The appeals of two former police constables sentenced to life in prison for the 2020 murder of Major (retired) Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan will be heard by the High Court.

A bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar Kajal passed the order to this effect on Wednesday.

Earlier, Constable Sagar Dev and Rubel Sharma appealed to the High Court seeking acquittal in the case, said state's counsel Deputy Attorney General Aminul Islam.

A Cox's Bazar court on January 31 sentenced former OC Pradeep and ex-inspector Liakat to death and six others to life imprisonment in the Major Sinha murder case. District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Ismail pronounced the judgment in the presence of all 15 accused in the case. Seven of them were acquitted in the case.

The death references of Pradeep and Liakat reached the High Court on February 8, and they were shifted to Kashimpur Jail in Gazipur the next day.

Their role on the night

The two appellants, along with their senior officer and fellow defendant Pradeep, were the only ones among the accused who never submitted a statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Their role was pieced together from witness statements and the statements of others accused in the case.

On July 31, 2020, Major Sinha was shot dead at the Shamlapur police check post in Baharchhara Union of Cox's Bazar while on his way back into town from filming for a travel show. Although not on the scene when Sinha was shot, Sagar Deb and Rubel Sharma staged a drama of recovering narcotics from Sinha's vehicle, acting on instructions from Pradeep.

Apart from murder, the accused were charged with hatching a criminal conspiracy, evidence tampering and perjury. Even if Deb and Sharma escape the murder conviction, it will be difficult for them to evade culpability for the other charges.

Sinha's sister, Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous, moved the Teknaf Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court accusing nine members of law enforcement agencies of the murder, including former officer-in-charge of Teknaf Model Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das and Baharchhara Police Outpost inspector Liakat Ali, on August 5.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), as the investigating agency, submitted a charge-sheet against 15 people.

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