Minu impersonated as a convict for money and was killed in a road cash
The High Court on Monday summoned two investigating officers to appear before it on September 1 in connection with the imprisonment of Minu Akhter of Chittagong and her subsequent death in a road accident.
The bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Md Atoar Rahman asked the two IOs — Sub-Inspector of Kotwali police station Zubaiyer Mridha and Sub-Inspector of Bayezid Bostami police Khorshed Alam — to appear before it with the case documents, including the post-mortem report of Minu’s death and her confessional statement on how she went to jail instead of another woman named Kulsum Akter in a murder case.
Advocate Mohammad Shishir Monir filed a petition seeking an inquiry into the death of Minu, 12 days after she was released from jail.
Deputy Attorney General Mohammad Sarwar Hossain represented the state during the hearing.
Advocate Shishir Monir said: “Minu Akhter spent three years in jail for a crime she did not commit and she died in a road accident 12 days after getting released from jail. The death of Minu should be investigated.”
It was Kulsum who was sentenced to life in a murder case. But Minu, a poor woman, impersonated Kulsum and went to jail for money given by the actual convict.
Minu was freed on June 16 this year, three years into the sentence, after her case was brought to the High Court.
Besides, the court ordered the special public prosecutor of Chittagong Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 MA Naser, junior lawyers Nurul Anwar and Bibekananda Chowdhury and clerk Showrabh to submit written explanations about their role in the fraudulent activity within two weeks.
In October 2007, Kulsum was arrested in a case filed over a garment worker’s murder in 2006.
Two years later, in 2009, she was freed after being granted bail from a Chittagong court.
On November 30, 2017, Chittagong’s Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Court found Kulsum guilty and sentenced her to life in prison, besides ordering her to pay a fine of Tk50,000.
On June 12, 2018, Minu, pretending to be Kulsum, surrendered to police and began spending time behind bars. According to case proceedings, she did it for money.
In 2019, lawyer Iqbal Hossain filed a petition against the sentence passed by the lower court, on behalf of Minu, pretending to be Kulsum.
Later, the case documents were sent to the High Court on June 12 the same year.
On March 18 this year, Senior Jail Superintendent of Chittagong Central Jail Md Safiqul Islam Khan noticed the issue of fraudulence and brought the matter before a Chittagong court’s notice.
Following the court’s order, Minu was brought before the court on March 22.
At the court, Minu said: “Three years back a woman named Morzina, promising to give me some rice, sent me to jail. She said she would bring me out after Ramadan.”
Later, a sub-document of the case was sent to the High Court and lawyer Shishir Munir presented it before the court.
The accused, Kulsum, is a housewife, living in Rahmatganj under Kotwali police station with her husband.
Minu used to live in a slum in the city with her three children before ending up in jail as Kulsum.
On June 28, Minu Akter died in a road crash in the city's Bayezid Link Road area.
Unable to identify the body, Anjuman Mufidul Islam, a welfare organization buried her body as an unclaimed one, OC of Bayezid Bostami police Md Kamruzzaman said.
Later, Minu’s brother Rubel identified the body as his sister's when a police team went to Sitakundu and showed him a photo.
On July 4, police filed a case with Bayezid Bostami police station in this connection.
On July 29, police arrested Kulsum and a case was filed against her with Kotwali police.