DIG-Prisons violated code, abused power | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 07, 2009

Probe Report on Dipjol Issue Reveals

DIG-Prisons violated code, abused power


Deputy Inspector General of Prisons (DIG-Prisons) Maj Shamsul Haider Siddique violated at least 15 clauses of the jail code and abused his power in various ways to allow special privileges for a dreaded convict, Monowar Hossain Dipjol, according to an investigation by the jail authorities.
A two-member investigating committee of the Jail Directorate submitted a 72-page report on Thursday to the acting inspector general of prisons (IG-Prisons), finding Haider guilty on the charges, and also mentioning that the present jail superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail had no control over the prison under Haider's supervision.
The probe committee is comprised of DIG-Headquarters Commander M Zakaria Khan, and Deputy Jailer of Dhaka Central Jail AG Mahmud.
They prepared the report by talking to 32 persons, who are DIG-Prisons Maj Haider, Dhaka Central Jail Superintendent Towhidul Islam, Jailer Mohammad Faruq, some deputy jailers, and some jail guards.
The investigation was launched after a vernacular daily, the Prothom Alo, on February 2 published a photograph showing Maj Haider having a laugh with convict Dipjol and three women inside Dhaka Central Jail, which prompted the authorities to transfer Haider, to Khulna-Barishal division from Dhaka the same day.
The accompanying news report said Maj Haider allowed 200 visitors to Dipjol within 52 days. Dipjol is sentenced for 41 years in connection with a plethora of crimes including possession of illegal arms, and amassment and concealment of illegal wealth.
IG-Prisons Col Dr Ashraful Islam Khan said he received the probe report and will talk to the home ministry about the findings and the recommendations.
The sources said the report also mentioned that Maj Haider had allowed dozens of visitors including a number of women inside the jail to meet Dipjol, violating the jail code.
Maj Haider in a statement to the committee however said he did not violate the jail code knowingly, and if there was any violation he is sorry about that, the sources added.
The report recommended proper punitive measures for the violation of jail code and abuse of power by Haider. It recommended punishment for other jail officials as well, who were also found to be neglecting their duties.
The probe committee however could not determine how the camera found its way into the jail, and how the photograph was leaked out, which were also violations of the jail code.
Contacted over the phone, Maj Haider told The Daily Star, "I have yet to get a copy of the report, so it's tough for me to make any comment."
He however said, "I did everything in consultation with Senior Jail Superintendent Towhidul Islam, who never alerted me about possible violations," adding, "I always treated all prisoners equally."
Towhidul Islam rebutted Haider's claim saying, "I always alerted him about the questions that might be raised, and the problems that might arise because of his actions."
Replying to a question, the senior jail superintendent said he could not even carry out his own duties properly due to 'interference from his higher authorities'.

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