Jul 032014
Motiur Rahman Nizami

Motiur Rahman Nizami

Pulack Ghatack: Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami has recovered from his illness and he is now fit for appearing before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) to stand trial for crimes against humanity, jail sources said.

Civil surgeon of Dhaka Dr Abdul Malek also confirmed improvement of Nizami’s physical condition. “He is now in good health,” Dr Malek told the Daily Observer yesterday evening.

“Nizami has already been transferred to the prison cell from the medical as his condition is now normal, he also added.

Meanwhile, the jail authorities will soon place a report to the tribunal updating it over the latest health condition of Nizami. The authorities in a report on Thursday told the ICT that health condition of Nizami had improved.

“The jail authorities also committed to send another report to the tribunal narrating physical condition of the accused,” Amitava Chakraborty, deputy registrar of the tribunal, told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.

“We are yet to get the second report,” he also said.

Shahbagh-Jahanara Imam

Millions of people demonstrated at Shahbag Square of Dhaka city demanding trial of war criminals in February 2013.

The ICT-1 was scheduled to hand down its verdict on war crimes of Nizami on June 24. But it did not pronounce the long-awaited judgement, as the jail authorities did not produce the accused before it on health ground.

The tribunal ordered the jail authorities to submit a full report before it on Nizami’s health condition as soon as possible.

“According to rules of the ICT the tribunal has the jurisdiction to deliver verdict in absence of the accused, who have lost the ability to attend the tribunal due to chronic dieses,” Prosecutor Zead Al Malum told the Daily Observer.

People, especially the war victims are eager for the verdict as the trial process began in 2010 after a series of mass movements in 40-years.

On June 24, the tribunal kept the case waiting for verdict again. The case was earlier put in CAV status for two times: Firstly on conclusion to the case on November 13, 2013, and secondly after rehearing of the arguments on March 24.

Nizami is facing 16 charges of crimes against humanity committed during the country’s Liberation War in 1971. The allegations include masterminding genocide, killing of intellectuals, loot, rape, arson, torture and confinement of people.

He has already been awarded the death penalty in the 10-truck arms haul case this year.

Nizami, the president of the then Jamaat-e-Islami student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha and chief of Pakistan army auxiliary force Al-Badr, was indicted on May 28, 2012.

Feb 252013


Dhaka, Feb 24, 2013, PTI:

At least five people, including a woman, were killed and over 50 others injured on Sunday as police opened fire during clashes with Islamists who enforced a nationwide shutdown demanding execution of “atheist bloggers” for alleged blasphemy.

Five people were killed when strike supporters clashed with the police and local people in Manikganj’s Singair upazila during the nationwide strike called by 12 Islamist parties, police and witnesses said.

“Five people including a woman were killed in clashes… the Islamist groups claimed four them to be activists of theirs,” a witness said.

The witness said that several activists of Islamist outfit Kherlafat Majlish backed by fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) attacked policemen as they intervened at the scene after the Islamists assaulted a senior ruling Awami League leader.

Feb 232013

AP, DHAKA, Feb 23, 2013 –  Thousands of students have rallied in Bangladesh’s capital demanding death to several Islamic political party leaders who are on trial for alleged war crimes during the country’s 1971 independence war.

Eight top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party, are being tried on charges of mass killings, rapes and arson during Bangladesh’s nine-month war of separation from Pakistan.

Earlier this month, a tribunal convicted party leader Abdul Quader Mollah of mass killings during the war and sentenced him to life in prison, a verdict considered lenient by many Bangladeshis.

On Saturday, about 5,000 students shouted “Death to the killers” as they rallied in Dhaka, the capital.

The government says it will appeal Mollah’s sentence before the Supreme Court this coming week, asking for the death penalty for 65-year-old.

RSSLoading Feed...
Dec 302012

DHAKA, Dec 30, 2012: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Monday said the people of the country want nobody to recommend for those facing war crimes trial.

She came up with the official version regarding Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s recent letter to Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calling for “clemency” to the accused under trial in the International Crimes Tribunal for the “sake of peace in the society.”

Freedom fighters, war victims, eminent personalities, politicians and leaders of different socio-cultural organizations in Bangladesh strongly condemned the Turkish effort as an interference with Bangladesh’s internal affairs.

“Foreign Ministry has taken steps so that no confusion exists regarding the matter,” Dipu Moni told journalists after an inter-ministerial meeting on sub-regional cooperation.

Apparently declining to share the content of the letter, she said, “It’s a letter written by the President of a friendly country to our President. But it’s not possible for us to take the matter easily…it’s an important and sensitive matter that triggered widespread reaction across the country.”

The Foreign Minister went on: “It’s the people’s expectation that the trial of the war criminals will be held after 40 years…and it’s the people’s expectation that nobody will recommend in favour of those accused.”

Asked whether Bangladesh would give any reply to the latter, she said, “It’s the matter of the recipients’ consideration whether there will be any reply to it.”

On the reported visit of a Turkish NGO delegation, the Foreign Minister said the Turkish citizens enjoy visa exemption and on-arrival visa facilities here in some particular categories. “We’re further looking into the matter considering what they did here using the on-arrival visa.”

She said the Foreign Ministry sought documents whether they all had such category passports who can enjoy visa exemption facility. “We’re trying to know details about that.”

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish envoy in Dhaka and conveyed him that the attempt was tantamount to interfering in Bangladesh’s internal matters.

The Turkish embassy in Dhaka handed over the letter, written to the President and the Prime Minister, to the Foreign Ministry on December 23. The letter was sent from Ankara on December 17 and reached the offices of the President and the Prime Minister on Thursday, according to the Bangla daily report.

Meanwhile, Ankara summoned Bangladesh Ambassador to Turkey M Zulfiqur Rahman to describe its position; a day after Dhaka summoned Turkish Ambassador in Bangladesh Mehmet Vakur Erkul on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the government voiced concern over the lobbying by a Turkish NGO delegation in favour of war crimes suspects now facing trial, and conveyed its dissatisfaction to the Turkish envoy here.

Acting Foreign Secretary Mustafa Kamal conveyed the dissatisfaction clearing Bangladesh’s position in this regard.

