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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Anwarul Azim Anar: Bangladesh cries Awami League MP murder in city, body not found

As the mystery around Anwarul Azim Anar, 54, the MP of Jhenaidah-4, deepened, police sources on this side of the border made claims about a business dispute and entrapment

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 23.05.24, 05:25 AM
Anwarul Azim Anar.

Anwarul Azim Anar. File picture.

Bangladesh on Wednesday said an MP of the ruling Awami League who was on a medical trip to India had been murdered, with police in Bengal reaching a Rajarhat apartment where he had apparently been seen in CCTV footage but failing to find the body.

As the mystery around Anwarul Azim Anar, 54, the MP of Jhenaidah-4, deepened, police sources on this side of the border made claims about a business dispute and entrapment. In Bangladesh, the home minister announced the arrest of three persons in that country for alleged involvement in the “murder”.

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Anar had reached Calcutta through the land port at Gede in Nadia on May 12 and was reported missing the next day, said a source who was part of the team probing his disappearance.

On Wednesday morning, the Bidhannagar police searched the housing complex in Rajarhat where the MP was reportedly captured by a CCTV camera entering with three persons on May 13.

“We found red-coloured fluid in the bedroom, washroom and a washbasin. We have sent the samples for forensic exam,” said a senior CID officer.

The body, however, was yet to be traced till Wednesday night.

Bangladesh home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told the media in Dhaka in the morning: “He (Anar) was murdered and it was a premeditated act.... Three people have been arrested from Bangladesh in connection with the case.... We cannot disclose all the information as the investigation is still on.”

A report on the three-time parliamentarian’s disappearance — lodged by his relatives at Baranagar police station on May 18 — said that he visited the residence of a “friend”, identified as Gopal Biswas, at Mondol Para in Baranagar on May 12 and had been missing since then. According to the report, Anar told Biswas that he was going to a doctor.

Amid speculation over the MP’s death, the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh got in touch with the Indian authorities in Delhi to speed up the probe and the central agencies were pressed into service to assist the state police.

Over the past few days, investigators in India had been coordinating with their counterparts in Dhaka on the case.

“It has emerged that he was enticed to come to Calcutta by some people and was trapped and killed,” said a source.

“He knew the people involved in his murder.... An influential businessman, with whom he had some dispute, hatched the conspiracy,” added the source.

According to the source, the businessman spent more than a week in Calcutta during which he stayed at the Rajarhat complex with a woman and another business associate. The businessman, the source said, left for Dhaka on May 10 “after planning the entire operation for which he had brought in some people from Bangladesh”.

“Everyone involved in the operation are Bangladeshis and most of them have left India,” said the source.

Another source connected with the investigation said there were reasons to believe that Anar had been murdered on May 13 within an hour of entering the Rajarhat complex.

The investigators are trying to figure out why the MP, who had left the Baranagar house saying he was going to see a doctor, went to Rajarhat.

“Initially the killers were using his cellphone to send messages to his friends and family members.... Then they removed the SIM card and sent it to Bihar, which created confusion as the tower location was taking us to the neighbouring state,” said the source.

The investigators finally zeroed in on the Rajarhat complex after tracking the driver of the car that Anar is said to have boarded from Baranagar. “He got out of that car somewhere near the housing complex and got into another car.... We are trying to find the missing links,” said the source.

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