Family, labour leaders question charge sheet | The Daily Star
12:01 AM, April 05, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Family, labour leaders question charge sheet

Family, labour leaders question charge sheet

Family members and labour rights organisations have protested the charge sheet submitted in Aminul Islam murder case, saying that it does not contain the names of intelligence officials who, they believe, were involved in the killing.
Despite repeated allegations of family members and colleagues, no intelligence agency personnel have been named in the charge sheet of the labour rights activist murder case.
The charge sheet submitted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to a Tangail court last November has shown Mustafizur Rahman, a source of the National Security Intelligence (NSI), as the prime suspect for Aminul's murder. Mustafiz went into hiding a few days after the murder.
Though nearly five months have passed since the charge sheet was submitted, the matter came to media's knowledge only recently. In fact, even Aminul's family members were not aware of the charge sheet until this correspondent informed them on Thursday.
Aminul, an organiser of Bangladesh Centre for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) for Savar-Ashulia area and also a leader of Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers' Federation (BGIWF), went missing after he was taken away from his Ashulia office by Mustafizur on April 4, 2012.
His body was found at Ghatail in Tangail a day later with several torture marks. The autopsy report stated that Aminul was murdered.
Aminul's family and colleagues believe that intelligence agencies had a hand in the murder as the labour activist had earlier escaped after having been allegedly abducted by the NSI in 2010.
Hosne Ara Fahima, Aminul's wife, said that intelligence agency personnel always kept her husband under surveillance. She also alleged that they came to their residence in search of Aminul and threatened him a number of times.
In June 2010, Aminul had informed his family members and his colleagues at BCWS about his abduction by the NSI.
Aminul also had given the names of the abductors, who wanted him to stop labour organising activities at Ashulia and Savar and forced him to give statements saying that the BCWS was engaged in illegal and anti-state activities, said both Fahima and Kalpana Akter, executive director of the BCWS.
Kalpana said that they had sent a letter to the NSI, demanding explanation for the abduction and torture of Aminul.
In response, an additional director of the NSI had denied torturing Aminul, Kalpana said.
Following the alleged abduction, she said, an intelligence agency gave a report to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) accusing the BCWS of anti-state activities and inciting violence in garment factories. On the basis of the report, the government cancelled the registrations of the NGO. However, the registrations were reinstated later.
"The torture marks on Aminul's body were similar to those he sustained during his abduction in 2010," alleged Kalpana, adding that the CID had intentionally left out the names of NSI officials.
"We will submit a no-confidence plea against the charge sheet," she said.
Their claim is supported by the fact that the Detective Branch (DB) of Police, which investigated the case initially, also found Mustafizur's link with intelligence agencies.
A source in the DB told this correspondent that by scrutinising Mustafiz's phone call records, they found he had talked with at least two officials of the NSI and a security official of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) on the day of Aminul's disappearance and also a couple of days before and after that.
However, the DB was not given the permission to take actions against those officials, said the source.
Rather, the case was transferred to the CID mid-November in 2012, said Humayun Kabir Akhand, the first investigation officer (IO) of the case.
However, current IO of the case Fazlul Kabir, assistant superintendent of police of the CID, had a different explanation. "It is true NSI officials talked with Mustafiz. But they did so because he was their source. That does not mean they were involved."
The CID interrogated the intelligence officers in question but did not find anything that proves their involvement in the murder, he told The Daily Star.
According to a DB source, suspect Mustafiz was a labour leader at Queens South Textiles Ltd at the Dhaka EPZ but was sacked in 2009.  After that, he started working as a source of the NSI, the BEPZA and the industrial police.
Though he never attended office, Mustafizur regularly drew salary as a worker under the muster roll of the BEPZA's medical centre, the DB source said.
The salary was deposited to his account in the Dhaka EPZ branch of a private bank till August, 2012 but no withdrawal was made after Aminul's murder, the source added.
However, the CID has no clue about Mustafiz's whereabouts since then.
"We do not know whether he is dead or alive or whether he is in the country or abroad," Fazlul Kabir said.
Aminul's wife Fahima said, "It has been two years but not even a single person has been arrested. I do not know if I would ever get justice".

 

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