Indian External Affairs Minister’s Visit

Dipu Moni said Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is likely to arrive here in the middle of February to attend the next Joint Consultative Commission meeting.

“The next Joint Consultative Commission meeting will be held here in the middle of February…we hope he (Khurshid) will come here to attend the meeting,” she said.

In the first week of November, Salman Khurshid revealed his plan for Bangladesh visit during a meeting with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on the sidelines of ASEM Summit in Vientianne, Laos.

Hydro-power Cooperation

Dipu Moni said the foreign ministry officials held a meeting and discussed the issues related to power sector cooperation with India.

“So far, we heard, they (India) have taken initiatives to install hydropower projects in two rivers (common rivers). We informed the Indian government that Bangladesh wants to go for hydropower projects under joint initiatives,” she said.

The Foreign Minister said the two rivers are on the list of Bangladesh on which the government is planning to install hydropower projects.

She said Bangladesh would suggest a joint feasibility study like the Tipaimukh Dam. “If things see feasible, we want to be partner of the projects.”

RSSLoading Feed...
Dec 222012

Dhaka, Dec 22 (UNB) – Leaders of the Awami League led 14-party alliance on Saturday reiterated that the ongoing war crimes trial will be completed at any cost defeating those conspiring against it.

“We’ll win again as in 1971 by trying the war criminals, and then we’ll bring out a victory procession,” Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed told a pre-procession rally.

The rally was held at the South gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque prior to bringing out a procession in the city protesting the ‘conspiracy’ of BNP-Jamaat against the ongoing trial of war crimes.

At the rally, Awami League leader Amir Hossain Amu announced that the 14-party alliance will form a human chain on January 7 across the country protesting the conspiracies of BNP-Jamaat against the trial and demanding quick completion of the trial.

After the rally, a mass procession was taken out in the city that terminated at Suhrawardy Udyan after parading Noor Hosssain Square, Paltan intersection, National Press Club and Matsya Bhaban roads, creating huge traffic congestions in the areas.

Hundreds of leaders, activists, supporters of the ruling coalition took part in the rally demanding the trial of war criminals who committed crime against humanity during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.

Tofail said BNP and Jamaat together want to foil the trial of war crimes and urged the countrymen to get united like in 1971 to try the war criminals.

Agriculture Minister and Awami League presidium member Matia Chowdhury alleged that Khaleda Zia took to the streets with a desperate attempt to stop the trial of war criminals. “We’ll take the trial to its own destination. The offenders will get the punishment for their misdeeds. No one will be able to save them,” she said.

Awami League advisory council member and minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta said the whole nation except Khaleda Zia and Ghulam Azam is united with the demand for the trial of war crimes.

“You had won by killing Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975 by hatching conspiracy. This time, the people of the country will win by trying the war criminals and the conspiracy will get defeated,” Suranjit added.

Workers Party president Rashed khan Menon regretted, “In the month of victory where we are supposed to celebrate the victory, but we are holding a procession demanding the trial of war crimes.”

Senior Awami League leader and former Home Minister Mohammad Nasim said opposition leader Khaleda Zia has declared a war against the people of the country.

“Her main demand is to free the killers of 1971 who are now in jail on charges of war crimes. Khaleda not only betrayed with the people of the country but also betrayed with her husband Ziaur Rahman by siding with the war criminals,” Nasim said.

Awami League joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal general secretary Sharif Nurul Ambia, Ganotontri Party general secretary Nurur Rahman Selim, Gano Azadi League president Abdus Samad, National Awami Party general secretary Enamul Haque also addressed the rally held with Awami League leader Amir Hossain Amu in the chair.

RSSLoading Feed...
Sep 192012

Dhaka, Sept 19 : The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh will send a team to Canada to probe into the alleged Padma Bridge graft depending on positive response from the Canadian government, ACC Chairman Ghulam Rahman told journalists on Wednesday.

“The probe into the alleged Padma Bridge graft can’t be completed without visiting Canada. Anyway, this visit depends on the positive response from the Canadian government,” he told reporters after a meeting with attorney general advocate Mahbubey Alam at the ACC headquarters in Dhaka.

The chief of the anti-graft agency observed that the tendency of misappropriation of public wealth is on the rise among people in the country and sought help of the attorney general’s office to provide legal assistance to the Commission to accelerate its activities.

“The Attorney General is the top most law officer of the state. Without his help, it’s unlikely to take forward the ACC activities. During the meeting, we sought legal assistance from him to probe the country’s big graft cases,” he said.

The ACC Chairman told reporters that the Attorney General assured him of providing all-out support to the Commission to probe the allegation of big graft swindles.

He said the government is going to enact a new law to check corruption in the country. “I hope this law will remove many ambiguities,” he added.

Ghulam Rahman stressed the need for reactivating the ‘Sachetan Sangha’ all over the country, aiming to create awareness among the young generation about the worse consequences of graft. “The veteran thugs cannot be made monks, but the ‘junior ones can be made patriots,” he said.

RSSLoading Feed...
Sep 182012

Dhaka, Sept 18 : The parliament of Bangladesh on Tuesday passed the ‘Grameen Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2012’, aiming at making the appointment of its managing director more transparent. But it founding managing director Professor MD Muhammad Yunus criticised the move by terming it a “government ploy to take full control” over the Nobel winning organisation.

Planning Minister AK Khandaker, in absence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, tabled the bill in the House that was passed through voice vote. Lone independent MP Fazlul Azim walked out in protest when the bill was passed.

The bill says that the post of managing director of Grameen Bank remained vacant for a long time due to complexity in the Grameen Bank Ordinance-1983.

The Cabinet on August 2 last approved the ‘Gameen Bank (Amendment) Ordinance 2012. As Parliament was not in the session, the President promulgated the Ordinance on August 22. The Ordinance was placed in Parliament on September 4.

Changes have been brought with the Ordinance in the process of appointment and eligibility criteria for the post of managing director. With the Amendment, the authority power has been given to the chairman of the Grameen Bank Board to appoint a five-member selection committee.

The selection committee will make a panel of three candidates after reviewing the eligibility of the aspirants. The Board of Directors of the Grameen Bank Board then will appoint a managing director after getting approval from the Bangladesh Bank.

Grameen Bank has been running without a Managing Director for over one and a half years when Muhammad Yunus resigned in May last year after losing legal battles to stay in the office.

