6 murdered in city flatIqbal Mahmud
Assailants killed a pir, his son and four followers inside his rented house at Gopibagh in the capital Dhaka on Saturday evening, the police said.
The police found the six, with their throats slit, hands and legs tied and mouths taped shut in two rooms on the first floor of a four-storey building on RK Mission Road about 7:00pm.
The police identified the pir as Lutfar Rahman, 55. His son Sarwar Islam Faruk, 30, who worked at City Bank, the pir’s followers Russell, 19, Shahin, 24, and Mujibur Rahman, 23, and his assistant Manju, 30, were the other victims.
Six more family members and domestic helps were found alive in a room locked from outside in the six-room house.
The police could not immediately establish the motive for the killings but said that they were investigating the matter.
A top official of Rapid Acting Battalion told New Age that primarily they suspected that dispute over ‘spiritual views’ might have led to the gruesome killings.
The pir was previously arrested by law enforcement agencies after Lutfar Rahman had claimed himself to be Imam Mahdi, said sub-inspector Jahangir of Demra police station in 2005.
Clashes between local people and the followers of a self-proclaimed ‘Imam Mahdi’ also took place at Demra’s Bibir Bagicha in the capital in March 2005.
The investigators quoted family members as saying that the assailants had made off with some valuables from the flat after the murders, but could not specify the valuables.
Shirin, who rented the flat out to the pir, said that she had sent the guard of the building, Md Saiful, to the house of her sister at Mohakhali around 3:30pm for some work to do there and was not present during the incident.
At least eight people living in the building have been detained for interrogation.
After preliminary investigations, DMP Wari division additional deputy commissioner Sheikh Mohammad Mehedi Hasan told reporters that a group of eight to 10 entered the house of the pir at magrib prayers and slaughtered the six people confining others to another room.
RAB additional director general Colonel Ziaul Ahsan told reporters that the assailants were known to the pir and they had entered the flat at magrib prayers.
The RAB suspected that ‘extreme fundamentalists’ might have been involved in the killings as some quarters were critical of his writings.
‘They offered magrib prayer together and the pir told his wife to cook 10 more meals for the visitors. Then the assailants confined the female members to a room and locked it before slaughtering the six people in two adjacent rooms,’ added Colonel Zia.
The RAB official said that since Lutfur Rahman was known as a pir, followers frequented his house and the door of the flat usually remained open.
Police found two bodies in a room and the four others, including that of the pir in a pool of blood in the next room.
A crime scene member of Criminal Investigation Department told New Age that they suspected that the six people might have been drugged and tied with bed sheets before being slaughtered.
ADC Mehedi said that the killings had been committed sometime between 6:00pm and 6:30pm.
‘The killers tied all of them and taped their mouths shut before slaughtering them,’ he said.
Mehedi said they suspected that the assailants had washed up after the murders and quietly left the spot.
A neighbour Moslehuddin said that he had heard screams from the flat at about 6:45pm and along with locals informed the police about the matter.
The flat owner Shirin told reporters that Faruk had rented the house three months ago and people often visited the pir.
Shirin said that Faruk had introduced him as a banker and said that they were from Mirzapur of Tangail.
Teams of the Criminal Investigation Department and the Detective Branch started investigation.
Mahbuba Akhter, a dweller of the third floor of the building, said that she had already complained to her flat owner about people always crowding the building.
None of the family, including five women and a child, who were present in the flat during the killings, were available for comments.
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