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Significient cases including Bangabandhu murder case
By: staff correspondent
 
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Bangabandhu murder case

 
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n a split verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case 14 December, 2000, the senior judge of a Division Bench of the High Court upheld the death sentence of 10 of the 15 accused and acquitted five while the other judge confirmed the death sentence of all the 15.

The 15 were sentenced to death by a trial court which found them guilty of killing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and members of his family on August 15, 1975.

The five acquitted by Justice Ruhul Amin are Lt. Col. (rtd) Mohiuddin, Capt. (rtd) Kismet Hashem, Maj. (rtd) Ahmed Sharful Hossain, Capt. (rtd.) Nazmul Hossain Ansar and Lance Dafadar Moslehuddin.

The 10 whose death sentence has been confirmed both by Justice Ruhul Amin and Justice ABM Khairul Huq are Lt Col (dismissed) Faruq Rahman, Lt Col (rtd) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Lt Col (rtd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Maj (rtd) Bazlul Huda, Lt Col (rtd) SHBM Nur Choudhury, Lt Col (rtd) Shariful Huq Dalim, Lt Col (rtd) Mohammad Aziz Pasha, Lt Col (rtd) MA Rashed Chouhdury, Maj (rtd) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Capt (rtd.) Abdul Majed.

Faruq, Bazlul Huda, Lt Col (rtd) Mohiuddin and Shahriar Rashid are in Dhaka Central Jail while the others are absconding, believed to be abroad. Maj (rtd) Mohiuddin, Rashed Chouhdury and Sharful Hossain are in the United States, facing charges of violating immigration laws; Nazmul Hossain Ansar and Kismet Hashem are living in Canada, obtaining citizenship; and Aziz Pasha is in Zimbabwe, getting political asylum. Others are reported to be in India, Pakistan, the Gulf states and Hong Kong Bazlul Huda was in Thailand and he was extradited on November 8, 1998.

Amidst pin drop silence in the packed court room, Justice Ruhul Amin started dictating the order portion of the judgment at 10-45 am, acquitting five accused and confirming the death sentence of 10 awarded by District and Sessions Judge of Dhaka Kazi Golam Rasul on November 8, 1998.

Justice Khairul Huq upheld the trial court's death sentence to all the 15 accused, completing the order at 11 am. Justice Ruhul Amin in his order dismissed the appeals against the trial court verdict preferred by Faruq, Shariar and Huda and granted Lt Col (rtd) Mohiuddin's appeal. He upheld the lower court death sentence of nine on two counts-- for murder and for conspiracy to murder- and revised that of another, Capt (rtd) Abdul Majed, upholding the death sentence on one count only, conspiracy to murder. Majed was " a party to the criminal conspiracy and thereby abetted the incident in the early hours of 15th August, 1975 in the house of the then President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," he said.

Both the judges said the death sentences should be carried out in the existing mode of execution. They made no mention of Kazi Golam Rasuls' order that the verdict be carried out by firing squad or by hanging. Lawyers from both the state and the defense sides, relatives of the accused, scores of other lawyers and journalists were present when the orders were made. After the orders were dictated, there was a heavy rush for obtaining the copies, which were given at 2 pm. Earlier, since the morning, tight security was maintained in and around the court. Uniformed and plain clothes police kept vigil and none was allowed to enter the court without pass. Hundreds of people were waiting outside. Special Prosecutor Serajul Huq, Attorney General Mahmudul Islam, his assistants Shamuddin Ahmed Manik, Bazlur Rahman Chhana and others were present from the prosecution side.

Among the defense lawyers, Khan Saifur Rahman, Abdur Razzak and Mahbubur Rahman were present. The much awaited judgment came after 63 days of hearing that ended on November 27.

The process of trial of the case was initiated 21 years after the carnage. On August 12, 1996, Faruq, Shahriar and another person were arrested under the Special Powers Act. An FIR was filed with Dhanmondi thana on October 2, 1996. The Indemnity Act that barred trial of the accused was repealed by the Parliament on November 12, 1996.