The Cabinet on Aug 2 decided to alter the way the bank appoints the chief executive and asked the revenue board for a report on whether he brought in any money from abroad as a wage earner and if so, if he was allowed to do so and whether he got any tax waiver on the amount.

RSSLoading Feed...
Sep 182012

Dhaka Sept 18, 2012 : The parliament of Bangladesh on Tuesday passed the long awaited “Hindu Marriage Registration Act 2012”  giving its Hindu population the option for official documentation of their marriages.

The law is aimed at providing legal and social protection to Hindu community members particularly safeguarding women from marriage related frauds.

Piloting the bill, state minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Advocate Quamrul Islam said the Hindu women, who have long been deprived of their rights due to absence of such a law, would be able to prove their marriage and will get rid of marriage related cheating by their husbands.

He said the law has been formulated in line with a demand coming from the Hindu community members as there is no such law in the country to register their marriages.

The parliament also passed the “Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2012”, under which people belonging to all religions (Hindu, Buddhist and Christian) like Muslims would be allowed to transfer their property to their posterity giving a fee of Taka 100.

In 2005, the government made the provision of registration of ‘Heba Dalil’ under which a Muslim is allowed verbally to donate/transfer his/her property to any person giving Taka 100 as fee to the government.

The new law would provide similar opportunity to members of other communities-Hindu, Buddhist and Christian- to donate/transfer property to anybody.

The citizens belonging to the Hindu community, who constitute nearly a tenth of Bangladesh’s 148-million-strong population, are held back by centuries-old customary laws which majority of them want to get updated suiting the modern socioeconomicmilieu.

A balanced progress of society is being decelerated due to those customary laws, for the women are being deprived of their natural rights and many complexities are arising out of such inhibitions.

The voice of conscience decries the plight of thousands of Hindu women for deprivations, discriminations, complicacies and the absence of codified laws for a much-sought-after change. Members of the Buddhist community are in the same boat, as they also go by Hindu laws and customs.

RSSLoading Feed...
Sep 162012

Click here for full verdict of the Supreme Court that declared the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Bangladesh illegal

DHAKA, Sept 16, 2012: The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on Sunday published its full judgment that scrapped the provision of caretaker system of government by declaring the 13th amendment to the constitution is illegal and void.

Former Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque and six other Appellate Division judges’, who heard the petition challenging the High Court verdict, had signed in the full judgment at about 10pm, few minutest before its was posted on the Supreme Court’s website: http://www.supremecourt.gov.bd/scweb/documents/526214_13thAmet.pdf

Earlier, a High Court bench declared the 13th amendment to the constitution is illegal. The epoch making judicial review  forced the democratic system of Bangladesh to take a new course.

Attorney General Mahbubay Alam told reporters that after the judgment there is no existence of the Caretaker Government (CG) system.

Replying to a question, he said in the final judgment there is no mention about holding of next two general elections under CG system, though earlier it was told that two polls might be held under CG system but no judges’ of the SC will be chief of the Caretaker Government.

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 302012

DHAKA, Aug 30:  The government on Thursday decided to challenge in the apex court a High Court verdict invalidating the ruling by parliamentary speaker Abdul Hamid, law minister Shafique Ahmed said, reports BSS.

“We have asked the attorney general to file an appeal before the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division against the Monday’s High verdict on the speaker’s ruling,” Ahmed told BSS.

He said the decision was taken as attorney general Mahbub-e- Alam agreed with the government that the judgment should be challenged as it could create a gap between the judiciary and parliament.

“We expect the apex court will overturn the High Court decision, upholding the supremacy of the parliament and independence of the judiciary,” Ahmed said.

The minister said the three organs of the state that also includes the executive branch should work in unison keeping their distinctiveness in the interest of the democracy.

A High Court bench on August 27 invalided Speaker Abdul Hamid’s ruling observing that a High Court judge had violated the constitution by making “derogatory remarks” about the parliament and its speaker.

“The Speaker’s (Abdul Hamid) ruling is inconsistent with the Constitution and the rules of procedure of Parliament,” the High Court verdict on a writ petition filed by aggrieved judge AKM Shamsuddin Chowdhury.

The judgment added that the Supreme Court “possesses the oversee authority that no organ of the state could cross its limit of power given by the Constitution”.

Hamid gave the ruling in parliament on Jun 18 saying that Chowdhury had violated the Constitution by making ‘derogatory remark’ as he commented in the court that the speaker’s criticism of an earlier court order issued by him was “tantamount to sedition” and he “provoked people” against the higher judiciary.

Chowdhury also said “it was utter ignorance of the Speaker about the Supreme Court and the constitution and a total abuse of parliamentary privilege” while he questioned Hamid’s qualification for commenting on a matter pending for trial before the High Court.

The Speaker’s ruling, which came amid intensified demands from the lawmakers for censuring the judge, expected that the Chief Justice would initiate measures in this regard and parliament would support his decision.

The lawmakers demanded “unconditional apology” from Chowdhury for making “insinuations and casting aspersions” on the parliamentary speaker and sought to return the house’s authority from the President to remove the judges.

But the August 27 verdict came from a second High Court bench as another bench earlier felt “embarrassed” to hear the writ filed by Chowdhury seeking to overturn the speaker’s ruling.

The conflict began as the court earlier ordered removal  within 15 days the state-run Roads & Highways Department as it was housed on the Supreme Court land for decades denying prayers for allocation of more time for the relocation of the huge government structure.

The speaker on May 29 told the House that the courts were neutral and independent, but “it looks odd when they take quick decisions to solve their own problems while people have to wait years for justice”.

