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Bangladesh MP murdered in Calcutta? What we know so far

The Awami League lawmaker was last seen entering a flat in suburban New Town and has been missing for nine days

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 22.05.24, 05:56 PM
Anwarul Azim Anar.

Anwarul Azim Anar. File picture.

Blood splattered in a flat at a Calcutta suburb where Anwarul Azim Anar was last seen has led to the suspicion that the member of Bangladesh’s parliament has been murdered.

Azim, who was on a personal visit to Calcutta, has been missing for nine days.


Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced in Dhaka on Wednesday that Azim had been murdered.

“Awami League MP Anwarul Azim Anar, who went missing in India, was murdered at a Calcutta flat,” Khan told journalists. “So far, we have come to know that all the killers involved are Bangladeshis. It was a planned murder.

“The incident took place after he went to India for treatment. According to what we currently know, he was killed there," minister Khan said.

He also said three people have been arrested in connection with the murder.

"We have received some information which cannot be divulged right now," said Akhilesh Chaturvedi, IG CID. "The forensics and fingerprint experts are combing the flat."

Who is Anwarul Azim Anar?

Azim is the three-time Awami League MP from Jhenaidah-4 constituency. Jhenaidah is an area on the India-Bangladesh border known for its high crime rate.

Azim has several business interests, including transport, and is an influential leader in the sector. In 2008, Interpol had issued a notice against him in connection with several criminal cases including arms and explosives, as there were several pending cases in Jhenaidah and Chuadanga.

Soon after he became an MP for the first-time in 2014, polling 95 per cent of the votes, Azim was cleared of the charges.

During this time, Azim had fled to India and stayed in Majidia in Bengal’s Nadia. He made friends with many people on this side of the border.

Among those friends was a Gopal Biswas, a gold trader, at whose Baranagar residence the Bangladeshi MP was staying before he went missing.

What is known so far is that Azim came to Calcutta. He entered India through the Darshana border (connecting Bangladesh’s Khulna with Nadia) on May 12 for a medical consultation and was staying with a friend in the Baranagar area.

Azim visited Calcutta often for treatment.

What have the police found?

The police in Calcutta are yet to recover the body of Azim. All that has been found are blood stains in a flat in suburban New Town where Azim was seen entering with three others on May 13.

A forensics team was in the flat on Wednesday, collecting evidence.

Senior Bangladesh intelligence officer Mohammad Haroon Rashid told journalists that both the phones the MP used were “intermittently active but remained unreachable”.

Around 1.40 pm on May 13, he left to meet a neurologist at a Calcutta hospital in a cab. The taxi driver who drove Azim around has told the police they had picked up another Bangladeshi national from the New Market area and from there proceeded to a flat in New Town.

CCTV footage has revealed that apart from Azim, two men and a woman had entered the building, Sanjeeva Garden in New Town, Rajarhat.

Over the next four days, the other three were seen leaving the building, not Azim. What happened to him is being investigated.

According to a report in the Dhaka Tribune, the MP was in contact with his family in Dhaka till May 14, after which both the phones that he used were switched off. Police in Dhaka have informed the local media that the MP used two SIMs, one from Bangladesh and the other with an Indian number.

“On the evening of May 13, he had sent a message to Biswas informing him that he had to leave for Delhi,” according to the Dhaka Tribune report. “Later the same night, he confirmed he had reached via a message. In the message Biswas was instructed not to get in touch with him as he was busy.”

On the morning of May 16 a call was made from the MP’s phone to his personal assistant but the call did not connect. When the assistant called back, no one answered the call.

Developments in Dhaka

On Tuesday, the missing MP’s daughter, Mumtarin Ferdoush, lodged a complaint with the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Intelligence department. The family had also met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the missing MP.

The high commission in Delhi and the deputy high commission in Calcutta were immediately alerted.

After the Barrackpore police received the missing complaint a special investigation team was formed. Following a missive from the ministry of external Affairs, the state CID has taken up the case.

“Apart from the state police, we have spoken to the Bihar and Chhattisgarh police because the last tower location of one of the mobiles was in Bihar,” said Alok Rajoria, commissioner of police, Barrackpore.

One of the suspects arrested by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Wari division detective branch has been identified as Amanullah. Based on the preliminary interrogation, another person has been apprehended.

The police in both the countries are sharing information. The MP’s daughter is on her way to Calcutta.

The flat where the Bangladesh MP was last seen is owned by an employee of the Bengal government, who had rented the premises to a US national named Akhtaruzzaman.

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