BAF officer found dead in Ctg hotel roomStaff Correspondent . Chittagong
Sqn Ldr Mamun was in port city probing shrine loot by RAB
Bangladesh Air Force squadron leader Mamun Ur Rashid was found dead in a hotel on the Station Road in the Chittagong city on Thursday.
Mamun, posted to the legal wing of the force at the Kurmitola base, was investigating the looting of Tk 2 crore by a Rapid Action Battalion team from a shrine called Talsara Darbar Sharif at Anowara in Chittagong.
The police found the officer dead in a room of the Silver Inn. The Kotwali police officer-in-charge, Rafikul Islam, said that they had reached the Silver Inn after the hotel authorities about 2:00pm informed him that Mamun, who was in his room, was not responding to any call.
‘We found Mamun dead in the bed after opening the door with a spare key,’ Rafikul told New Age.
No case was filed till 9:30pm, Rafikul told New Age. ‘The process to file an unnatural death case was under way.’
When contacted, the Inter-Service Public Relations failed to provide any information on the incident and said that the Bangladesh Air Force had not not provided the ISPR with any information.
When New Age requested the BAF exchange to connect to Mamun’s family, the on-duty officer said that the telephone at Mamun’s house was out of order.
The police said that the body had been sent to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital morgue for a post-mortem examination.
According to the hotel register, Mamun, 45, son of Mujibur Rahman, was from Rangpur.
Major Ziaul Ahsan Sarwar, the acting commanding officer of RAB 7, said that Mamun had come to Chittagong to conduct a departmental inquiry of the alleged involvement of a former RAB official from the air force in the looting of money from the shrine.
Ziaul added that Mamun was carrying out a departmental inquiry against flight lieutenant Sheikh Mahmudul Hasan, one of the accused in the case filed in connection with the looting of shrine money.
A group of battalion personnel, led by the then RAB 7 commanding officer Zulfikar Ali Majumdar, allegedly looted about Tk 2 crore from the shrine November 4, 2011 when the battalion personnel were raiding the place to arrest the Rohingyas living there illegally.
A case was filed against 12 people, including Lieutenant Colonel Zulfikar, Captain Ohidul Hasan, the battalion’s deputy director Abul Bashar, police subinspector Tarun Kumar Basu and assistant subinspectors Ali Ashraf and Jahangir Alam with the Anowara police.
According to case details, the RAB team raided the shrine and looted the money after breaking open an almirah.
They arrested five Myanmar citizens at the shrine and handed them over to the police but kept silent about the money.
The RAB personnel were later withdrawn to their own forces after the case had been filed.
Rafikul, meanwhile, said that they had come to know from Mamun’s family that he was suffering from heart diseases and had high blood pressure.
The hotel owner, Mohammed Asaduzzaman, said that he had been familiar with Mamun beforehand.
One of Asaduzzaman’s friends, Salahuddin, additional deputy commissioner (general) of Khagrachari, introduced him to Mamun two years ago, he added.
‘Salahuddin requested me over telephone to manage a room for Mamun in my hotel and I kept a room booked for him,’ he said.
He also said that he along with two of his friends, Mahmud Ali Khan and Mohammad Shahed, had taken tea in Mamun’s room on Wednesday night and left the hotel about 8:30pm, keeping his friends to accompany Mamun.
Mahmud told reporters that after chatting for some time in the hotel room, he took Mamun to the KGN Restaurant on Kazir Dewri Road in his car and had roti and chicken.
‘When we were returning to the hotel, Mamun requested me to pull over the car in an open space as he was feeling bad,’ he said.
Mamun got down from the car and threw up after he had pulled over the car near the hotel, he added.
Mahmud also said that he had phoned Shahed, who went to a bus counter nearby to buy a ticket for Mamun to go to Dhaka, and asked him to come back. They both then took Mamun to an air-conditioned room in the hotel.
He also said that Mamun had felt better after having some medicines. The two left the hotel at midnight.
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