The charge sheet was submitted on January 15, 1997 accusing 27 people including six civilians. The names of five of them including Khandaker Mushtaque Ahmed, who headed the post-coup government, and Mahbubul Alam Chashi were dropped from the charge sheet as they were dead.

Zobaida Rashid, wife of col (rtd) Rashid, was cleared of the charges by the High Court. Three others--Naik Yunus, captain (rtd) Nurul Huda and Abu Musa Majumder, a civilian, were dropped from the charge sheet.

The arrested accused were produced before the court on January 20, 1997, gazette notification on the absconding accused were published on February 3 and trial started on March 1 that year at a building adjacent to Dhaka Central Jail. The verdict was given on November 8, 1998 and the death reference was sent to the High Court on November 11.

It was enlisted for hearing on March 30, 2000. On April 10, Justice Amirul Kabirv felt embarrassed to hear the reference. A stick procession led by some ministers was brought out on April 18 demanding expeditious trial of the case.

Another HC Bench comprising Justice Ruhul Amin and Justice Abdul Matin felt embarrassed. The hearing by the death reference bench finally began on June 28. Bangabandhu's family members killed on the night of August 15, 1975 included his wife Fazilatunnessa, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russel, nephew Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni and his wife, brother-in-law Abdur Rob Serniabat and members of his family. Only two daughters of Bangabandhu survived as they were abroad. Sheikh Hasina, now Prime Minister, was in Germany and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana was in London. (The Daily Star : 200012/15)

 
 
 
Decomposed dead body discovered at Dhaka DB office -
city police chief says it appears to be 'a case of murder', finds it mysterious'( The Daily S
tar report)

 
   

A decomposed corpse was found in the roof-top water tank at the Detective Branch office in the city at around 4-30 yesterday afternoon. The identity of the man, in his 40s, could not be known till filing of this report at 11 PM

At the dB office, Police Commissioner AKM Shamsuddin told reporters that the incident was 'mysterious'. "It appears to be a case of murder," he said. He also said that it was not possible for any outsider 'without the help of the police' to dump the body inside the water tank. However, he said, on completion of the investigation it will be possible to determine the actual cause of death.

According to witnesses, the body bore some injury marks below the abdomen. The corpse was sent to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy at about 8:30 PM Hospital sources said autopsy of the body is likely to be conducted today.

CID was immediately assigned to investigate the case. Headed by ASP Munshi Atiqur Rahman, the team is learnt to have seized record registers, and relevant books of the dB office. Munishi Atiqur Rahman is also the investigating officer of the Shamim Reza Rubel murder case. A number of senior dB officials said that they suspected that the victim was alive when he was taken to the rooftop. They said that this was more likely, considering the narrow access and the iron ladder approach to the rooftop of the building which is visible from surrounding areas.

The dead person was discovered after dB men launched a search to find out why their water supply had a 'foul odour' and the area smelt so badly for the last 'two days'.

Using the fixed iron ladder, a constable checking all the water tanks saw the corpse at around 7 am lying inside one of the overhead reservoirs of the two-storied building at 36 Minto Road. The iron ladder is placed on top of the car shed and the access to it is a small window from the staircase.

When Mosharraf, the constable, opened the cover of the concrete tank, he found the body floating upside down. The alarm was immediately raised and in the presence of Metropolitan Magistrate Abdus Slama Mia at around 4:30 PM, using ropes, the body was pulled out of the tank.

The victim had half-an-inch-long beard, and had a pair of black trousers, full-sleeve check shirt and a pair of sandal shoes on. The building houses the offices of the Detective Branch and the DC of DMP Southern Zone. Scores of police personnel both in uniform and plain clothes use the offices round the clock. Two armed sentries guard the only entrance of the office complex whose high walls also contain barbed wire topping.

A dB official said that only five to six days ago they launched special teams for the eid. He said 14 detective teams each comprising seven men had been assigned special duties.

Constables and other police personnel said there was no way of having any suspect inside the dB building without first entering his details with the duty officer. Even when the dB personnel make a sortie they have to get details entered into the books.