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

DHAKA, 12 April 2012: The citizens belonging to the Hindu community, who constitute nearly a tenth of Bangladesh’s 148-million-strong population, are held back by centuries-old customary laws which majority of them want to get updated suiting the modern socioeconomicmilieu. Many leading people in theCartunfaith, who have moved for necessary reformers, regret that the State is yet to enact family code ensuring equal rights of the male and the female, although neighbouring countries have done the legal reform. A balanced progress of society is being decelerated due to those customary laws, for the women are being deprived of their natural rights and many complexities are arising out of such inhibitions. The voice of conscience decries the plight of thousands of Hindu women for deprivations, discriminations, complicacies and the absence of codified laws for a much-sought-after change. Members of the Buddhist community are in the same boat, as they also go by Hindu laws and customs.
Experts believe that most of the traditional laws are contradictory to the spirit of the constitution which says (Article 27), “All the citizens are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”
“The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth,” says Article 28 (1) of the constitution. “Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life,” Article 28(2) says in further illustration.
But all the courts of law are delivering their judgments on the basis of customary laws in the cases of family feuds and in the cases of disputes over inheritance and distribution of property.
Fundamental rights of the people, which are guaranteed by the constitution, are being ignored by the way.

Some legal experts upholding the orthodox society, however, say different. They say though the constitution has ensured equal rights of the citizens, it does not acknowledge equal rights in family affairs and private functions.

They argue that as per Article 41 (1) (a) “every citizen has the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion. The conformists ignore the fact that someone’s right to practice any religion is “subject to law, public order and morality”.

Prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal Advocate Rana Dasgupta says that though the customary laws–specially the inheritance acts that deprive Hindu women of the share of paternal property–are not consistent with the constitution, the prevailing situation of minorities is not congenial to introducing equal rights for Hindu men and women.

Mr Dasgupta is also the general secretary of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Unity Council.

He says, “Religious minorities of Bangladesh are victims of legal biases. Women are especially victims of discrimination. We want to remove the discriminations between religious communities. At the same time we want to remove other discriminations in phases.

A female lawyer from the community, Advocate Nina Gwswami, also a human rights activist, wouldn’t agree with her counterpart.

“Whatever may be the situation, we cannot deprive anybody of his or her personal rights. We cannot make a Hindu women’s life hell on the excuse of sociopolitical condition,” says Advocate Nina, talking to this correspondent.

To underpin her eloquent plea for a change, the leading lady of the religious faith cited many tragic examples created by such lawlessness.

A lonely teenager has a tale to tell those who do not like a legal reform. Husband tortured Toru Lata day after day since she had been forced to get married at 13. At one stage, the husband abandoned her. But she was not divorced as there is no law on divorce. The man married another woman.

The deserted Toru Lata, now 19-year old, could not marry anybody else as laws or customs do not permit her. She does not inherit any paternal property either, as the laws, again, do not support her.

She had nowhere to go. The forlorn female, hailed from northern Nilphamari district, works as a housemaid and rears her only child.

But, then again, she has no right to rear up her 7-year-old son with her own identity. The boy will have to bear identity of the father, who had not fathered him at all, in the patriarchal society.

The uneducated woman, with orientation from some organisations, has learnt to claim her right.

“I want my son to grow up with my own identity. The state should make law so that I can get protection. I also have the right to own my paternal property. The state will have to give it,” the lonely teen speaks out while narrating her predicament.

She goes on: I want the right to divorce the notorious person, who has destroyed my life. I want to marry according to my choice. The state will have to give back me the right.“

The diversity within the Sonaton belief, upheld by a multicultural Hindu community, knocks out any orthodox idea. Its thousands of years of history suggest this. So, acceptance of modern laws will not contradict to its religious natures, it is observed.

There are hundreds of sects within the Hindu community in the Indian subcontinent, some of whom are also ruled by matriarch rules. Hinduism remains intact absorbing recurrent intrusions of newer thoughts over the millennia.

Hindus living in different countries are abiding by different rules and laws. Those who abide by Diavaga-based Hindu Law are very minority in terms of the greater Hindu community across India, as most of the Hindus, excepting those in greater Bengal, abide by Mitaksara-based laws.

The Diavaga laws also went through many changes over the ages. Some codified laws were adopted during the British rule. Rather than being destroyed, Hinduism became richer by assimilating the new thoughts, the reformists observed.

A successful social movement led by Raja Rammohon Roy made the Hindu community accept the banning of satidaho pratha (a practice in which the widow used to be compelled to sacrifice herself on the funeral pyre of her husband) permanently in the 19th century.

Iswar Chandra Bidyasagar prompted the British government to enact the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act in 1856. All theses movements were led from greater Bengal. Not only those in Bengal but the entire Hindu community in India accepted the law–though the movements primarily had faced opposition by the reactionaries.

India has already enacted acts for marriage registration and ensured rights of both men and women to divorce. Hindu succession acts have been amended, ensuring women’s absolute right to inherit and possess property.

But, in Bangladesh, progress of Hindu community remains stalled even after 41 years of the country’s liberation. However, different organisations and noted personalities are trying for a change in the mindset and in the traditional social milieu.

By Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

Bogra, 24 February 2012: Her husband was arrested in 1988 and jailed for life in two murder cases. But she believes her husband was innocent. She has also heard that the High Court had acquitted her husband, Abdul Mannan Yusuf, of a murder charge 12 years ago. Rubia Begum has been in long wait for the day when her husband would walk to freedom from prison.

On Wednesday, daily sun broke the shattering tale of Yusuf’s languishing in Bogra jail for some 12 years even after the court had ordered his release on 8 August 2000.

Bogra Jail Superintendent Al Mamun told daily sun that the release order arrived on 16 February.

“My husband was falsely implicated in the cases…He had not committed any crime,” says Rubia Begum, now at 55, but yet full of love for her husband.

“I heard that the High Court acquitted my husband many years ago. But I cannot understand why they do not set my husband free,” she told this correspondent during a visit to her house in Boraidoho village under Sherpur Police Station on Wednesday.

Rubia now moves from door to door, appealing for help to get her husband released.

The landless ultra-poor woman works as a domestic help in different families in Sherpur. She has also been visiting her husband in Bogra jail whenever she gets an opportunity.

Jail Super Al Mamun said Yusuf cannot be freed until further moves because he is still sentenced to life in another murder case.

With no ability to afford filing a regular appeal with the High Court, Yusuf had sent an appeal through the jail authority 25 years ago. But the HC could not dispose of the appeal as the BNP government in 2001 declared many cases, including this one, outdated.

“I told my wife to get married again…that it would be better for her to go for a second marriage since I cannot do anything for her,” Yusuf told this correspondent during a meeting on Monday.

Yusuf and Rubia are true “man and wife”. He even wants to give whatever he has to his wife’s second husband after his release. But she would rather wait to get him back in her life.

