Sunday, April 08, 2012

Bangladesh Air Force investigator found dead in hotel

A squadron leader of Bangladesh Air Force, who was investigating alleged looting of a Chittagong shrine by Rab personnel, was found dead in a hotel room in the port city yesterday.

Police recovered the body of Squadron Leader Mamun Ur Rashid, 45, from a room of Silver Inn on Station Road around 2:00pm.

Mamun, son of Mujibur Rahman of Rangpur, was stationed in Kurmitola Air Force base in Dhaka. He went to Chittagong on Tuesday to conduct a departmental probe into the activities of Flight Lieutenant Mahmudul Hasan, who was among 10 Rapid Action Battalion personnel accused of looting the money of a shrine in Talshara of Anwara upazila in November last year, said Rab-7 Commanding Officer Major Ziaul Ahsan Sarwar.

Even though the robbery happened in November last year, the case against the Rab personnel, two of their informants and 15 unnamed people was filed last month with Anwara Police Station.

“Mamun was familiar as Additional Deputy Commissioner (general) of Khagrachhari Salahuddin had introduced him to me two years ago,” said Silver Inn owner Md Asaduzzaman.

“Salahuddin urged me to get a room for Mamun in my hotel,” Asad said, adding that Mamun checked into non-air conditioned room-208 around 8:10pm on Wednesday.

They had tea at the hotel and two of Asad's friends--Mahmud Ali Khan and Mohammad Shahed--joined them a few minutes later, Asad said.

“As I had an early appointment, I asked my friends to give Mamun company and left around 8:30pm,” Asad said.

Mahmud told The Daily Star that after some chit-chat Mamun wanted to have some foods and he felt his peptic ulcer pain. Mahmud took Mamun to KGN Restaurant on Kazir Dewry Road on his car and had roti and chicken there.

“While returning, Mamun requested me to stop the car at an open space since he was feeling bad,” Mahmud said, adding that they stopped near the hotel. Mamun got down and puked, he said.

“Then I called Shahed, who went to a nearby bus counter to buy a ticket for Dhaka for Mamun. As we reached the hotel we both took Mamun to an AC room in the hotel where Mamun had some medicines from his bag,” Mahmud said, adding that they left after midnight.

Mamun was then in room-213 which was air-conditioned and was closest to the staircase, Mahmud said.

Hotel supervisor Jamal said they got no response from the room in the morning despite repeated knockings at the door. They informed Asad of the matter.

“I tried to contact Mamun over his mobile phone several times but none received the calls which made me suspicious,” Asad said. He then contacted Mamun's younger brother Russel who works for a bank in Chittagong.

The hotel owner told police of the matter and the door was opened in police presence with a spare key around 1:30pm.

Officer-in-Charge Rafikul Islam of Kotwali Police Station said they found no mark of injury on the body during primary investigation.

“We came to know from the family members of the deceased that he was suffering from cardiac diseases and high blood pressure,” said the OC, adding that the reason for his death could be known after the autopsy and forensic tests.

The body was sent to Chittagong Medical College morgue around 6:30pm.

An unnatural death case was filed with Kotwali Police Station in this connection.

Teams from Bangladesh Air Force, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) visited the spot.

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