Even after conviction, sacked Teknaf OC Pradip, wife Chumki protest their innocence

The notorious OC was sentenced to 20 years in prison while his wife received 21 years of jail time

Chattogram Bureaubdnews24.com
Published : 27 July 2022, 02:13 PM
Updated : 27 July 2022, 02:13 PM

Dishonourably discharged chief of Teknaf Police Station Pradip Kumar Das has claimed he is innocent and that he was not part of any corruption after being sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Chittagong court on graft charges.

Pradip, who became infamous for his kill counts during drug raids and so-called “gunfights”, made the claim in front of journalists while being whisked away from the court premises after the verdict was delivered on Wednesday.

Similarly, Pradip’s spouse, Chumki Das, claimed that the couple were a victim of a wide conspiracy by a vested quarter who had long feared her husband for his “good work ethics”.

Chumki was sentenced to 21 years in prison in the same case, started by the Anti-Corruption Commission over possessing assets beyond means.

The court of Chattogram Division Special Judge Munshi Abdul Majid has also ordered the state to seize their assets.

Pradip had previously been sentenced to death over the murder of retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan.

The court framed charges against Pradip and his wife in the ACC case in December 2021 and ordered the authorities to issue an arrest warrant against Chumki.

The ACC charged the couple with amassing more than Tk 23.5 million beyond known sources of income and money laundering. They also concealed information on the assets of Tk 4.9 million.

ACC’s counsel Mahmudul Huq Mahmud said the prosecution was able to prove definitively how the sacked officer-in-charge, or OC, of Teknaf Police Station amassed wealth illegally by using his position and had laundered the wealth in his wife’s name in an effort to show it as a legal income.

‘WE DIDN’T DO IT, WE’RE INNOCENT'

Throughout the legal proceedings of the case, Pradip and Chumki maintained that they are innocent of all charges against them.

The OC was sentenced to death by a court in Cox’s Bazar, along with his then colleague Liakat Ali, on Jan 31 for the murder of Sinha.

Claiming his innocence in that case too, Pradip said: “I am innocent in Sinha murder case as well. Please do your [journalists] due diligence. I can’t be held responsible for the crimes of the officers and SIs [sub-inspectors] in the police station.”

He also claimed that he was a crucial part of the government's strategy of war against drugs.

“What I did was to fight to execute the government’s zero-tolerance policy against drugs, so that the youths of the country do not ruin their lives,” Pradip said.
Chumki, on her way to the prison, claimed that they were a target of a quarter that were afraid of her husband because of his “professionalism and good work ethics”.

“We’re not happy with the verdict. A quarter with vested interest ruined our happy family by convicting us in a farcical case,” she claimed.

The ACC prosecuted Pradip and Chumki on Aug 23, 2020, after finding substance in the allegations that Pradip had earned a fortune through “bribes and corruption”.

The assets mentioned in the charge sheet include a six-storey building in the port city’s Patharghata, another building at Solosahar, and 45 Bhori of gold jewellery (1 Bhori = 11.664 grams), cars, a microbus and a flat in Cox’s Bazar.

Pradip, a recipient of the Bangladesh Police Medal in 2019 for his “exceptional services in fighting drug crimes”, came under the national spotlight for his role in the cold-blooded killing of Sinha, a retired army officer who was with a documentary film crew in the beach town in July 2020.

In the verdict, the judge in Cox’s Bazar said police shot and killed Sinha in an “egregious abuse of their authority”, which sparked a public outcry.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher