In case riveting Bangladesh, Dhaka MP allegedly murdered and dismembered in India

Ahammad Foyez
In case riveting Bangladesh, Dhaka MP allegedly murdered and dismembered in India Anwarul Azim Anar (second from left, seated), a lawmaker from Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party, who Indian and Bangladeshi police say was murdered, is seen talking to his constituents in Dhaka, in a photograph he posted to his Facebook account on Feb. 29, 2024.
[Via Facebook/MP Anwarul Azim Anar Page]

Indian and Bangladesh police said Thursday that suspects had dismembered and defiled the body of a Dhaka lawmaker allegedly killed in Kolkata earlier this month, in a case that has transfixed and horrified Bangladeshis.

A total of five people have been arrested in Kolkata and the Bangladesh capital as suspects in the alleged murder of the ruling party MP, Anwarul Azim Anar, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said. The killers' identities are known and will be announced later, Bangladesh's home minister said. 

Harun Or Rashid, chief of DMP’s detective branch, told reporters that Indian authorities had not been able to recover the body parts of the Awami League lawmaker, but had informed him about the gruesome acts done to the MP.

“After killing Anwarul, the body was cut into pieces and the bones and flesh were separated to hide the body. After that, so that no one could suspect, it was mixed with turmeric and taken out of the house,” he said.

“But it is still not clear where the fragmented parts of the body have been thrown.”

Harun noted that Kolkata Police in their statement Thursday made clear that their assertions about Anwarul being murdered and cut up was based on evidence and information they couldn’t yet disclose so as to not jeopardize the investigation.

Anwarul, 56, who was a three-time MP and had been on Interpol’s wanted list in 2008, had arrived in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata for medical treatment on May 12, but went missing two days later from a friend’s house where he had been staying.

“Almost everything has been identified and we are almost close to identifying who did the killing. Now all that is left is the announcement,” Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said at an afternoon press conference. 

He told reporters that an Indian police team was set to arrive in Dhaka for further investigation. The team landed there in the evening.

All those involved in the killing are Bangladeshi, the police told the minister, according to Khan. 

Police detective Harun said the suspects had been planning the killing for some time.

“There was a plan to kill Anwarul for one or two months in two houses [in the neighborhoods of] Gulshan or Dhanmondi in Dhaka,” Harun said.

But Kolkata was chosen because the suspects thought they may be more easily caught in Dhaka, he added.

Mumtarin Ferdous Doreen, daughter of ruling party MP Anwarul Azim Anar, who police say was murdered in India, speaks to reporters outside the Detective Police office on Minto Road, Dhaka, May 22, 2024. [BenarNews]

Anwarul’s past is also playing out in the media as police investigate the motive behind his alleged killing. 

Without providing proof, media reports in both countries alleged that Anwarul was involved in cross-border smuggling of gold.

The lawmaker himself acknowledged – as he had to – to the Election Commission before the general election in January, that he had had 21 cases filed against him. In his affidavit to the EC, he said he was discharged from seven cases and acquitted in the remaining 14.

Various media reports alleged that the cases against him were related to smuggling, weapons, and extortion, among others.

Reporters on Thursday asked Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader for comments on the alleged killing of his party colleague.

“[T]he party nominated him considering his popularity. He was killed. We cannot say anything until the investigation is over,” was his reply.

Another party member, Abdur Razzaque, told BenarNews he could not speak at length about the alleged killing.

“[W]e need to know more about the matter to make a detailed comment as investigations are underway,” he said.

“These allegations of Anwarul’s involvement in smuggling are very embarrassing.”


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