Mystery over Bangladesh MP’s brutal murder in India

File. Police officers stand guard along a road on the outskirts of Kolkata on 12 July 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
File. Police officers stand guard along a road on the outskirts of Kolkata on 12 July 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A member of parliament from Bangladesh who travelled to India for medical treatment has been found murdered.

Anwarul Azim Anar, a member of the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh, was reported missing by a friend a day after he travelled to India’s eastern state of West Bengal on 12 May.

Bangladesh’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan confirmed the MP’s death and said that three arrests had been made, citing the Indian police.

“The information we have so far is that the people of our country are involved in the killing,” the minister said while speaking at a press briefing in Dhaka, according to the Indian state-sponsored DD News.

Mr Khan said: “We have been working to arrest a few more people. This is a murder… Nothing happened here that would lead to deterioration in relations with India since no Indian is involved with the incident. According to the information we have received so far, some people from our country are involved in this murder.”

Anar represented the Jhenaidah constituency in Bangladesh.

According to India Today, which quoted anonymous sources in West Bengal’s Crime Investigation Department, Anar’s body was brutally dismembered before being disposed of across the city, but this has not been confirmed publicly by police officials.

The News18 channel reported that a suspect named Jihad Hawladar, a resident of Khulna district in Bangladesh who had illegally entered India and was staying in Mumbai, had been arrested.

“Investigation indicated that the Bangladeshi parliamentarian fell into a honey trap laid by a woman who was also close to the victim’s friend,” the Press Trust of India quoted an official as saying. “It seems, Anar was lured into the New Town flat [in Kolkatta] by the woman. We suspect he was murdered soon after he went to the flat.”

The late MP’s family members are preparing to travel to Kolkata for further formalities, according to Livemint, and their visa process is currently underway.

The West Bengal government has received a letter from India’s ministry of external affairs urging the state government to investigate the murder.

Mystery deepens as Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim Anar is found murdered and dismembered. Screengrab (NDTV / YouTube)
Mystery deepens as Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim Anar is found murdered and dismembered. Screengrab (NDTV / YouTube)

A Special Investigation Team [SIT] has also reportedly been formed to investigate the case.

The MP’s family friend, Gopal Viswas, filed a complaint at the Baranagar police station in Bidhannagar in West Bengal after the MP’s daughter reported being unable to contact her father.

Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi, CID Inspector General was quoted as saying by ANI: “We had no prior intimation of the Bangladeshi MP’s arrival to this city. We came to know about him after his acquaintance in Kolkata, Gopal Biswas, filed a missing diary [report] on 18 May.

“We were in the middle of that investigation when, on 20 May, we received an intimation from the Ministry of External Affairs and today an input that makes us suspect that the victim may have been murdered,” he said.

The motive for the killing is still unknown.

“Jhenaidah is a [India] bordering area known for its high crime rate. Azim [Anar] was the local lawmaker there. The incident took place after he went to India for treatment. According to what we currently know, he was killed there”, the Bangladesh home minister said at his press briefing earlier.

“We suspect that after killing Anar, the murderers mutilated the body, segregated the flesh from the bones and mixed those with turmeric powder to delay decomposition,” a West Bengal CID officer was quoted as saying by FirstPost.

“The body parts were probably put inside plastic bags and scattered at different locations. We also suspect that some parts were kept in a refrigerator and we have collected samples,” the officer said, adding a wider search for more body parts was underway.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP has accused the state government of hiding a “can of worms” and taken this opportunity to criticise a high-profile opposition figure, West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

“This isn’t the first such brutal killing in West Bengal. Investigation into the murder will open a can of worms, involving powerful people in the WB [West Bengal] Govt…,” Amit Malviya, a senior BJP leader wrote on X, without providing evidence.