Altercation with Aziz Mohammad Bhai a motive behind actor Sohel murder, says RAB

| Updated: April 08, 2022 14:16:08

Altercation with Aziz Mohammad Bhai a motive behind actor Sohel murder, says RAB

The Rapid Action Batallion (RAB) has identified some motives, including an altercation with film producer and controversial businessman Aziz Mohammad Bhai, behind the killing of actor Sohel Chowdhury that took place in 1998.

The elite police unit’s spokesman Khandaker Al Moin made the remark in a press briefing on Wednesday, a day after apprehending Ashish in Dhaka's Gulshan, nearly 24 years after the movie star's killing, reports bdnews24.com.

Sohel’s altercation with film producer and controversial businessman Aziz Mohammad Bhai and attempts to stop illicit activities at Banani’s Trumps Club on several occasions were the chief motives behind the killing, RAB said.

Sohel was shot dead underneath Trumps Club at Abedin Tower in Banani on Dec 18, 1998. His brother, Touhidul Islam Chowdhury, pressed murder charges at Gulshan Police Station the same day.

Ashish had been absconding since the start of the case. He also had an arrest warrant against him earlier.

But the trial stalled as the accused appealed for the dismissal of the case. After the case dossier went missing, a retrial started and now the court is hearing witness depositions.

Moin said Ashish and Asadul Islam alias Bunti Islam jointly established the club in 1996.

 “People of different ages arrived at the club to engage in antisocial activities from evening to dawn, and it eventually became a safe haven for prominent underworld figures and gang leaders.”

Moin said Aziz Mohammad Bhai used to frequent the club to meet 'underworld gangs'. He developed a friendship with Bunti and Ashish, who were childhood friends. Bunti was also married to Ashish’s niece.

Aziz, a director of Olympic Industries and the chairman of Ambee Pharmaceuticals, also owns the production house Ambee Films and is a famous movie producer.

Implicated in the murder cases of Sohel and Dhallywood superstar Salman Shah, Aziz is also accused of wrongdoings in the share market and currently in hiding overseas.

According to Moin, Ashish told RAB that Sohel had an altercation with Aziz Mohammad Bhai on Jul 24, 1998. Later, an enraged Aziz Mohammad asked Bunti and Ashish to deal with Sohel.

The club was situated next to the Banani Jame Masjid, which was the biggest mosque in Banani at the time, Ashish told the RAB during interrogation.

But Sohel, who was a part of the mosque committee, became a thorn in their side as he had tried to “repeatedly stop the illicit activities at the club, but failed”.

However, his protests had severely hampered the business interests of Ashish and Bunti.

Also, Aziz Mohammad Bhai used Trumps Club as a hub for maintaining connections with the underworld. Sohel's activities had not gone down well with him either.

Ashish said 'notorious criminal' Sanjidul Haque Emon would also use the club as a safe house. The interests of all these people would have suffered if the club was shut down.

Sohel entered Dhaka movie scene through FDC’s campaign to find new faces in the 1980s and later tied the knot with actress Parveen Sultana Diti, who died in 2016 of cancer.


Presenting the reasons for murdering Sohel, Moin said, “Exacting revenge for insulting Aziz in front of everyone in the Trumps Club, Sohel’s role in provoking the mosque committee to take a stand and posing a threat to the club’s business.”

 “Aziz, Bunti and Ashish then planned out the murder to teach Sohel a lesson, driven by these three motives.”

Emon was the one who shot Sohel dead, according to Ashish.

In 1999, police indicted nine people and the case was later forwarded to the Speedy Trial Tribunal.

Ashish, Aziz, Bunti, Emon, Adnan Siddiqui, Tariq Sayeed Mamun, Selim Khan, Harun Ur Rashid alias Leather Liton and Farooq Abbasi were charged in court.

But the trial stalled as Adnan Siddiqui, a key suspect, appealed for the dismissal of the case. The High Court later paused the proceedings in 2004.

In 2015, the High Court reversed its previous ruling and removed the stay order. The court also issued arrest warrants for all the suspects in the case on Mar 28.


Moin said Ashish was planning to flee to Canada on Apr 7 after the warrant was out.

While detaining Ashish on Tuesday night on a tip-off, RAB personnel seized 23 bottles of foreign liquor and some beer cans at house No. 25/B on road No. 107 near the Pink City in the area.

Also known as Botol Choudhury, Ashish had been employed by some renowned organisations, RAB said.

Moin said, after the court issued arrest warrant against him, he moved to the flat in Gulshan from his home in Mirpur DOHS.

 “The managing director of a five-star hotel arranged the home for him,” Moin said but declined to name the hotel. “Ashish gave this information, but we’re still verifying it.”

Ashish is still in contact with Aziz Mohammad Bhai, who fled to Bangkok, as well as Bunti and Adnan, who are in Canada and the US respectively, according to the RAB official.

Among the accused, Tariq Sayeed Mamun, Leather Liton and Farooq Abbasi are in jail. Another suspect Selim is still in hiding, said Moin.

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