According sources, some dB officials were seen drinking bottled water for the last two days, avoiding WASA water. Ramna police said last night Havilder Jafar Ahmed of dB, DMP, Dhaka lodged an unnatural death case with the Ramna Police Station in this regard. (The Daily Star: 199903/26)

 
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Two army jawans rape young girl in train compartment


 
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MYMENSINGH, Dec 3, 2000: Two Army jawans allegedly raped a young girl in a compartment of a Mymensingh-bound train from Parbatipur Saturday night and tossed her out of the running train near Islampur station in Jamalpur district, reports UNB.

The girl, who sustained injuries, narrated the "misdeed" of the Army men to a magistrate. She was awaiting medical test. Narrating her ordeal, the girl in her statement under Section 164 to Magistrate Giasuddin Moghul said that she was coming to Mymensingh from Parbatipur by train on Saturday night with her younger brother, Nazrul Islam.

After the train boarded the ferry from Phulchharighat, two jawans of the Army befriended the girl. As they reached Bahadurabadghat, the Army men proposed that the girl and her brother accompany them in the next 8 down train instead of the inter-district Ekata train. She agreed. The jawans told her that they were coming from Rajshah on completion of training and with them were a Havildar and a Lance Naik. Late in the night, they boarded the train along with the girl, but her brother Nazrul was cunningly left behind at Bahadurabadghat.

The girl told the Magistrate that in the train, the jawans raped her one after another and tore her clothes. Finding the situation unbearable, the girl cried out when the train reached near the Islampur station. The army men pushed the girl out of the slow moving train.

She managed to reach Islampur station and narrated the whole episode to station officials. They informed the matter to Mymensingh station through telephone. Information of the incident spread rapidly at Mymensingh station, where people gathered and waited for the train carrying the jawans. As the train reached the station at 6.30 am today (Sunday), the mob forced 31 army men out of the train and kept them confined in the waiting room.

Railway men at Islampur sent the girl by the following train that reached Mymensingh station at 11.30 am. But before the train arrived with the girl, army officials from the cantonment secured release of the army men at 10.30 am. The incident has caused a stir in the district town, but a certain quarter is trying to divert attention by branding the victim as a prostitute. (The Daily Star : 200012/04)

 
 
 
Parliament clears "public safety bill"

 
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Month-long millennium session ends making 12 new or amended laws by Nazmul Ashraf The month-long winter session of the Jatiya Sangsad was prorogued yesterday with the passage of two tough laws to combat growing incidents of crime affecting peace and safety in public life and crimes against women and children.

Both the new laws provide for stricter punishment to the offenders and speedy trial in special tribunals. There was unusual haste in the process of passing the bills. Introduced in the House on Thursday, the bills were scrutinised on Friday and passed yesterday.

The controversial Public Safety Act triggered street protests by major opposition parties which, however, kept mum on the other law -- the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.

Calling the Public Safety Act a "black law aimed at political persecution", components of the BNP-led four-party opposition alliance held separate street demonstrations in the city. The alliance on Saturday called a 36-hour countrywide shutdown from Wednesday morning protesting the new law.

The law for women and children provides for death penalty as maximum punishment. The Public Safety Act provides for maximum 14 years' rigorous imprisonment.

The House passed the two laws with a faction of Jatiya Party lawmakers led by Communications Minister Anwar Hossain voting against while MPs of opposition BNP and its allies continued their boycott of the parliament.

MPs of the pro-government JP faction also called the Public Safety Act a "black law" and asked the ruling party to withdraw it. They also suggested some amendments to the law but the House rejected those.

The JP MPs threatened to walk out but the Prime Minister managed to stop it after talking with the communication minister. BNP members however attended the meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Ministry on Friday and gave a note of dissent to the proposed Public Safety Act.

As soon as the public safety act comes into effect through a gazette notification, the government plans to initially set up five or six special tribunals in terrorism infested south-western region of the country and in big cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, sources said. It is also thinking of measures for protection of tribunal judges, the sources added.

