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Nusrat murder: TIB demands judicial probe into ex-Sonagazi OC's role

  • Published at 02:33 pm May 31st, 2019
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The photo shows the bandaged feet of Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, who died there while undergoing treatment on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

TIB's executive director raised questions on the objectivity of PIB's report in the Nusrat murder case

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded a judicial probe into the alleged negligence of duty by police, particularly by ex-Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Sonagazi police station, Moazzem Hossain, over Nusrat Jahan Rafi's murder. 

TIB raised questions on why the OC's name was dropped from the charge sheet filed by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PIB) in the Nusrat murder case.

"There have been specific accusations against Moazzem for trying to pass off Nusrat's murder as suicide – there were several media reports on it," TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said in a statement on Friday. 

"On one hand, Moazzem tried to shame Nusrat by harassing her and passing off her complaints as baseless, when she came to the police seeking help," he said. "And on the other hand, he aided the murderers by trying to pass off her murder as suicide." 

He said: "Then perhaps it is not unnatural to ask the question - was Moazzem's name dropped from the charge sheet because of his position in the law enforcement?"

Also Read- Nusrat murder: PBI submits charge sheet

Iftekharuzzaman further said in his statement that accusing Moazzem solely under the Digital Security Act defies logic as he can be counted as an accomplice to the murder. 

Police were unable to provide security for Nusrat when she pressed charges against a socially influential figure - Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa principal Sirajaddaula, the TIB executive director said. "He cannot be tried under the Digital Security Act, only."

Iftekharuzzaman further expressed doubts on the veracity and objectivity of PIB's probe report in Nusrat's murder. 

"They submitted it with commendable speed, but dropping Moazzem's name, who had a questionable role from the time Nusrat lodged the sexual harassment case till her murder – which the people of the country came to know through social media – raises questions against it," he said.

If a neutral judicial inquiry is not launched to ensure the strictest punishment, through an objective investigation to identify the role of Moazzem in the crime, then it would be similar to provide impunity to those responsible for the crime, he added.

Also Read- Nusrat murder case transferred to women's tribunal for quick disposal

"There is no alternative to a judicial probe into her murder," he added.

On April 6, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa, was set on fire by the followers of Sirajaddaula, on the rooftop of a building in the madrasa premises, after she refused to withdraw the sexual harassment case she had lodged against him on March 27.

She died of her injuries at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital on April 10.

Her murder sparked massive outrage all across the country, and her murder case – lodged by her relatives on April 8 – was transferred to PIB from Sonagazi police station. It has been transferred to the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal for quick disposal.

PIB has pressed charges against 16 of the total 21 accused, and all of them have been arrested. 

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