A tribunal in Dhaka yesterday rejected the bail petition of former Sonagazi Police Station OC Moazzem Hossain and sent him to jail over recording Nusrat Jahan Rafi’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.
The tribunal also fixed June 30 for hearing on charge framing against him.
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On the same day, the OC was withdrawn as Nusrat’s family alleged he was not cooperating with them.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 on Sunday. 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.
YESTERDAY’S COURT PROCEEDING
Moazzem was taken to the court premises around 12:30pm in a prison van amid tight security. He was then kept in the court’s prison cell for around two hours.
In his dark sunglasses, the ex-OC was looking down while being moved on the court premises. He was produced before the court around 2:15pm and then began the case’s hearing.
Supreme Court lawyer Sayedul Haque Suman, who filed the case on May 15, told the court that the police official showed no respect to law despite being a law enforcer.
He should have surrendered to the court right after the arrest warrant was issued, which he did not, the lawyer said, adding that it was disgraceful for the entire police force.
Suman then argued that Moazzem’s bail plea should be rejected and he should be sent to jail. At that time, several lawyers shouted and asked why the police official was not in handcuffs.
Opposing the prosecution, Faruque Ahmed, one of the counsels for Moazzem, claimed that his client had recorded Nusrat’s statement for the sake of investigation.
Moreover, Moazzem came to know about the arrest warrant from different print and electronic media platforms. Immediately after that, he tried to get bail from the High Court. He did no go into hiding and was inside the country. He was arrested when he went to the HC to seek bail, Faruque said, adding he client was also feeling “insecure”.
At one stage, the judge asked the lawyer, “Has your client confessed his guilt? How did your client feel insecure despite being a police official?”
The lawyer seemed to have no answer. He appealed to the court to grant his client bail.
The court rejected the bail plea and sent the ex-OC to jail.