Dubbed as "millennium session", it began on January 1 and had 16 working days during which the House also passed 10 other bills including those increasing salaries of the prime minister, Speaker, ministers, Deputy Speaker and MPs.

On most of the working days, the House was dull with the Opposition keeping away and many ruling party lawmakers remaining absent or coming late. Sittings were delayed on most of the days due to lack of quorum.

However, most of the Treasury Bench members attended the session yesterday. Before prorogation of the session at 2.30 PM, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured that the Public Safety Act would not be abused in any way.

"There is no scope for abuse of the law which also provides for punishment of the abusers." Describing provisions of the Public Safety Act, she said it will deal with crimes like hijacking, extortion, damage to cars and properties, obstruction to vehicular movement and tendering process. She wondered how opposition parties termed it a black law. (The Daily Star : 2000/01/31)

 
 
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Varsity student beaten to death allegedly by DB police

 
   

A university student was allegedly beaten to death under the custody of Detective Branch of Police yesterday evening after he was picked up from city's Siddheshwari area in the afternoon. Dhaka Medical College Hospital officials identified the youth as Shamim Reza, aged about 24. Relatives said he was a BBA student at a private university. A neighbour said his nickname was Rubel.

Shamim was pronounced dead at the emergency section of DMCH by doctors at 9-45 p.m. He was brought by a group of plainclothesmen who identified themselves as members of the dB Witnesses said the healthy young man had only a pair of jeans, without shoes and shirts.

A hospital official said the dead body was not registered. The doctors and other witnesses said there were no injury marks on the body. "We cannot say anything about the cause of the death before autopsy," said a doctor. A nurse added that the young man looked as if he was in a slumber.

A DMCH source quoting a relative said Shamim was picked up by a group of lainclothesmen from in front of his house on Siddeswari Road at 4-30 p.m. They dragged him inside a vehicle, kicking and punching him indiscriminately.

Neighbours told The Daily Star that Shamim was brought back to his neighbourhood at around 7:30 PM and beaten up in public. They claimed that some 100-150 people, including Shamim's relatives, gathered and tried to persuade police not to beat whom they called an "innocent boy".

The witnesses also said police were asking Shamim to say that he had illegal arms in his possession. Reached over telephone, dB officials at Minto Road declined to give any detail other than that one Shamim had been taken to their office.

Three plainclothesmen who took the lifeless body of the young man to the DMCH told the doctors that his details would be given by others who, they said, were on way to hospital. But "the others" did not come and they wanted to take the body away from the hospital. The on-duty DMCH officials decided to keep the body at the dead room of the hospital under lock and key, hospital sources said.

At 12:15am, Daily Star reporters saw a number of plainclothes loitering around the DMCH and a number of police vans and unmarked vehicles parked in front of the emergency gate. Late last night, dB officials were allegedly trying to "reach a compromise" with Shamim's family. Neighbours quoted family members to say that some police officials were using strong languages at Ramna police station where they went to lodge a complaint.

dB Assistant Commissioner Akram Hossain and Hayatul Islam Thakur were present there. Thakur was the one who picked up Shamim. (The Daily Star: 1998/07/24)

 
 
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Teenage girl murdered at Gulshan

 
   

Shazneen Tasnim Rahman, the youngest daughter of Latifur Rahman, Chairman and Managing Director of Transcom Group, was murdered at their Gulshan residence between 10 and 10:30 last night, according to family sources.

She was 15 and was a student of Class IX at Scholastica School. The murderer slipped inside the house and killed the young girl in her room with a sharp weapon. Till the writing of this report, police was investigating at the scene of the murder.

 
 
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Seema murder : court orders judicial probe

 
 
   

CHITTAGONG, Sept 11: The CMM's court, Chittagong, today ordered a judicial probe into the sensational Seema Murder Case and appointed a magistrate for the purpose. Seema, a teenage garments factory worker was gang raped in police custody inside Raozan thana on October 9, 1996. She died inside Chittagong Jail on February 7, 1997.

Seema's brother Sajal Kanti Chowdhury filed a case with the court on September 3 against 15 people including the then district SI, jailor, jail super, some physicians and police personnel in connection with his sister's death.