Yusuf could have come out of jail seven years ago had the HC order for his release reached the jail timely.

He named an influential leader of Awami League who, he alleged, acted as a conspirator behind his imprisonment.

Yusuf was a day labourer and in his youth got involved with Sarbahara Party, a banned leftist outfit that used to assassinate ‘class enemies’.

Police launched a crackdown on such groups in the 1970s when their top leader Siraj Sikder fell in “crossfire”.

While Yusuf admits that he became member of Sarbahara Party, he however denies having killed anybody.

He said police arrested and implicated him along with other party members after three people of the locality were killed by the party.

Yusuf said Abu Taher, another convict, is also innocent.

“Police tortured us inhumanly, coerced Taher to confess. You cannot imagine how we were tortured,” he said.

Asked why he got involved with Sarbahara, he blamed it on society. “The society is a regime of influential tormentors. We saw the tyranny of the locals who had money. Our leaders taught us the character of society and encouraged us for a revolution.

“But now I realise our path was not correct,” he said.

By Pulack Ghatack, Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

Abul Hossain languished in prison for 22 years for no crimes. High Court acquitted him 10 years back. But the court order lost its way to jail gate.

Dhaka, 16 Feb 2012: Now free at around fifty after having lost the prime of his life in jail, Abul Hossain recounts how corruption and over-exercise of power by a section of policemen and some employees in the judiciary pushed him into a fate almost worse than death.

The simple uneducated man had to pass his 22 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, as is proved by his ultimate acquittal after so long a time.

“I did not commit the murder. But I had to go to jail. I went to jail in my youth. Now I am nearly 50. I could not even marry. They have destroyed my life,” said the middle-aged man, one of those implicated in the case of murder of his neighbour Altaf Mia.

The High Court had acquitted him, but the authorities apparently did not care for his release. He walked to freedom at the Supreme Court’s intervention.

He says corruption and over-exercise of power by some in the police and the judiciary resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

An investigation by daily sun also found that greed of some selfish persons in society, lack of education and a psychological gap between people and the government functionaries were responsible for the injustice.

According to the case history, the body of Altaf Mia was found on 15 May 1988 near the residence of neighbour Abul Hossain in Mothurandanga village of Satkania in Chittagong.

An unnatural death case was filed in this connection. Later, then sub-inspector Rezaul Karim of Satkania Police Station filed an FIR, implicating a number of persons from Abul Hossain’s family.

Police arrested a number of persons, including siblings Abul Hossain, Abul Hashem and Abul Kalam, their father Yusuf Ali and uncles Ishak Ali and Idris Ali.

Kalam, then only 12, spent 17 days in jail. Police allegedly tortured the boy mercilessly to get a confessional statement.

Yusuf Ali, the father, had to stay in jail for three months—and he was also tortured.

“My octogenarian father still feels the pain from the beatings. He has to take painkiller regularly,” said Hashem, the eldest son.

“We had to give police Tk 50,000 for my father’s release. Second officer SI Bhupal Babu took the money. We had to sell almost all our property to arrange the amount,” he added.

“ There was no SI named Bhupal Babu in 1988 at the police station”, claimed OC Abdul Khalek.

The accused in the case were uneducated and inexperienced in the matters of offices or courts. It was because of this case that they visited Chittagong city nearly 30 kilometres away from their village. Many people in the “foreign” place took the opportunity of their naivety to deceive them.

The state had appointed advocate Dipak Chowdhury to defend Abul Hossain and Abul Hashem as the accused were not solvent enough to hire a lawyer.

But Hashem or Hossain, or anybody of their family, for that matter, never even knew the fact. They did not know Dipak because the lawyer never talked to them.

It is not clear how advocate Dipak prepared the case for defending his clients without talking to them ever.

When asked, Dipak recently told daily sun that he had not contacted the accused assigned to him by the state as he had no intention to take money from them.

In their last effort to free Abul Hossain, Hashem recently met advocate Nur Ahmed, a lawyer hailed from Satkania, who practises in the High Court.

“I gave Tk 15,000 to advocate Nur Ahmed 12 days before Eid-ul-Azha. Hossain was released 14 days after Eid. The contract with the lawyer was actually Tk 20,000, but Abul Hossain came out of jail before I gave him the rest of the money,” Hashem said.

Mohona Khatun, their mother, borrowed the money from Grameen Bank. A few people in the area also collected a sum to help them out, said family members and local people.

Advocate Nur Ahmed, however, denied having taken any money from them. “Mahmud Islam, a youth from Satkania, brought Hashem to me. Mahmud was known to me, and I knew he was not honest and dependable. I agreed to appeal in the High Court. I charged the minimum sum of Tk 15,000 as the expenses of collecting case documents and moving an appeal,” he said.

Nur Ahmed said, “I appointed my clerk to find the case documents, and he came to know that the High Court had already acquitted him [Hossain] 10 years ago. I met with the Supreme Court registrar and informed him about it. He might have taken the initiative later to release the innocent victim.

“As I did not have to process any appeal petition, I returned Tk 9,000 to Mahmud, who may have deceived Abul Hashem,” he said.

Mahmud could not be contacted for his comment.

“At first I was in Chittagong jail,” said Abul Hossain. “Later, I was shifted to Comilla Central Jail. In 2006, I was sent to Sylhet jail for treatment. I was brought back to Chittagong jail in 2007.

“I did not kill Altaf. Then why was I jailed? Sometimes, I would become angry, but to whom should I show my anger! I mourned. I would just pray to God for justice,” a disillusioned Abul told daily Sun.

“I told my tale to other prisoners. Some of them suggested that I appeal through the jail authorities. So, when I was in Sylhet jail I appealed through the jail super. I filed petitions with the High Court several times. But nobody told me that the High Court had already acquitted me,” he said.

Pointing to the tea stall this correspondent was interviewing Hossain in, he said, “I was here when the dead body of Altaf was found in a field in the evening. Everybody knows it. Along with many people I rushed to see the dead body.”

Ramjan Ali, 70, the owner of the tea stall, had the same tale to tell. “It was 28th Ramadan. At about 8:30pm, we heard that Altaf had been killed and his body was lying in a cropland. When we heard the news, Abul Hossain was here.”

