Journo Torture: Kurigram DC, 3 other officials withdrawn | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:02 AM, March 17, 2020

Journo Torture: Kurigram DC, 3 other officials withdrawn

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner Sultana Pervin and three of her colleagues were withdrawn yesterday following their controversial role in the conviction of a journalist in the district.

The Ministry of Public Administration issued a gazette notification, saying the DC was withdrawn. Another notification said Mohammad Rezaul Karim, a deputy secretary at the ministry, has been appointed to the post.

The three others withdrawn were Senior Assistant Commissioner Nazim Uddin, and assistant commissioners Rintu Bikash Chakma and SM Rahatul Islam.

A circular in this regard, signed by Senior Assistant Secretary AM Al Amin, was received by Kurigram Deputy Commissioner's officer around 11:00am, reported our Lalmonirhat correspondent, quoting officials.

The three were attached to the public administration ministry, the circular read.

They were allegedly involved in torturing the journalist -- Ariful Islam, a correspondent of Bangla Tribune.

Early Saturday, a mobile court of Kurigram district administration, led by the three assistant commissioners, sentenced Ariful to one-year imprisonment after he was arrested from his home on charges of possessing narcotics.

After the arrest, Ariful's family members claimed he was innocent and that he was being falsely implicated as he wrote against alleged corruption by the district administration, including DC Sultana.

Ariful was released on bail the next day.

After his release, the journalist alleged the raid on his home was conducted at the DC's instruction.

"'You will be put in a crossfire. Your time is up. Recite the kalima.' I thought they were taking me somewhere to kill me..."

These were the words of Ariful as he described being held and tortured allegedly by Senior Assistant Commissioner Nazim Uddin. 

 Senior Consultant (orthopaedic) Uttam Kumar Roy of Kurigram General Hospital said Ariful's body bore multiple injury marks.

The incident was widely reported in the media, sparking outrage, especially among the journalist community.

Meanwhile, replying to a query, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday said they were yet to receive any written complaint against an official of the Department of Narcotics Control over his alleged involvement in falsely implicating the journalist.

He, however, said the DNC was working to this end and would take action if the official was found guilty following an investigation.

"Law is equal for all," he told reporters at his ministry office.

HC ASKS FOR RELEVANT DOCUMENTS

In another development, the High Court yesterday ordered the state to submit all the relevant documents over the conviction and sentencing of journalist Ariful Islam by a mobile court, reports BSS.

A High Court vacation bench comprising Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir passed the order after holding hearing on a writ petition filed in this regard.

The court asked the state to submit the documents by March 23 and also asked the prosecution to inform it about the steps taken by the public administration ministry over the matter.

Senior lawyer AM Amin Uddin and Ishrat Hasan moved the writ before the court, while Deputy Attorney General Debashish Biswas appeared for the state.

The High Court on Sunday had sought a copy of the mobile court order and the list of people who were part of the mobile court raid, says BSS report.

Bangla Tribune Executive Editor Harun ur Rashid had filed the writ the same day.

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