The Police Bureau of Investigation says that former SP Babul Akter paid off the killers of his wife Mahmuda Akter Mitu several times, with one of the payments amounting to Tk 300,000
But the PBI said it had not yet found evidence of the 27-second call rumoured to have taken place between suspect Qamrul Islam Sikder Musa and Babul immediately after the killing.
Investigators had found “irrefutable proof” of the money transaction and had identified Babul’s abettor Musa from video footage, PBI chief Banaj Kumar Majumder told media in response to a question on Wednesday.
Why Babul had not previously come under suspicion would also play a role in the investigation of the new case filed over the murder, he said.
PBI officials involved in the investigation say that most of the evidence gathered for the case filed by Babul could be used for the new case and this meant the investigation could be concluded faster.
Asked about whether Babul had sent the killers Tk 300,000 through his friends Saiful Haque and Gazi Ali Mamun, the PBI chief said: “The amount could be much larger and sent through different channels.”
Majumder said that investigators uncovered evidence suggesting an amount of as much as Tk 900,000 was paid to the killers.
But the matter of the extramarital affair, brought up in the new case, would be a new focus of attention, investigators say.
The PBI indicated it could question the other party in the affair if the need arose.
Investigators had spoken to Babul several times as the plaintiff in the case, Majumder said. The investigators always kept in touch with him and he would get details of the case from them.
But Babul also avoided questions or delayed answering them. On May 6 Akter was called to the PBI offices, but he deferred and finally came on Monday, May 10.
Babul was told to go to the PBI offices in Chattogram on Tuesday. There he was taken into PBI custody and arrested the next day over the case filed by Mitu’s father Mosharraf Hossain, a former police offer.
Mitu’s father Mosharraf Hossain alleges that Babul had an affair with another woman, a stormy issue which led to Babul “orchestrating” the killing of his daughter.
He named Babul and seven others in the case filed at Chattogram’s Panchlaish Police Station on Wednesday.
The others accused in the case are Qamrul Islam Sikder aka Musa, known as a ‘source’ for Babul, Ehteshamul Haque Bhola, Motaleb Mia aka Wasim, Md Anwar, Saidul Alam Sikder aka Sakku, Shajahan and Kalu.
Mitu was hacked and shot dead near the GEC Intersection in Chattogram on the morning of Jun 5, 2016, while she was taking her son to school. It happened a few days after Babul had joined the police headquarters in Dhaka, following promotion and transfer.
Several media outlets have reported that a 27-second phone call took place between Babul and Musa immediately after the killing, during which Babul is alleged to have said: “I told you to hit her.”
Asked about the issue, Majumder said: “We have not found such evidence in our case docket, but we are still investigating.”
After the killing of his wife, Babul himself filed a murder case against unknown suspects with the port city’s Panchlaish Police Station.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Majumder stated that the investigation had “found evidence” linking Babul to the murder.
Babul had, at one time, served the Chattogram Metropolitan Police and earned plaudits for his anti-militant work.