No residents or security guards of houses and other establishments near the city’s Segunbagicha intersection or Khilgaon old police camp saw or heard anything unusual in the early hours of July 16.
Many locals walked outside their houses till late that night as it was too hot.
None of them came across any incident that looked odd to them.
This correspondent learnt all this while visiting the areas and talking to about 15 people of different ages and professions.
Talking to The Daily Star on Wednesday, Helal Uddin, officer-in-charge of Khilgaon Police Station claimed a gang of youths including Abdul Quader [a student of Dhaka University] were caught by a mob as they attempted to commit a robbery somewhere near Khilgaon old police camp early on July 16.
As the mob started beating them up, Quader and one of his accomplices fled in a microbus, he said.
The OC then said a police team chased the microbus to Segunbagicha and arrested the two.
In a sharp departure from his own version, he then said law enforcers chased a microbus with some people on board as it was suspiciously moving in Khilgaon area. Finally, the group was caught at Segunbagicha.
But giving a statement at the High Court yesterday, the OC claimed they picked up Quader near Khilgaon Police Outpost on July 16 around 3:30am.
On the other hand, Quader told the court he was arrested from Segunbagicha.
On Wednesday, asked how Quader suffered severe injuries, Helal Uddin then said, “A mob caught Quader and others near the old police camp and beat them up.”
Giving a pause, Helal Uddin said another mob also beat Quader and another member of the group at Segunbagicha.
Earlier, family and friends of Quader, a postgraduate student of DU, said police arrested him near the Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters around 1:00am on July 16 on his way to the hall.
The youth was returning on foot from his relative’s house at Holy Family staff quarter, they said.
Known as a gentle person to his classmates and teachers, Quader has been detained for the last 12 days in three cases for robbery, possessing sharp weapons and hijacking a microbus.
This correspondent yesterday talked with security guards of Concord Apartment, Segunbagicha Apartment Complex, Priyoprangon Apartment and Property Paragon–all near Segunbagicha intersection.
Seven night guards, who were on duty in those buildings that night, told The Daily Star they had not heard or noticed anything like shouting, chasing or mob beating.
Zillur Hossain and Kaosar Ahmed, two guards of Concord Apartment, said they are quite sure that no incident like shouting or chasing or mob beating took place at Segunbagicha intersection early on July 16.
“Some police officers on Wednesday came here and asked us whether we had heard or noticed something odd especially between 1:00am to 3:00am,” said Zillur. “We gave them exactly the same answer.”
However, Hiron Mia, a security guard of the ACC, who was on duty during the early hours of July 16, said he heard “mild shouting” of four to five people at the intersection around 1:00 to 1:30am. But he could not give any detail.
But Monir Hossain, who was on the shift with Hiron, told this correspondent he did not hear or notice anything out of the ordinary during his working hours.
This correspondent yesterday also talked with Mohammad Ali, assistant commander of Ansar Camp inside Shilpakala Academy to the opposite of the ACC office.
The Ansar members who were on duty that night found nothing suspicious, he said.
A number of Khilgaon residents, who live surrounding the old police camp, said they do not know anything about the “July 16 robbery or mugging”.
“Police are making up a story as they are somehow engaged in the incident,” Nazrul, a middle-aged man, said.
Many other people have the same view.
-With The Daily Star input