• Monday, September 22, 2014

3 cases gather dust for ages

Chaitanya Chandra Halder and Ashutosh Sarkar

Though the nation got justice for the assassination of the Father of the Nation after a 34-year-long wait, justice is yet to be done for three more attacks on the night of August 15 in 1975.
Forty years on, justice for the killing of 25 people in these attacks remain elusive due to inaction and negligence of the government.
Disgruntled army personnel killed Bangabandhu's nephew Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, founding chairman of Awami Jubo League, and his wife Arzu Moni at their Dhanmondi residence that night.
In other attacks, Bangabandhu's brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, former water resources minister, was also murdered at his Minto Road residence while a mortar assault by a group of army personnel killed 14 in Mohammadpur, taking the death toll to 34 on that fateful night.
Three murder cases in connection with these killings were filed in 1996, but two of those are still on the backburner while all the accused of the case filed in connection with Sheikh Moni murder have been acquitted by a lower court.
Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star that the government will take initiatives for disposal of the two cases filed over the incidents, though most of the accused of these cases have either been convicted or executed in the Bangabandhu killing case.
A petition will be filed with the High Court after it reopens on August 31 after the ongoing vacation, for vacating its stay order on the proceedings of the Serniabat murder case, he said.

The minister said his office had nothing to do about the Sheikh Moni murder case as the police had already given the final report in the case.
However, according to legal experts, the government can revive this case by conducting a further investigation, if it wants.
The home ministry can take steps for running a fresh probe into the case upon the court's permission, Supreme Court lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan, also the editor of Dhaka Law Reports, told The Daily Star.
He said the ministry can take the permission from the court concerned through the prosecution if it has sufficient documents and evidence to back their claim.
The prosecution has to move a no confidence petition before the court against the final report by police exempting the accused from Sheikh Moni murder case, he said.
Attorney General (AG) Mahbubey Alam had earlier told The Daily Star several times that he would take steps for disposal of the cases, but his office is yet to make any move in this regard.
The AG could not be reached for his comments as he was in the USA.
In January 2009, five condemned killers of the Father of the Nation were executed following an SC verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case filed in October 1996.
SHEIKH MONI KILLING
Sheikh Moni, his wife Arzu and their son Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash were killed by wayward army personnel on August 15, 1975.
On August 22, 2002, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police submitted the final report in the case filed in this connection.
The Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka on December 30, 2002 accepted the report and acquitted all the accused without even notifying the complainant.
Contacted, Sheikh Moni's son Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, MP, declined to make any comment about the case.
The Daily Star could not reach Mohammad Shahabuddin, who had filed the case on November 20, 1996, for his remarks.
SERNIABAT MURDER
Eight people, including Abdur Rab Serniabat, were killed after a group of army members stormed into his residence on Minto Road around 5:00am.
Eighteen people were charged with murder in the case filed in this connection.
However, proceedings of the case were stayed by the HC in November 1999 following a petition filed by Bazlul Huda, one of the accused who has already been executed in the Bangabandhu assassination case.
MOHAMMADPUR MORTAR ATTACK
Fourteen people were killed by mortar shells fired by a group of military personnel in Mohammadpur area the same night.
The CID pressed charges against the same accused as in the Serniabat case on July 30, 1997 for the incident.
The case now is pending with the Court of Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Dhaka.
So far 15 prosecution witnesses have testified before the court.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2014

Last modified: 9:46 pm Friday, August 15, 2014

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