Four months and 19 days into the killing of Saudi embassy official Khalaf Al Ali, detectives yesterday claimed that the incident was of simply mugging.
The DB officials came into such a conclusion after arresting four alleged criminals in connection with the murder. The arrestees are Saiful Islam Mamun, 20, Rafiqul Islam Khokon, 22, Akbar Ali Lalu, 25, and Al Amin, 25.
The episode of nabbing Khalaf's murderers was totally a coincidence. Police arrested the four youths one month and twenty days back in a robbery case and came to know about their involvement into the murder, claimed DB officials.
The case has recently been included as a sensational one under the home ministry's monitoring cell.
“The embassy officer was hit by a bullet from a .22 bore revolver of a mugger during a brawl with the gang who stopped him near his Gulshan house on March 6,” Deputy Commissioner of DB (north) Mollah Nazrul Islam said at a press briefing at the Media and Community Service Centre in the city.
The arrestees, however, were not produced before the journalists at the briefing.
After the briefing, only the photojournalists were allowed to take photos of the four from a distance.
Asked why they were not brought before the journalists, the DB official said “in fear of contempt of court”, as the four were already into the first day of an eight-day remand in the case.
Khalaf, 45, an official with the consular section of the Saudi embassy in Dhaka, was shot dead near his house in the diplomatic enclave in the wee hours of March 6.
Of the arrestees, the DB police nabbed Saiful on June 4 from Uttar Gaowaer of Dakkhinkhan in a robbery case.
According to his confession, his aide Al-Amin was arrested. The detectives found the revolver at a house in Dakkhinkhan as per information of the two arrestees. The DB then arrested the two others.
As per the arrestees' statement, police also seized a private car from Manikdi of Dhaka Cantonment area on Tuesday night, he said claiming that the car was used by the criminals during the mugging.
The detectives sent the firearm to Forensic Department of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as they suspected that the muggers may have a link with the killing of Saudi Embassy official.
On Sunday, the CID confirmed that the bullet which hit the Saudi official was fired from the same revolver, DB officer Nazrul said.
Being confirmed, police showed them arrested in the murder case and took them on an eight-day remand on Tuesday, he added.
During the first day's interrogation, the four criminals admitted their involvement with the killing of the Saudi official. But they did not give detail of the incident, he said.
"We did not get enough time to question them intensively, so we are not very clear in some matters," Nazrul said.
On the fateful night, the snatchers waylaid Khalaf for mugging while he went out from his residence for jogging.
The Saudi official and the muggers engaged in a brawl while the official was trying to resist the criminals, the DC went on saying that at one stage, a bullet went off and hit Khalaf. The muggers then fled the scene on the car.
However, on the day of killing, witnesses said that some youths left the spot on a white private car at a very high speed.
Asked, a DB high official seeking anonymity said probably the witnesses could not identify the exact color of the car under sodium light.
Nazrul said, "Basically the arrestees are professional robbers. They killed the Saudi official coincidentally. The revolver they used in the killing was also a mugged one."
The criminals robbed the revolver from the house of a clinic owner at Khilkhet on September 29, he added.
Four suspects held