The court ordered the Kotwali thana OC on September 3 to report within seven days if any other case was filed elsewhere in this connection. As the OC failed to submit any report, the court today ordered a judicial probe into the case (The Daily Star : 2000/09/12)

Seema's death in Ctg jail: case against 15

CHITTAGONG, Sept 3: A case was filed today against 15 people including the then SP, jailor, jail supers, civil surgeon, and IOs in connection with the death of Seema Chowdhury more than 3 years ago in the Chittagong Jail.

Seema's brother Sajal Kanti Chowdhury, also president of the Banshkhali thana Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) filed the case with CMM's court here.

The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Atahar Ali directed the Kotwali thana OC to report the court within 7 days whether any other murder case was filed elsewhere in this connection.

The plaintiff in the case alleged that Seema was murdered inside the jail in a planned way and the accused tried to wipe out all the evidences of the rape case. Some police personnel were involved in it, he said.

The accused include the then District Police Super Abdur Rouf, Jailor Abdur Rob, three former jail supers Mosharraf Hossain, Aminul Islam and Md Mostafa, the then Civil surgeon Amzad Hossain, medical officers Dr MD Shah Alam and DR MD Salahuddin, three Investigation Officers (IO) of the case, SI Iqbal Hossain, ex-CID Inspector Sirajul Islam and four accused in Seema rape case - SI Uttam Kumar, Constable Sadek Ali, Abul Bashar and Goura Chandra Karmoker.

Seema Chowdhury was gangraped inside Raozan thana on September 9 in 1996. She later died mysteriously during trial of the rape case. Four police personnel were convicted in the rape case. Later, an evidence hiding case was filed by Elina Khan of BSEHR which is now under trial at the District Sessions Judges Court. Advocate Kafiluddin conducted the case for the plaintiff. (The Daily Star: 2000/09/04/)

 
 
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Minor girl raped inside CMM's court premises

 
 
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A girl, aged about six, was raped by an unidentified person inside the police control room on the first floor of the CMM's court building in the old part of the city yesterday afternoon. The victim, identified as Maria (not real name), daughter of one Fazal Bepary, was admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Abdullah Mahmud Hasan, General Secretary of Dhaka Ainjibi Samity, lodged a case with Kotwali thana in connection with the incident yesterday afternoon but no arrest was made till last night. Kotwali police, however, said that the room, where the incident took place, was used as police control room earlier but now it is abandoned.

Ashraf Ali MIA, a lawyer, attending the victim at DMCH last night, described the incident to The Daily Star quoting the victim. He said that one man lured Maria with food and took her to the police control room at about 3 PM Maria complained that she was pressed on her throat and chest with her back pushed to a lavatory wall and later she was taken to a room forcibly. She could not recall what had happened to her in that room.

But, as the girl came out of the room few minutes later, one lawyer noticed that blood was slowly dripping down the girls thigh. Then, the lawyer informed Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Shahiduddin Ahmed, Ashraf Ali said.

Instantly, the CMM informed the Kotwali police about the incident and rushed the girl to the National Medical College Hospital. Later she was shifted to the DMCH.

Advocate Ashraf Ali, a member of Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastabayan Sangstha said the girl later told him that the rapist as a dark complexioned man in lungi with short hair.

Fazal and his daughter used to do odd jobs like sweeping the court premises and carry food for police in the barrack. The father and daughter who hail from Matlab, Chandpur, used to sleep in the varandah of the court building. (The Daily Star : 11 march, 1998)

Medical board examines 6-yr-old girl


The four-member medical board yesterday examined the six-year-old girl who was raped in CMM's Court area on March 10. The medical board is expected to submit its report to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate within a week.

CID police yesterday produced Maria (not her real name) before the four-member board headed by DR Mizanul Huque at about 11 am. The board examined her for about three hours at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

CID took her back to the Razarbagh police hospital under their custody. Maria's friend, the lone witness, is also now under CID custody.

 
 
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  Photo : Abir Abdullah/ Drik ( Evicted slum dweller)
 
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