Agartala, May 13: Police last night arrested one of the masterminds in the killing of BSF assistant commandant Jeevan Kumar Sinha. Benu Mia, a notorious don operating along the Rajnagar-Lankamura border area on the western outskirts of Agartala, was picked up last night from his hideout on the Bangladesh border.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of officials from the West Agartala police station raided a house in Rajnagar village, located on the edge of the Indo-Bangla border, a little after midnight and picked up Benu Mia (35).
Other smugglers present at the hideout, however, fled.
Sources said Benu Mia had disappeared from his home on the Indian side the day Jeevan Kumar was murdered but returned recently. This morning, he was produced in court and was remanded in five days’ police custody.
According to sources, Sinha had incurred the wrath of a powerful gang of smugglers, led by Benu Mia, Pramod Das and his younger brother brother Karna Das on the Indian side and Abbas Mia and his son Ismail Mia in Bangladesh, which operated along the Akhaura border.
The gang, reportedly, has the backing of a Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader, who is also a member of Akhaura municipality.
The assistant commandant’s crusade against smuggling and infiltration had made him a target of the gang. When Benu and his accomplices failed to influence Sinha with offers of bribe, they decided to kill him.
“For about a month, an agent of the gang kept watch over Jeevan’s movements in the Lankamura area where the 131 battalion’s camp is located,” an officer said.
“He reported on Sinha’s habit of rushing to heed the call of duty without a care for personal security. With these inputs from the agent, smugglers from both sides and some Bangladesh Rifles (7th battalion) jawans held a meeting on April 7 in Haque’s house in Akhaura. The murder plan was finalised at that meeting.”
The source added that the abduction of Indian farmer Ramdhan Paul on April 16 afternoon by Bangladeshi miscreants and the BDR was part of the conspiracy.
“We interrogated Ramdhan Paul and found some clue to the mystery on how he had been used as a bait.”
Sources in the BSF reiterated that Paul, over whose abduction Sinha was murdered, was not “above board”. Shortly after his safe return to Lankamura, Paul was interrogated by the BSF and his statements appeared to be contradictory.