Bangladesh police launched a massive manhunt for two of its controversial officers after their overnight suspension on charges of “professional misconduct”, officials said here on Monday.

“A manhunt is underway for police superintendent Kohinoor Mia after the government last night ordered his suspension along with his former superior officer Deputy Inspector General Mohammad Majharul Haque,” they said.

But sources close to Mia, who was an influential officer during the tenure of past Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led four-party government, filed a petition in the High Court yesterday, seeking anticipatory bail in a criminal case to evade his arrest.

The developments came days after a woman lawyer filed a case against Mia for assaulting her three years ago on the street while she was pregnant.

Sharmin Sultana Shanta complained that she was brutally attacked by Mia at Dhanmondi area as she was going to pick her son from school during a strike called by the then opposition Awami League of incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Several leaders and activists of the Awami League were also injured at that time while Shanta lost her unborn baby as Mia suspecting her as an activist dragged her out of a nearby clinic where she took refuge to evade the street violence.

Majhar was made a co-accused in the case as the incident took place in an area under his jurisdiction while he did not take any action against Mia.

Mia also earned a bad repute for his barbaric torture on opposition leaders and activists including former home minister Mohammad Nasim, incumbent home minister Sahara Khatun and a number of politicians and other people including university teachers both in custody and on the street.

Several Western countries, including the US and Britain, earlier blacklisted him for his brutal actions during the past BNP-led regime while the subsequent military-backed interim government ordered his closure as punitive steps.

Officials said Mia is also the prime accused in a “double murder” case as he allegedly personally shot dead two opposition activists defying a magistrate order.

“The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the case,” a senior police official told PTI.

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