Rangpur Lawyer Rathish Chandra Bhowmik: Wife's affair led to murder
12:00 AM, April 05, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:31 PM, April 05, 2018

Rangpur Lawyer Rathish Chandra: Wife's affair led to murder: Rab

Rathish Chandra Bhowmik, public prosecutor at the Special Judge's Court in Rangpur, was murdered at his home on March 29 over his wife's extramarital affair with her colleague, said Rab.

A team of Rapid Action Battalion-13 recovered the lawyer's decomposed body from an under-construction building in the city's Tajhat Mollahpara area around 2:30am yesterday. The killers had buried the body in the ground of the building.

The victim's younger brother, Sushanta Bhowmik, and brother-in-law, Animesh Majumdar, identified the body.

Speaking at a press conference at the Rab-13 Rangpur office yesterday, Rab Director General Benazir Ahmed said the murder was planned around two months ago.

Rathish on March 29 returned home in Tajhat Mollahpara around 9:30pm and had his dinner. Later, he had a glass of milk, with 10 sedative pills mixed in it by his wife Snigdha Bhowmik Dipa, the Rab chief said quoting Shighda as saying during interrogation.

Rab members recovered the body of Rathish Chandra Bhowmik buried inside this under-construction building in Tajhat Mollahpara in Rangpur city early yesterday. Photo: Star

As the 58-year-old became unconscious after drinking the milk, Snigdha and her lover Kamrul Islam strangled him to death with a scarf between 10:30pm and 11:00pm. The two stashed the body in a steel almirah, Benazir added.

Around 5:00am the following day, Kamrul went out of the house and returned there four hours later along with three men and a rickshaw van. He told the men that he would take a steel almirah to an under-construction building.

Kamrul took the almirah to the under-construction building, owned by his brother Khademul Islam, around 500 metres off Rathish's home.

According to the Rab chief, a pit was dug in the ground on March 26. Two of Kamrul's students from Tajhat Mollahpara area dug the pit and buried the body there.

A Rab-13 team picked up Snigdha from her home around 11:30pm on Tuesday and interrogated her at its office. Gleaning information from her, the law enforcement agency recovered the body, said Armani Rabbi, acting commanding officer of Rab-13.

Police detained Kamrul in his Rangpur city home on Tuesday.

Snigdha and Kamrul are teachers at Tajhat High School and Rathish is the president of the school's managing committee, said Towhida Khatun, headmistress of the school.

The elite force handed over Snigdha to police around 2:30pm yesterday.

Police have showed the victim's wife, her colleague and the two schoolchildren arrested in a case filed in connection with the murder.

Mizanur Rahman, superintendent of Rangpur police, said they were trying to arrest the others involved in the killing. 

Snigdha on Saturday had told law enforcers and journalists that her husband went out of home around 6:00am on March 30 riding on a motorcycle of an unidentified man. She claimed that she tried to reach her husband over the phone, but found it switched off at 7:00am.

The same day, the victim's younger brother Sushanta filed a general diary with Rangpur Sadar Police Station over his brother's going missing.

On April 1, he filed a case with the police station in connection with the incident. Police said it would be turned into a murder case.

During investigation, police found that Rathish had his last conversation over the phone around 10:22pm on March 29. Later, it was found switched off.

Besides, CCTV footage from roads near the lawyer's house showed that he did not come out of his house on the morning of March 30.

BLOODSTAINED SHIRT RECOVERED

Police on Tuesday afternoon recovered a bloodstained shirt by a ditch near Rathish's home in Tajhat Babupara area. Law enforcers conducted a search in the 12-feet-deep ditch, but found nothing.

Saifur Rahman, additional SP (circle-1) of Rangpur, said they would carry out a forensic test on the shirt.

According to police, they examined the call list of Snigdha's phone and found that she used to call Kamrul more than 30 times a day.

Rathish's family members said they on several occasions had tried to settle the issue of Snigdha's extramarital affair at family level, but in vain.

His body was cremated in Rangpur city's Dakhiganj cremation ground yesterday evening after an autopsy was carried out on it at Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

Earlier, the body was taken to Rangpur court premises, Rangpur Public Library ground and Lions School and College, where lawyers and people from all walks of life paid their last tributes to the deceased.

The lawyer was the law affairs secretary of Rangpur Awami League. He was the public prosecutor in the murder cases of Japanese national Kunio Hoshi and Khadem Rahmat Ali. He gave testimony against war crimes accused ATM Azaharul Islam, an assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, in 2014. The International Crimes Tribunal had awarded death sentence to the Jamaat leader.

The attorney was also involved with different social-cultural organisations in the district.

As the news of his going missing spread early this week, different organisations, including the Rangpur chapter of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, Rangpur Lawyers Association and Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, started staging agitations in Rangpur city demanding the authorities rescue Rathish unhurt.

Bonomal Pal, president of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad's Rangpur chapter, Abdul Maleque, general secretary of Rangpur Lawyers Association, and Rezaul Karim, general secretary of Rangpur Awami League, yesterday demanded capital punishment for the murderers of the lawyer.

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