Bangladesh lawmaker who went missing in Kolkata murdered, two-nation probe begins | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh lawmaker who went missing in Kolkata murdered, two-nation probe begins

By, Kolkata
May 23, 2024 06:34 AM IST

West Bengal Police said Azim — a resident of Dhaka and is a three-time MP from Jhenaidah — came to India on a personal visit

A Bangladeshi parliamentarian, who travelled to West Bengal for medical treatment and went missing from the northern fringes of Kolkata last week, was murdered, authorities in both countries said on Wednesday.

Residential complex where Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim Amar stayed during his personal visit, at New Town area of North 24 Pargana, on Wednesday. (PTI)
Residential complex where Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim Amar stayed during his personal visit, at New Town area of North 24 Pargana, on Wednesday. (PTI)

Mohammad Anwarul Azim, a member of Bangaldeshi’s ruling Awami League, came to India on May 12 and was declared missing on May 18. His body has still not been traced, AK Chaturvedi, inspector general of CID, said.But a police officer familiar with the matter said blood stains were found during forensic analysis at flat in New Town where he was last traced.

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“He has been murdered in a flat in Kolkata. It was a planned murder. Both Indian police and Bangladeshi police are investigating,” Asaduzzaman Khan, Bangladesh home minister, told media persons in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Bangladesh foreign minister Hasan Mahmud said in Dhaka that West Bengal Police entered the flat where Azim was reportedly murdered but did not find his body.

Khan said three people were arrested in Bangladesh in connection with the case, without giving further details. “We’re trying to catch a few more... According to the information we have so far, the people of our country [Bangladesh] are involved in the killing,” Khan was quoted as saying by Daily Star newspaper.

West Bengal Police said Azim — a resident of Dhaka and is a three-time MP from Jhenaidah — came to India on a personal visit.

“We had no intimation. We received a missing diary on May 18. Barrackpore city police set up a Special Investigation Team to trace him. On May 20, we received an intimation from Ministry of External Affairs through the state government to look into the matter. On Tuesday, we received an input that he probably has been murdered. CID has taken over the investigation. We are yet to recover the body,” Chaturvedi said.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at Azim’s death and expressed her sympathy to his family members.

Police said Azim reached the house of his long-term friend Gopal Biswas at Baranagar in North 24 Parganas after reaching Kolkata on May 12. Biswas lodged the missing diary on May 18, after which the probe began.

Azim had two mobile phones – one with a Bangladeshi number and another with an Indian number. His Bangladeshi number was switched off on May 12 when he entered India, said another police officer.

According to the missing complaint lodged by Biswas with Baranagar police, a copy of which was seen by HT, Azim came to his house on May 12 around 7pm for medical treatment.

“The next day on May 13, Azim left around 1.40pm, saying that he won’t have lunch but would return in evening. In the evening Azim, however, sent a WhatsApp message to Biswas saying that he was going to Delhi for some work. In the message he also said that he would inform Biswas after reaching Delhi and that Biswas shouldn’t call him,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.

On May 15, Biswas again received a WhatsApp message from Azim around 11.20am saying he reached Delhi and that there were some VIPs with him. Biswas, who was known to Azim’s family, later came to know that the MP sent the same message to his personal assistant and family members back home in Bangladesh.

“On May 16, Azim called his PA in the morning. His PA couldn’t receive the call. Later when he called back Azim, he failed to contact,” police have learnt, according to an officer aware of the matter said.

On May 17, Azim’s daughter Mumtarin Ferdous Doreen called Biswas and said that she couldn’t reach her father over the phone. Biswas and other family members tried throughout the day to reach Azim but failed. It was only then that Biswas lodged a missing diary on May 18 at Baranagar police station.

Investigation revealed that after leaving Biswas’s flat, Azim went to a flat in New Town around 20km away. Police collected CCTV footage and are checking mobile tower locations.

“The flat belong to a man named Sandeep. He had given it on rent to one Rahaman, who happens to be a US national. Investigation is ongoing,” said Chaturvedi.

Bangladesh detective branch chief Harun-or-Rashid told journalists in Dhaka that Bangladeshi criminals were behind the killing. “It is a brutal murder. We are investigating whether family or financial causes, or enmity with local miscreants led to his death. We are working closely with the Indian police,” he said.

Jhenaidah, the area which Azim represented in Bangladesh’s Parliament, is “known for its high crime rate”, Khan said.

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