The High Court today observed that some deputy commissioners (DCs) and officers-in-charge (OCs) feel themselves landlord as if they are all in all.
Sonagazi Police Station’s former OC Moazzem Hossain has completely failed to protect the life of Madrasha student Nusrat Jahan Rafi and he damaged the image of the police department, it said.
The court came up with the observation while hearing a bail petition filed by OC 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.
After hearing arguments, the HC bench of Justice Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khizir Hayat also rejected his bail petition considering that it (petition) was not properly moved before the court.
During hearing Moazzem’s lawyer Advocate Md Ahsan Ullah said a journalist has taken away the video from the mobile of the OC and released it on the social media that has gone viral.
The lawyer said the sections under which the case was filed against Moazzem are bailable and their punishment is minimum.
He said OC Moazzem Hossain has not committed any single offence by recording the statement of Nusrat on his mobile.
Besides, Moazzem is an aged person and he has been suffering from heart diseases, he said, adding that he needs to get bail for treatment.
The lawyer said Moazzem is a government official and he needs pension and he will not leave the country if he is granted bail in the case, he argued.
At a stage, the court commented if the journalists could get the video earlier perhaps Nusrat would not be killed.
The allegation brought against Moazzem is heinous, the court said.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam opposed the bail petition, saying that as a government official Moazzem has recorded Nusrat’s statement on his phone and circulated its video clip on the social media.
“The humiliating questions which were asked to the girl (Nusrat) cannot be acceptable. I have not seen such an irresponsible act in my life. The officer in charge has recorded her statement on mobile phone and made fun with her. What message will reach to the people if he is granted bail?” he said.
The court asked is there any meaning of asking the girl (Nusrat) which part of her body was touched.
The OC could have shown sympathy to her (Nusrat) and even could have asked her to file a written complaint with the police station, the court said.
If the OC kept the girl in the police custody she would not die, it said.
After the court passed the order, Moazzem’s lawyer Ahsan Ullah told The Daily Star that they will move a petition before the trial court seeking bail for Moazzem in connection with the case.
If the trial court refuses to grant bail to him, another petition will be moved before the HC later on for his bail in the same case, the lawyer added.
Nusrat, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa in Feni’s Sonagazi upazila, was set ablaze on April 6 this year 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, OC Moazzem Hossain 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 on June 16.
He has 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.
A tribunal in Dhaka on June 17 rejected the bail petition of OC Moazzem and sent him to jail in connection with the case filed by Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Sayedul Haque Suman for recording Nusrat’s statement on his phone and circulating the video clip on social media without her consent.
Dhaka Cyber Tribunal Judge Ash Sams Joglul Hossain passed the order after police produced Moazzem before the court in a case filed under the Digital Security Act.