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Security heightened near court ahead of Major Sinha murder verdict

Judge Mohammad Ismail of the Cox’s Bazar District and Sessions Judge’s Court is expected to deliver the verdict in the case at 10:30 am on Monday, Public Prosecutor Faridul Alam told bdnews24.com.

Faridul arrived at the court premises around 9 am. The relatives of some suspects were also seen in the area. The suspects are to be brought to court at 9:30 am.

Md Rafiqul Islam, the district additional superintendent of police, said that security personnel had been deployed at both gates to the court premises and a seven-stage security perimeter has been set up.

“Police are on alert,” he said. “To strengthen security, members of other law enforcement agencies have been deployed alongside police. We are monitoring the situation to ensure that no unnecessary traffic enters the area. No one, except those involved in trials, will be allowed to enter court today.”

Six police checkposts have been set up at the entrance road to the curt, the deputy commissioner’s office area and the wet market area.

A police official from the Sadar Police Station said that about 80 police personnel were deployed near the court and another police team is on standby.

In July 2020, officers of the law in Cox’s Bazar shot and killed retired army officer Sinha in an egregious abuse of their authority, sparking a public outcry.

Sinha, 36, was a member of the Special Security Force tasked with guarding the prime minister. Sinha had gone into early retirement to pursue his personal interests. But his life was cut short within two years of leaving the army.

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Fifteen policemen, including the then chief of Teknaf police Pradip Kumar Das, stand accused of murdering Sinha at a checkpoint in the resort town’s Marine Drive.

After the incident, the lid was blown on Pradip’s chequered past, which involved framing gunfights in the name of drug busts near the Myanmar border in Teknaf.

He had similarly tried to cover up the killing of Sinha as a ‘gunfight’.

In the wake of the incident, former officers of the armed forces demanded the arrest of all policemen involved.

After Sinha’s murder on July 31, 2020, his sister started a murder case against nine policemen, including Pradip and Inspector Liakat Ali, on Aug 5.

The other suspects were former police sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Raxit, former constables Shafanur Karim, Kamal Hossain, Abdullah Al Mamun, Rubel Sharma and Mohammad Mostafa, former ASI Sagar Deb, Armed Police Battalion’s SI Mohammad Shahjahan and constables Mohammad Rajib and Mohammad Abdullah.

Four and a half months later, on Dec 13, the case’s investigation officer Md Khairul Islam pressed formal charges against the 15 suspects.

The trial opened after they were indicted by Judge Ismail on Jun 27, 2021. In the course of the trial, the court heard 65 testimonies, including nine eyewitness accounts.

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