Circulating Nusrat’s Video: Sonagazi ex-OC Moazzem indicted

Former officer-in-charge of Sonagazi Moazzem Hossain
Former officer-in-charge of Sonagazi Police Station Moazzem Hossain being taken out of Cyber Tribunal in Dhaka on June 17, 2019 after the court denied him bail in a case filed for illegally recording the statement of sexual-assault victim Nusrat Jahan Rafi. Star file photo

A tribunal in Dhaka today framed charges against former officer-in-charge of Sonagazi Police Station Moazzem Hossain in a case filed over recording Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s statement on his phone and circulating the video clip on social media without her consent.

Moazzem, now in jail, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain of Dhaka Cyber Tribunal read out the charges to him.

Rejecting his bail petition, the court fixed July 31 for starting trial of the case.

Barrister Sayedul Haque Sumon, complainant of the case, has been asked to appear before the court on that day to narrate the incident.

The tribunal also dismissed the discharge petition submitted by the defence lawyers.   

On June 17, the tribunal rejected Moazzem’s bail petition and sent him to jail in the case.

Nusrat, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa in Feni’s Sonagazi upazila, was set ablaze on April 6 allegedly for refusing to withdraw a case filed against the madrasa principal, Siraj Ud Doula, for sexually harassing her. She died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on April 10.

On the same day, the OC was withdrawn as Nusrat’s family alleged he was not cooperating with them. 

During that time, a video clip showing Moazzem asking Nusrat some humiliating questions did the rounds on social media, drawing widespread criticism. Nusrat had gone to his office to file a complaint against Siraj.

Moazzem was suspended on May 8 for negligence in duty and attached to the office of DIG (Rangpur range).

After 20 days of hide and seek, police finally arrested him from the capital’s Supreme Court area. He had gone into hiding after police authorities allowed him to leave for the capital, instead of arresting him, two days after a Dhaka court ordered his arrest. The arrest warrant, issued in on May 27, was widely covered in the media.