Many elderly people, who gathered there, repeated the same tale.

“I want trial of those who made me suffer although I had not committed any crime,” said Abul Hossain, caring little to suppress his inner anguish.

Abul Hossain’s family have gone through undue sufferings unnecessarily. The man who was killed is also yet to get justice as the law enforcers failed to detect the real killer.

All who know now came to the conclusion that the executive failed to ensure good governance. The judiciary failed to ensure justice. Thus the state apparently failed to ensure the wellbeing of its citizens.

By Pulack Ghatack, courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

Abul Hossain languished in prison for 22 years for no crimes. High Court acquitted him 10 years back. But the court order lost its way to jail gate.

Dhaka, 14 Feb 2012: It’s a hard-to-believe epical tale—a poor man had to languish in jail for over two decades for no crime of his own but for an evident miscarriage of justice.

Abul Hossain, hailed from a remote village of Satkania, had been held in jail for more than 22 years until it came clear that the entire process and proceedings of law were misused against the poor man.

It was proved in the High Court 10 years ago that he was not a criminal. But he continued to serve a jail term, as the High Court order lost way to the jail gate. It had been held at the office of the judge’s court since 2002.

The bone-chilling incident of inhuman suffering was reveled recently and the victim got release on 14 November at the initiative promptly taken by Supreme Court registrar AKM Shamsul Islam and district and sessions judge of Chittagong Abdul Kuddus Mia.

Police implicated Abul Hossain, of Mothuradanga village, in a murder case and arrested him on 18 July 1988 at a very young age, relevant documents suggest. His elder brother Abul Hasem and younger brother Abul Kalam, a minor boy of 12, and father Yusuf Ali were also held.

The victims alleged they were tortured mercilessly in police custody. Police later issued charge sheet in the murder case against two brothers – Abul Hossain and Abul Hashem.

According to investigation by the daily sun, the uneducated rural family lost the ability to bear the costs of the case as they had already sold off their land property and homesteads to “bribe” some policemen and local thugs to set free the 12-year-old boy and elderly persons of the family.

As the brothers could not appoint any lawyer to defend them in the court, the state had appointed a counsel for them. It is not clear whether Advocate Dipak Chowdhury, the state-appointed counsel for the accused, helped them anyway.

However, Abul Hashem got release after staying in jail for nearly seven years, as the judge court acquitted him. But Abul Hossain was convicted to life term in jail in the murder case.

Later in 1997, the High Court received a jail appeal from Abul Hossain and conducted a suo moto hearing. After hearing, the HC found him not guilty of the murder and ordered his honorable acquittal on 16 August 2001.

The HC’s release order and relevant documents took nine months to reach the DC office of Chittagong and the district and sessions judge’s court of Chittagong from the Supreme Court registrar’s office in Dhaka.

According to official records, the responsible clerk of the office of the judge’s court in Chittagong received the High Court’s order on 22 May 2002. Since then, the file had been held at judge’s court.

Registrar of the Supreme Court AKM Shamsul Islam somehow came to know about the case very recently, and he phoned district and sessions judge of Chittagong Abdul Kuddus Mia requesting him to enquire about the pending case documents.

Abdul Kuddus took the matter seriously and found out that the man was really in jail, as the order for his release remained captivated in custody of his own office for more than 10 years silently. The judge ordered sending the file to the jail authorities of Chittagong. At last, Abul Hossain was set free from Chittagong jail after staying in different jails of the country from 18 July 1988 to 14 November 2011.

According to calendar year Abul Hossain had been held in jail for 22 years and eight months. But, according to year-counting in jail, he had languished in prison for 32 years and four months. Jails count nine months a year.

Preliminary allegations suggest that Sirajul Huq Khan, a clerk of the bench concerned of Chittagong judge’s court, had held the file in his custody after he received it on 22 May 2002. He hoped that someone would come to him to grease his palm to retrieve the file.

But, unfortunately, the family of Abul Hossain was already exhausted and they knew not that the High Court had already acquitted him. “So, none came along with bribes, though days after days had gone by,” says a source.

In course of time, Sirajul also forgot about the file. In the meantime, he got promotion and was transferred to another bench. Chittangong’s district judge recently suspended Sirajul from job and initiated a departmental case against him for his serious “neglect of duty” in this matter.

Show-cause notices have been issued on his two successors—Golam Mostafa and Enamul Huq. Golam Mostafa had worked as a clerk of the concerned bench of the judge’s court since 21 August 2006 till 23 February 2011. Now Enamul Huq has been working there. But none of them released the file from their hold and took initiative to set the innocent captive free.

By, Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

15 War crime accused include Ghulam Azam, Motiur Rahaman Nizami, Delwar Hossain Saydee, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Abdul Quader Molla, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, and Maulana Abul Kalam

The field-level administration and magistrates are confused about the criminal cases filed in connection with offences committed during the Liberation War as the government recently decided in principle to transfer the cases to the International Crimes Tribunal.

No Gazette notification or official order was issued regarding the decision taken at a meeting of the home and law ministries on 20 July 2010.

The police headquarters only informally asked the police administration concerned to forward the cases to the tribunal or the home ministry.

“There has been a tribunal and an especial agency to investigate war crimes, hence our hesitation in doing anything about the cases,” a superintendent of police told daily sun.

The lower judiciary also became confused about its role regarding war crime cases after the tribunal was formed on 25 March for the trial of 1971 war crimes.

“I am hesitant to pass any order regarding the war crime cases since a tribunal has been formed to deal with these offences,” a judicial magistrate said on condition of anonymity.

On 22 July, senior Magistrate Taibul Hassan of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court directed the court police to send a case against nine persons, including top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, to the tribunal.

He passed the order following a petition of investigation officer Mohammad Asaduzzaman, who said the case can now be tried under the tribunal.

However, the tribunal on 20 September said it received no case from any lower court and that the defence lawyers appealed for sending back records of the cases filed with Pallabi and Keraniganj police stations to the Dhaka CMM Court.

Counsels of the accused Jamaat leaders argued that the cases were transferred to the tribunal against the law.

The tribunal rejected the application, saying it had not received any documents related to the cases.

