Three held over Japanese farmer’s murder in B’desh
DHAKA: Bangladesh security forces yesterday arrested three suspects wanted over the murder of a Japanese farmer who was shot dead last month in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said the three youths had been detained early yesterday in a hideout 210 km from Rangpur, where 66-year-old Hoshi Kunio was gunned down in a ickshaw last month. After arresting them for an unrelated firearms offence, officers became suspicious and interrogated the men over Kunio’s murder, leading them to admit to their “involvement” in the killing, a spokesman for the elite unit told AFP.
“We have confirmed these men are wanted as fugitive criminals from Rangpur,” said senior RAB commander Mobasshwer Rahim. “Their appearances also match the description of the unknown assailants who shot Hoshi Kunio dead.” The suspects, named as Rajib Hossain, Kala Rubel and Kajal Chandra Barman, were found in the hideout armed with machetes and handguns, the force said.
The officers were initially acting on a tip-off about known criminals carrying illegal weapons. “During primary questioning they’ve admitted they were involved with the killing and since then they became fugitives,” Rahim said. The police detective leading the investigation into Kunio’s murder confirmed the arrests and said he expected the suspects to be handed over for questioning. “We’ve heard of the arrests made in Chapai Nawabganj. Once they are transferred to Rangpur we will be able to provide more details on them,” Jahidul Islam told AFP. The arrests take the total number in custody to five, after police last month detained an opposition party activist and a businessman in connection with the murder on a dirt track on the outskirts of the northern city. — AFP