The inspector general of police (IGP) has directed the “unit commanders” to scrutinise why some deceased, expatriates, hajj pilgrims and paralysed men were made accused in cases filed on charges of planning subversive activities.
The instruction from IGP Mohammad Javed Patwary came in the wake of media reports that police in some cases implicated those people who were not present at crime scenes.
The cases were filed in the capital and some other districts last month, a few days after the BNP observed its founding anniversary on September 1.
According to the opposition party, 4,135 cases have been filed against 85,604 identified and 274,703 unidentified BNP leaders and activists from September 1 to October 4 across the country. During the same period, police arrested 4,650 BNP men in those cases, which were termed “false and ghostly cases” by the party.
Asked whether the Police Headquarters (PHQ) has issued any directives regarding filing of cases against the dead or those who were abroad, AIG Sohel Rana on Thursday said the police chief recently instructed all police unit chiefs to scrutinise how those people were made accused.
“The IGP also asked the officials to be cautious about any recurrence of such incidents in future as law does not permit it,” Sohel, assistant inspector general (media) of police at the PHQ, told The Daily Star.
The IGP gave the directives at a meeting with deputy inspector generals (DIG) of different ranges and top police officials a couple of weeks ago.
Sohel also said the IGP instructed the officials to submit reports on the issue and the authorities would decide on their next course of action based on the reports.
Requesting anonymity, a top official at the PHQ said the police chief was embarrassed at filling of cases against dead men and people staying abroad. The IGP also asked the officials not to go beyond the law.
On September 8, Muradnagar police in Cumilla named Oman expatriate Ahad Khalifa in a case on charges of planning subversive activities. But according to his travel documents, he didn't visit the country since he last left for Oman on February 10.
In the same case, Khokon Master, an assistant teacher of Tanki Habib Sharker High School in Cumilla, was also made an accused.
On that day, Khokon was at the school from 9:30am to 4:00pm, Headmaster Zainal Abedin told The Daily Star earlier.
On September 3, Wari police in the capital filed a case against 96 people on charges of “assembling” at Bangladesh Boys Club playground on RK Mission Road to carry out “subversive activities”.
Luthful Haque, who took treatment at Labaid hospital in the capital's Dhanmondi for seven days from August 4 for hypertension, diabetes and kidney complications, was among the accused.
The case also named BNP ward-level leader Sabbir Ahmed Arif as an accused although he was not in the country when the incident took place.
His visa, immigration and hotel documents, boarding passes of his flights to and from Kolkata show that he was in India from September 1 to 4.
In Bogura, four men were implicated in three cases over alleged crimes that took place between September 2 and September 9.
One of them is paralysed Abdul Khaleque Sarkar, 85, who cannot move out of his bed by himself. The others are Rubel Hossain, Khairul Bashar, and Mokhlesur Rahman.
Rubel had left home for Malaysia in February and is still there. Khairul, a former BNP leader of Majhira union, and Mokhlesur, a freedom fighter, had been in Saudi Arabia for hajj from August 2 and July 21. The two returned home after September 13.
Wishing anonymity, the police superintendent of a district said he was warned by the PHQ not to implicate innocent people in such cases.
Cumilla SP Syed Nurul Islam on Thursday said he didn't receive any such instructions from the IGP or the PHQ.