Dr AK Azad Firoz Tipu, an expert on criminal case in Bagerhat, said the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 should be amended if cases filed under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have to be brought under the tribunal. “This can also be done through a government gadget notification,” said AK Azad, who is the plaintiff of a number of war crimes related cases.

Some 65 cases accusing 553 people, including Jamaat’s central Nayeb-e-Ameer Maulana Yusuf, are pending in Bagerhat where over 200 people were killed during the Liberation War. Some of the accused have meanwhile got bail from the High Court.

Police stations in Satkhira have so far recorded 24 cases. Of the accused in these cases, 87 received bail from the HC while six are in jail. All the cases are now stalled as the local administration is awaiting directives from the high-ups.

Additional Superinten-dent of Police in Jamalpur Jaydeb Chowdhury said, “We have sent a list of nine cases to the police head-quarters, which said the tribunal will instruct us about how to deal with them.”

Many complainants of the cases have meanwhile expressed frustration over the government’s inaction.

“We wanted justice but now we see there has been no progress,” Azizur Rahman, a complainant, told the daily sun in Jamalpur.

A total of 271 war crime cases have so far been filed countrywide since the Awami League-led govern-ment assumed office with a pledge to try the war criminals.

According to police report, there are two cases filed in the area under Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, and one case each under Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Khulna Metro-politan Police and Sylhet Metropolitan Police.

Of the cases, 269 were filed in rural areas: 126 in Khulna range of police, 58 in Rajshahi range, 41 in Dhaka range, 26 in Chittagong range and 18 in Barisal range.

Magistrate courts conc-erned ordered transferring some cases to the tribunal as the allegations go under its purview. However, most cases are still pending with the police stations conc-erned as they do not have any proper plan of handling those.

Two cases are pending with Parbatipur and Biral police stations in Dinajpur. “We did not send the cases to the tribunal as we are awaiting directives from the government high-ups. The tribunal also did not want the cases from us,” Dinajpur SP Siddique Tanjilur Rahman said.

Sirajganj SP Delwar Hossain Sayedee told our correspondent that his office was asked to send the cases to the tribunal.

“After receiving govern-ment directives we sent a letter to the tribunal for necessary instructions to this effect. But the tribunal office has not said anything yet.”

The accused got bail from the High Court in one case in Tangail while the HC issued a stay order in one case in Meherpur.

A total of 22 cases are pending with the police stations in Rajshahi. “We are not advancing with these cases as a tribunal has been formed,” a police officer told the daily sun.

Two cases have been forwarded from the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Shariatpur to the tribunal. One accused has been arrested in connection with one of them.

Magistrates ordered inquiry into six court petitions filed in Sunamganj, but the police forwarded those to the tribunal without recording any case.

In the absence of any instructions from the headquarters, the police are yet to appoint any investigation officer for the four cases filed in Kishoreganj, said district Public Prosecutor advocate Shah Azizul Huq.

By Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

Dhaka, 27 November 2010 : Fate of 271 war crimes related cases filed with police stations and magistrate courts across the country appears to be uncertain as the cases are being transferred to the International Crimes Tribunal, which cannot dispose of cases under CrPc.

The transfer decision made at a meeting of the home and law ministries on 20 July 2010 now leaves the fate of the cases uncertain as the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 does not permit registering of any case filed by any individual or group.

The tribunal is instead sending the cases to the agency formed by the government to probe crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War to see if they can be of help for the overall ongoing investigation, said an official at the ICT registrar’s office.

“These cases might be helpful for our investigation…We have so far received 42 cases,” war crimes investigator Abdur Razzak Khan told the daily sun.

Bringing the cases to the tribunal has also created confusion about the status of the arrested accused who already got bail or stay order on the case proceedings from the High Court because no court can issue any order in a case pending with the tribunal.

The victims and families of Liberation War martyrs filed the 271 cases in different parts of the country after the incumbent Awami League-led grand alliance assumed power with an electoral commitment to try the 1971 war criminals.

According to a report of the home ministry, a total of 269 war crimes cases, including court petitions, were filed countrywide in two years up to 30 September 2010. Two more cases were filed in Jhalakathi on Tuesday.

Most of the cases are related to murder, rape, arson and looting committed during the Liberation War and the cases were filed against over a thousand of collaborators of the Pakistan army with police stations and magistrate courts concerned under the CrPC.

But in the ICT act, no individual or group can file a case with the tribunal since the traditional processes of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Penal Code or the Evidence Act are not applicable under the special law.

Only the investigation agency can place its report on war crimes to the panel of prosecutors, who will place the report before the tribunal after examining it.

According to section 9 of the act, “The proceedings before a Tribunal shall commence upon the submission by the prosecutor of formal charges of crimes alleged to have been committed by each of the accused persons. The Tribunal shall thereafter fix a date for the trial of such accused person.”

Scores of accused have been arrested across the country while many others have got bail from the High Court. The HC has also issued stay order on the proceedings of some cases.

Although most of the cases are still pending with the police stations concerned because of unplanned handling, many cases are being transferred to the tribunal in a haphazard manner.

Some police stations are recording cases while some others places are not.

Courts are sending petitions to police stations and the latter are forwarding those directly to the home ministry without recording. The ministry is then forwarding those to the investigation agency, sources said.

The magistrate courts at different places ordered transferring of war crimes-related cases to the tribunal as the allegations go under the purview of the ICT.

The government formed the tribunal on 25 March to try the perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.

After the inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Sahara Khatun decided that the cases could be transferred to the ICT, State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam said, “Reviewing the cases the meeting found no legal bar to sending those to the tribunal for trial.

By Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 232012

Dhaka: 21 Nov 2010: The constitution is being reprinted with major changes. This might cause confusion as all the changes were not specified in the Supreme Court (SC) verdict that had declared the fifth amendment illegal.

The SC in its verdict directed that fundamental principles of the constitution be protected.

The verdict identified 10 places that include the preamble, eight articles and paragraph 3A to the fourth schedule for alterations to restore the secular character of the constitution.

The government, however, is reprinting the constitution with 37 changes, most of which were not clearly mentioned in the SC verdict.

The daily sun obtained a copy of the synopsis of the draft made by the law ministry for the reprint of the constitution.

