A Chittagong court on Tuesday indicted Rapid Action Battalion’s (RAB) four sacked members and their three informers in a case of looting Tk 20 million from a shrine of Talsara in Anwara of Chittagong in 2011.
Fifth additional district and sessions judge of Chittagong Md Nure Alam indicted the RAB men, including RAB-7’s (Chittagong RAB) dismissed commanding officer Zulfikar Ali Majumder.
The three other RAB men are flight lieutenant Sheikh Mahmudul Hasan (on forced leave), deputy assistant director Abul Bashar, sub-inspector Torun Kumar Basu. Their three informers Didarul Alam, Manab Barua and Anwar Mia.
All of the three RAB men, except flight lieutenant Sheikh Mahmudul Hasan who is now on forced leave, were sacked after the looting from the shrine came to the light.
All of them who are now out on bail appeared before the court during the hearing on Tuesday.
According to the case statement, members of RAB-7 in uniform and plainclothes on 4 November 2011 entered the Talsara Darbar Sharif and kept pir Ahammed Safa Shah confined in a room at gunpoint. They broke open three cupboards, looted Tk 20.7 million and left the shrine with the booty in six travel bags.
Four months later on 13 March 2012, driver of the shrine Idris Ali filed a case accusing 12 people, including the then RAB-7 commanding officer.
On 30 April 2012, the army authorities sacked Zulfikar Ali from the force after the RAB authorities sent 10 accused RAB members back to their former organisations as a departmental investigation had found primary evidences of their involvement in the looting.
Anwara police station sub-inspector Abdus Salam submitted the charge sheet to the Chittagong magistrate court on 28 July 2012, accusing the seven men.
The High Court stayed the case proceeding in November of 2012 after a petition from the accused.
The proceedings of the case began after four years as a High Court bench withdrew the stay in August 2016, responding to a petition filed by the plaintiff.
Chittagong district public prosecutor AKM Sirajul Islam Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that the court set 23 October for beginning their trial through examining prosecution witnesses in the case.
There is another case against Zulfikar Ali pending with the Chittagong court for bribing investigation officer of the previous case.
Talking to Prothom Alo, the plaintiff of the case Idris Ali demanded exemplary punishment of the RAB so that no members of the government forces dare to indulge in such crimes in future.