Amin chairman not among 37 indicted
A Chittagong court yesterday changed the charges in 2003 Banshkhali killing case and indicted 37 people. But Aminur Rahman, who had been charged earlier, was not indicted this time due to a High Court stay order on any proceedings against him.
The new charge of “planned killing to establish supremacy with a view to gain property illegally” was framed yesterday instead of the previous charges of “arson, robbery and killing”, said Abul Hashem, Chittagong district public prosecutor (PP).
The court of Third Additional District and Sessions Acting Judge Syeda Hosne Ara also fixed May 15 for hearing the witnesses.
A group of attackers on November 18, 2003 night set the house of Tejendra Shil at Shilpara in Banshkhali on fire killing 11 members of his family, including an infant.
Tejendra's son Bimal Shil, the lone survivor of the attack, filed a case the next day against 30-35 unidentified people on charges of arson attack, looting and murder.
The first charge sheet was submitted against 31 people on December 14, 2005 by Investigation Officer ASP Clarence Gomez, but Aminur's name was not included.
Aminur, chairman of Kalipur union, is also the president of Kalipur union BNP. He is a cousin of BNP lawmaker Jafrul Islam Chowdhury, a former state minister for environment and forest.
The plaintiff and his lawyer allege that Aminur, widely known as Amin Chairman, was the mastermind behind the killing.
Bimal filed a petition challenging the charge sheet and appealed for further investigation alleging that the main suspects were not included.
On March 20, 2007, a Chittagong court ordered further probe into the case. But Amin Chairman's name was again left out by new IO ASP Shafiqur Rahman as he submitted a charge sheet on November 27, 2007 against the same 31 accused.
When the plaintiff again challenged the charge sheet, the case was transferred to the CID and ASP Khurshid Jamil was made the new IO. Four more CID officials conducted probe into the case and submitted charge sheets several times without mentioning the name of Amin Chairman.
Investigation Officer Hla Ching Pru on January 9, 2011 submitted a supplementary charge sheet against 39 people including Amin Chairman for the first time and seven new accused.
The court, however, later dropped charges against accused Nurul Islam, said PP Hashem.
On September 12 the same year, the court framed charges against 38 accused including Amin Chairman on charges of arson, robbery and murder.
But the prosecution on February 26 this year prayed to the court for changing the charges, said the PP.
Aminur surrendered to the High Court on February 2 last year and appealed for bail. But he was asked to seek bail from the Chittagong court. He did so on February 13 and his bail plea was rejected. The court also sent him to jail.
After around two weeks, his lawyers appealed again to the High Court for bail and it was granted.
In January this year, following an appeal the High Court stayed proceedings against Amin Chairman for six months, his lawyer Mahbubul Islam said.
Shambhu Prashad Biswas, counsel for the plaintiff, yesterday said now it would be easy to prove the incident as the charges have been changed. “But the case may face delay as Amin Chairman has secured a stay order.”
The 37 who were accused yesterday are Sabur Ahmed, Abdul Karim, Javed Hossain, Ahammad Mia, Mahbubur Rahman, Md Hasan, Sarwar Uddin, Md Shahjahan, Abu Taiyab, Akbar Ali, Shahjahan, Aminul Hoque, Ahammad Hossain, Matlub, Shafiul Azam, Jashim, Nazrul Islam, Aminul Hoque, Anu Mia, Selim, Bakkar, Rubel, Abu, Oji Ahmad, Aziz, Fazal Kader, Asgar, Jashim, Enam, Ledu, Kamrul Islam, Amir Hossain, Md Yunus, Abul Kalam, Nurunnabi, Rashid Ahmad and Abdul Nabi.