Bangla Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Pradeep phoned Indian high commission official

sam special- 16-09-2020

Major (Retd) Sinha (L) & OC Pradeep Kumar Das

After retired major Sinha Md Rashed Khan was shot dead by police in Cox’s Bazar, officer-in-charge (OC) of the Teknaf police station Pradeep Kumar Das, now under arrest, made a phone call to an official of the Indian High Commission in Chattogram.

This was mentioned in the report of the inquiry committee formed by the home ministry regarding the Sinha killing.

The committee asked Pradeep why he had called up the Indian high commission official. He replied that just to say ‘hello’. The official would often call him, he said, and he had called that day too. The committee asked what he had told the high commission man. “I said I was in deep trouble,” said Pradeep.

In reply to another question of the committee, Pradeep said. “The SP had told me that my life was in danger. I repeated that to him”.

Meanwhile, an intelligence agency report said that Pradeep had called the Indian high commission official at 5:00 pm on 3 August. The day after the phone call, fabricated reports about Sinha appeared in three Indian online news portals. The reports said that Sinha had been involved in all sorts of misdeeds while serving in the SSF.

Head of the investigation committee looking into the Sinha killing, Chattogram additional divisional commissioner (development) Mohammad Mizanur Rahman on the afternoon of 7 September submitted the investigation report to home minister Asaduzzaman Khan at the secretariat. The home minster declined commenting on the report.

According to the report, the suspended Teknaf OC Pradeep Kumar Das would hardly ever use his official firearms. He would mostly use his own weapons.

The inquiry committee questioned Pradeep in this regard. They asked him about 174 people being killed in 106 gunfights while he was in charge. They asked him if he directly led those operations. He said he led most of the operations. They asked him how many times he himself had shot and what firearm did he use. He had shot around 20 to 30 times using his personal firearm.

Pradeep said, “I have a Walther pistol costing Tk 7.5 lakh. I use whichever weapon I am comfortable with. And one can use personal weapons for official duty.”

How did he keep account of the bullets of his own gun? He said he would file a GD and keep record of the bullets he fired from his own pistol.

The committee observed that over the past one and a half years he had not fired a single shot from the gun given to him by the government. He said he has fired around five bullets from that gun and hardly used it.

When asked if he remained at the front during operations or behind his subordinates, he replied, I lead from the front.

“There are allegations that there are excessive ‘encounters’ with you on Marine Drive. Why?” the committee asked. He replied, “It is not only with police on Marine Drive, but with RAB and BGB too. “

When asked if it was true that he refused to address two army officers as ‘sir’, he said, “I asked where it was written that I had to call them ‘sir’. I shouldn’t have said that and I am regretful for that.”

“How would you assess Inspector Liaqat Ali as a police officer” In reply to this question of the committee, Pradeep said, “Mediocre. Liaqat tries to bypass authority. He called the SP without consulting me.”

Retired major Sinha Md Rashed was killed on 31 July at the Shamlapur checkpost in Cox’s Bazar. Four cases were filed in this regard. So far 13 persons have been arrested, including 10 police and 3 villagers.