Govt probe fails to find Limon’s crime link

LIMON  Hossain, the 16-year-old college student whom the elite force Rab (Rapid Action Battalion) shot and maimed in March, has not been involved in any criminal gang, The Daily Star reports quoting a government probe report submitted to the home ministry on Monday.

A doctor records the statement of Limon Hossain at National Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation in Dhaka on May 24, 2011 after Barisal ADC Shawkat Akbar, to the left of the physician, ends questioning the teenager. Limon's mother, next to her son, looks on. Photo: The Daily Star

A home ministry source, quoting from the report, said Limon of Jhalakati is a college student who became a victim of a shootout between Rab personnel and a local notorious criminal gang leader Morshed Jamadar on March 23.

But Limon and his family maintain that he was shot in the leg point-blank by a member of a Rab team. Limon’s injured leg had to be amputated.

Following the shooting incident, the home ministry assigned a one-member probe committee of Mohammad Shawkat Akbar, additional divisional commissioner of Barisal, to investigate the matter.

On May 19, while the investigation was still on, Prime Minister’s Defence Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique at a media briefing claimed that both Limon and his father have been members of Morshed Jomaddar’s criminal gang. Later Rab echoed Tarique’s claim at another media briefing.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun also defended Tarique’s statement on May 22, saying his remark was a government statement.

Now the government probe report contradicts those claims of Limon’s criminal affiliation.

The probe report however said there is no proof of a point-blank shooting in the first medical report.

According to arms experts, if Limon was shot point-blank in the leg, a portion of his leg would be severed immediately leaving marks of burn at the entry point of the bullet wound, but no such burn mark was found in his leg, the report added.

The home ministry source said, according to the report, Limon was shot from behind. But Limon claims he was shot from the front.

The probe committee found witnesses who said there was a shootout between Morshed and Rab personnel.

The source claimed that Shawkat talked to a woman in whose house Morshed took shelter on the day Limon was shot.

The woman told Shawkat that Morshed opened fire at Rab when he sensed the presence of the elite crime fighting force near the shelter. Rab also returned fire, sparking a gunfight.

Morshed however managed to escape, but Limon, who was in the area, was shot in the leg by a stray bullet, the report said adding that whose gun fired the bullet could not be ascertained.

Shawkat in the report recommended a ballistic test of the bullet, to find out which gun it came from.

The repot also said accounts of the incident described by Limon, his mother, and Rasul Mia differ from each other. Rasul Mia, 12, is the lone witness of Limon’s shooting, according to the victim himself.

Meanwhile, doctors at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor), where Limon is being treated, asked him yesterday to collect his release letter from the hospital at a convenient time.

Limon’s family members said they intend to take Limon out of the hospital by tomorrow.

When some reporters yesterday asked State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku about the probe report, he declined to make any comment.

Rab filed two cases against Limon, one for allegedly possessing illegal firearms, and another for allegedly obstructing law enforcers from carrying out their duties and attempted murder.

Limon’s mother filed a case against the Rab personnel who went to Limon’s village to hunt the gang led by Morshed.


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