denied his involvement in the murder of Tipu. “What Musa has said is a flimsy story. He did it willingly or unwillingly. I have no personal connection with him. I’ve never seen him.”
Ashraf also alleged his rivals conspired to keep him away from politics by naming him in the case.
“Tipu was a political coworker and friend. I want justice for him.”
Mansur could not be reached for comments.
Farhana said she found it “unbelievable” that people in her party were still holding their posts even after being named in the case over her husband’s murder.
“And I’ve heard that many responsible leaders are lobbying for them. It pains me. I’ve been saying since the beginning that the shooter is not the factor here. The masterminds must be brought to justice.”
Farhana also alleged she receives mobile phone calls and messages with threats to remove the names of Ashraf and Mansur from the list of suspects.
She thanked the investigators for their work and hoped they would arrest the other suspects and charge them in court soon. “My children and I will be safe then.”