The SC did not issue any order to bring about any change in the articles 115 and 116 apparently to avoid interference in the task of the legislature. The court says: “It is our earnest hope that the articles 115 and 116 of the constitution will be restored to their original position by parliament as soon as possible.”

The government, however, is bringing about changes in article 116, sources in the law ministry said.

The present version of the article 116 reads, “The control (including the authority to posting, promotion and granting leave) and discipline of the persons employed in the judicial service and magistrates exercising judicial functions shall vest in the ‘president’ and shall be exercised by him in consultation with the SC.”

Here, the word ‘president’ was substituted for the words ‘Supreme Court’ in the fourth amendment of the constitution.

While disapproving the martial law the SC in its full-benched judgement says, “We hold that the fifth amendment is also illegal and void and the High Court Division rightly declared the same as repugnant, illegal and ultra vires of the constitution.”

The SC, however, condoned some amendments and deeds done by the usurpers during their illegal martial law regimes. The government seems to be careful about retaining those parts according to the directions of the SC.

“Condonations of provisions were made, among others, in respect of provisions, deleting the various provisions of the fourth amendment but no condontaion of the provisions was allowed in respect of omission or change of any provision enshrined in the original constitution,” the court continued.

But the article 102(1) (2) (3) is being revived as it was on August 15, 1975.

It is noteworthy that these provisions of the constitution are related to the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and also enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens.

The very power of the SC, which it exercised in voiding the Fifth Amendment, may go away, if the judgement is implemented in a distorted manner due to misinterpretations by some law ministry officials. Furthermore, a conflict between the executive and the judiciary is also not unlikely, experienced sources said.

According to the original constitution of 1972 the HC Division, under Article 102(1), had the power to pass necessary orders to enforce fundamental rights.

This sub-article (1) of Article 102 deleted by the Fourth Amendment has been restored by the Fifth Amendment. Now, citizens of Bangladesh can file writ petitions with the HC Division for the enforcement of the fundamental rights conferred in Part III of the constitution.

“The above restoration of sub-article (1) of Article 102, being beneficial, should be condoned for the wider public interest,” the SC says in its verdict.

The SC, however, has no specific direction about sub-sections (2) and (3) of Article 102, which, along with other provisions relating to jurisdiction of the SC, are also safeguarding the special provisions for war crimes trial.

“The government should cautiously handle these issues,” Dr Shadhin Malik, a noted jurist suggested. He, however, declined to comment further until the constitution is reprinted.

Most of the famous jurists, including barrister Amirul Islam, declined to comment on the matter at this stage. They, however, ruled out the possibility of any confusion arising over reprint of the provisions of the original constitution which have been specified by the SC.

The SC verdict specifies that “the preamble, article 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 25, 38 and 142 remain as it was in the original constitution.” But many other issues are not specified while voiding the fifth amendment.

The words “BISMILLAH-AR RAHMAN-AR RAHIM” will be as it was above the preamble in the reprinted constitution in the light of the SC verdict.

“The high ideals of nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism” have also been restored as the fundamental principles of the constitution.

In the reprinted version Bangladeshi is being replaced by the word ‘Bangalee’ as our national identity while citizenship identity will remain as Bangladeshi.

The SC had justified the retention of Article 6 (2) inserted in the constitution by the 5th amendment that says, “The citizens of Bangladesh shall be determined as Bangla­deshis.”

BY Pulack Ghatack; Courtesy: Daily Sun

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 122012

DAHAK, Aug 12: A special court of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Sunday sentenced 329 soldiers to different jail  terms ranging from four months to seven years and acquitted seven of the charges in a case relating to the February 25-26, 2009 bloody mutiny inside Pilkhana headquarters of the force here.

A three-member Special Court-11 led by Brig. Gen. Md Nasir Uddin Ahmad handed down the verdict against the soldiers of Rifle Sports Board and Directorates of Pilkhana. The court also fined each convict Tk 100.

Of the 329 convicts, 37 were jailed for seven years, 19 for six years, two for five years and six months, 33 for five years,  four for four years and six months, 90 for four years, one for three years and six months, 93 for three years, five for two  years and six months, 21 for two years, five for one and a half years, 11 for one years, one for six months and seven for four months.

The court also acquitted seven out of 336 soldiers of mutiny charges as allegations against them were not proved.

On February 25, hundreds of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), now Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), personnel rose up in armed revolt at Darbar Hall during the three-day “BDR Week” inside the headquarters and killed 74 people including 57 army officers.

The victims included BDR Director General Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed and other senior army officers. A total of 57 cases, 46 at BDR units or installations outside Dhaka and 11 at Pilkhana were filed against 6,054 border guards under the BDR Act.

Around 4500 soldiers have been sentenced to different jail terms from four months to seven years for mutiny charges under the act.

“Verdict in the mutiny case against 673 soldiers of 44 battalion will be handed down on August 28,” BGB lawyer Advocate Monjurul Alam told BSS today.

“Trials of 55 mutiny cases out of 57 have already been completed,” he said adding that argument in the last mutiny case  against 733 soldiers of Sadar Rifle Battalion started on August 7.

The BDR Act has only the provision for seven years of imprisonment as the highest punishment for ordinary disobedience or breach of command as it apparently could not foresee possibilities of such a rebellion in the paramilitary force when it was enacted.

The newly enacted BGB Act, however, prescribed death penalties for such offences.

RSSLoading Feed...
Aug 122012

DHAKA, Aug 12 : The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 today in its order directed the investigation agency to complete its probe against the central leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Mir Kashem Ali by September 27, reports BSS.

Justice Nizamul Huq, chairman of the three-member panel of ICT-1, passed the order as the prosecution submitted a report on the progress of investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by Mir Kashem.

Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud submitted the progress report at the very beginning of today’s proceedings in the morning in the presence of Mir Kashem.

After submitting the report, the prosecutor appealed to the tribunal to give them more time to complete the investigation against the Jamaat leader. The tribunal in reply asked the prosecution to complete the investigation by the fixed time or submit a progress report before it on the investigation on that day.

Mir Kashem was arrested on June 17 following an arrest warrant issued by the ICT-1 on that very day against him for his
alleged involvement with crimes against humanity.

The tribunal later sent him to jail with a custodial warrant.

RSSLoading Feed...