• Sunday, December 21, 2014

Freedom in the air

Of nexus between cops and goons

Zyma Islam and Shaheen Mollah

Allegations against the law enforcers continue to pile up, with a ward councillor yesterday levelling accusations against lawmen that they had a nexus with Nur Hossain, the prime accused in the seven-murder tragedy in Narayanganj.
Talking to The Daily Star via her younger sister at their parental home in Shiddhirganj, Jannatul Ferdous Nila, ward councillor for wards 4, 5 and 6, described how Hossain had harassed her with the help of law enforcers.
Sheila carried questions and answers back and forth from Nila, who was resting in the next room. Nila claimed that she was mentally abused by Hossain and for that she was incapable of facing this newspaper face-to-face.
“On one occasion two years ago, my father had some alcohol at our home.  The then officer-in-charge of Shiddhirganj Police Station, Kamrul, came to our house on a jeep of Rab-11 allegedly to arrest my father. However, with the pretence of arresting him, they let in cadres of Nur Hossain inside the house, who dragged Nila away,” said Sheila.
The next day, Nur Hossain distributed sweets among his workers at the truck stand saying that he had married my sister, mentioned Sheila. Following that incident, the cadres spread rumours in the neighbourhood that they had picked up Nila, she added.
However, Nila was not taken to Hossain's house. After going on a few rounds with her, the cadres dropped her at her cousin's house and asked her not to change location from there until Hossain instructed her to do so.
“My sister went to the Shiddhirganj Police Station to file a general diary against Hossain. But the law enforcers refused to record any GD against Hossain. My sister came out of the police station and jumped in front of a running vehicle, in an attempted suicide. Locals saved her in the nick of time,” noted Sheila.
The younger sister went on to describe how the police had even refused to save her from her abusive husband upon instructions from Nur Hossain. “My father-in-law had been on good terms with Hossain. One night, my husband broke my arm and threw me and my newborn baby out of the house around 3:00am. I went straight to the police station and tried to file a case against my husband, but the cops asked me to contact Hossain.”
Nila alleged that Nur Hossain had bribed the law enforcers to act in his favour.
Rickshaw pullers are another unlikely group of people who revealed facts about the links between Nur Hossain and law enforcers.
On April 9, Nur Hossain's nephew, councillor Shahjalal Badal, along with his men had allegedly conducted a dawn-to-dusk drive for seizing battery-run rickshaws while the law enforcers stood by. Rickshaw pullers and locals claimed that over 300 rickshaws were seized and dumped in a playing field.
“They took my rickshaw and demanded that I pay Tk 10,500 if I wanted to get it back. I went to the patrolling police, but they asked me to go to Nur Hossain,” said rickshaw puller Liakat.
Several other rickshaw pullers talked about how their colleagues went to the Shiddhirganj Police Station to get their rickshaws back, but to no avail.
Around half of the seized rickshaws were returned to the owners only after they had paid the money to the gang, said rickshaw owners. The Daily Star, however, could not independently verify the figure.
Contacted, Abdul Matin, the then OC of the police station, denied the allegation flatly. “I've not even heard of such an incident,” he mentioned.
At a public hearing on Monday, two among seven people levelled allegations against the Rapid Action Battalion for its alleged involvement in the seven murders.
Victim Nazrul Islam's father-in-law Shahidul Islam alleged that the Rab were bribed Tk 6 crore for the murders to be carried out.
The High Court too on Sunday said the sacking of the three Rab officials -- Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Maj Arif Hossain and Lt Commander SM Masud Rana -- indicates that they might have been involved in the crime.

 

Published: 12:01 am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Last modified: 9:40 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TAGS: law enforcers Ward Councillor Nur Hossain general diary Shiddhirganj Jannatul Ferdous Nila Shiddhirganj Police Station councillor Shahjalal Badal

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