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Bribe refusal led to Gazipur city engineer’s murder

Investigators said project files involving hundreds of crores of taka remained stuck at the engineer’s desk due to his refusal to clear them.

Delwar Hossain, an executive engineer of the Gazipur City Corporation, left his Mirpur home for his office in Konabari area under Gazipur City Corporation on May 11. Hours later his body was found on the riverbanks of the Turag.

According to his family, Delwar was the victim of a feud with some of his colleagues and a number of listed contractors of the city corporation. 

Talking to The Business Standard, Delwar's wife said that on the morning of his murder, her husband received a call from one of his colleagues. 

"He had never received such a call from any of his colleagues earlier," she said. "Additionally, several files involving hundreds of crore of taka remained stuck due to Delwar's refusal [to clear the files], which angered some contractors and several of his colleagues."  

Mashrekul Salekin, the eldest son of the victim, said, "To the best of my knowledge, he was an honest officer." 

"I could not afford a private university despite my father being a government engineer. Now, I am studying at New Model Degree College," he added. 

He claimed that the feud started last year. 

"After he refused to sign several files, he was made OSD [officer on special duty] for at least six months. Then, he was transferred to the Konabari zone of the city corporation," said Salekin.  

Sources at the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said, after examining the files, the engineering branch of the city corporation had found negligence in the contracting work. 

The files remained stuck on the desk of Delwar Hossain. A group of contractors lobbied him several times to clear the files. 

"Bribes had been offered but Delwar said he would not take them under any circumstances. Delwar also had several meetings with the city corporation mayor on these issues," said an official at the detective branch. 

"At one point, the contractors openly confronted engineer Delwar," the official added. 

According to intelligence sources, the vehicle that normally transported Delwar to his office was sent to his Mirpur residence on Monday morning – but the car did not reach his home. 

Another car – whose driver claimed was owned by the city corporation – was sent to his home. Its driver called Delwar's mobile phone from a shop, wanting to know his home address, saying his car had been damaged. 

Delwar left for the Gazipur office in that vehicle but did not reach the office. Around noon, an unidentified body was recovered from the Beribandh area of Diabari in Turag. Delwar's family identified the body at the Suhrawardy Medical College morgue late at night.

Analysing the incident, intelligence sources said it was clear that Delwar was killed in a planned manner. Initial investigations have identified three suspected killers. 

The real motive will come out if the three are arrested. All of them were allegedly directly involved in the murder.

Moshiur Rahman, deputy commissioner at the DB (North) of the DMP, said, "We are investigating on the basis of the phone calls of that morning and the drivers." 

"We suspect it was a premeditated murder. Hopefully, we will catch them soon," he added. 

Lt Colonel Sarwar Bin Kashem, intelligence wing director of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), said RAB members went to the spot immediately after the murder and tried to unravel the mystery. 

He hoped the accused would be arrested soon and said they are under intelligence surveillance.

Five hours after his disappearance on May 11, Turag police recovered Delwar's decapitated body from the side of the road in the Diabari Beribandh area of Turag. 

The victim's wife Khadija Akhter filed a murder case on Tuesday morning.

Created: May 18, 2020 Last updated May 18, 2020