Reckless driver without licence caused Chakaraia crash killing five brothers: RAB

35

Dhaka, Feb 12: The man who was behind the wheel of the pickup van that hit and killed five brothers before running away at Chakaria in Cox’s Bazar has no driving licence, the Rapid Action Battalion has said.

Shahidul Islam alias Saiful, 22, was recklessly speeding up to deliver vegetables fast from Chakaria to Cox’s Bazar town on the foggy morning of Feb 8, the RAB said on Saturday after arresting him in Dhaka.

The five dead brothers were Anupam Sushil, 46, Nirupam Sushil, 40, Dipak Sushil, 35, Champak Sushil, 30, and Swaran Sushil, 24.

Their brother Roktim Sushil and sister Hira Sushil were also injured in the accident as the nine siblings were waiting to cross the Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway near Malumghat Bazar Nursery after performing a ritual at the local crematorium for their recently deceased father.

Another brother, Plaban Sushil, 22, filed a case against an unidentified pickup van driverat Chakaria Police Station under the Road Transport Act.

RAB said pickup van owner Mahmudul Karim’s son Tarek and nephew Rabiul, both identified with single names, were also in the vehicle during the accident.

Mahmudul, who runs a vegetable transport business, bought the pickup van in 2016. Its fitness papers expired four years ago while the route permit ended three years ago, according to the RAB. Tarek oversees the transportation of vegetables with assistance from Rabiul.

Saiful has been driving pickup vans, Chander Gari – a passenger vehicle in the hilly districts, and mini trucks for the past two years, said RAB spokesman Khandaker Al Moin.

Saiful started working for Mahmudul in exchange for Tk 500 daily wage a week ago.

The driver did not notice the family from far due to low visibility amid fog. When he noticed them, it was too late, said Moin.

The vehicle was dragged around 100 feet ahead even after Saiful pushed the brake pedal as its speed was 65-70 km.

After hitting the siblings, Saiful stopped the pickup van and went to see them, but they fled on orders from Tarek.

Following Mahmudul’s instructions, Saiful parked the vehicle at Dulahazara and met Mahmudul, who advised him to go into hiding for at least one year. Saiful then went to a rubber plantation in Bandarban’s Lama and then to Dhaka.

The RAB arrested him at Mohammadpur bus stand in the capital on Friday midnight, while Mahmudul, Tarek and Rabiul went into hiding.

“Saiful has admitted his involvement with the incident. The RAB has recovered the keys of the vehicles from him. He said he had not known the victims.