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Lalmonirhat Lynching: Jewel’s companion Sumon recounts the horrific tale

  • Published at 11:55 am December 7th, 2020
Mob lynching-Burimari
File photo: Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel was beaten to death and his body was burnt on this spot on October 29, 2020. Later, People from all walks of life in Rangpur demonstrated at Payra Chattar over the lynching the next day Dhaka Tribune

In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune, Sultan Rubaiyat Akand Sumon holds accountable Patgram upazila chairman, Patgram upazila nirbahi officer, Burimari union parishad chairman and Patgram police, for their inaction which resulted in Jewel’s death

The man who had accompanied Abu Yunus Md Shahidunnabi Jewel to Lalmonirhat on October 29, has finally opened up about the chain of events that led to the brutal killing of his childhood friend.

In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune, Sultan Rubaiyat Akand Sumon held accountable Patgram upazila chairman, Patgram upazila nirbahi officer, Burimari union parishad chairman and Patgram police, for their inaction which resulted in Jewel’s death.

“The whole incident was orchestrated by the mosque's caretaker Jabed Ali, local decorator businessman Hossain Ali alias Abul Hossain and Burimari union parishad member Hafizul Islam,” said Sumon, adding that they falsely accused Jewel of desecrating the Quran and beat him to death before immolating him on the Lalmonirhat-Burimari National Highway on October 29. 

Sumon said it was thanks to Patgram police station OC Sumon Kumar Mohantthat he was still alive as only he had attempted to save him and his friend Jewel from the vicious mob.

Patgram Upazila Parishad Chairman Ruhul Amin Babul said, “We – me and UNO Kamrun Nahar tried to save Shahidunnabi Jewel and Sultan Rubaiyat Akand Sumon.  But when we reached the spot, we found a huge number of people there. The presence of police was too thin to bring the situation under control.”

Meanwhile, the people took Jewel away from the union parishad building, beat him up and set him on fire, he added. 

“We took shelter at a building nearby the spot when the people tried to attack us, “ he also said.

Patgram Upazila Nirbahi Officer Kamrun Nahar did not receive a call when she had been phoned.

What happened that day?

On October 29, Jewel had called Sumon and asked him to go to Burimari with him. Sumon did not want to go at first but later agreed. At around 10am, Jewel came to Sumon's house with his motorcycle. They both then set out for Burimari in Lalmonirhat’s Patgram. On the way, Jewel said he would meet his sister Lipi before going over to Patgram Upazila Chairman Babul’s house for lunch. Later, they would return to Rangpur by the evening.

They reached Burimari around the time for Asr prayers, so Jewel and Sumon went to the Burimari mosque to offer prayers. Jewel went straight inside while Sumon went to a shop nearby to connect his phone to a charger. Due to delay, he could not find a place inside the mosque and offered his prayer on the veranda.

After prayers, when it was time for them to leave, Jewel was still inside. When Sumon went to find him, he saw Khadem Jabed Ali, decorator Hossain Ali and UP member Hafizul Islam arguing with Jewel inside. Sumon did not know what Jewel had done but heard from others that the Quran had been desecrated. 

Alarmed, Sumon went and apologized to the trio several times but they wouldn’t listen. At one point, a young man hit Sumon with sandals. Immediately after, Hafizul dragged Jewel and Sumon to the Union Parishad office and locked them in a small room.

At that time, the crowd began to gradually increase and Sumon and Jewel became subjected to severe mob beating. 

Informed, Patgram police station OC Sumon Kumar Mohantarrived two policemen but by that time, thousands of people had gathered around the Union Parishad office.

Sumon had asked Hafizul to call Upazila Chairman Bablu as he knew them. But no one listened to him. At that time Patgram Police Station OC Sumon Kumar Mohant Jewel tried hard to rescue Sumon and Jewel. He himself was injured at the time. 

At one stage, the mob scattered a little after blank shots were fired, allowing the OC to try and drag Jewel and Sumon out. The cop managed to rescue Sumon but not Jewel. 

OC Mohanttook Sumon to the roof of a two-story building next to the union parishad office, where the mob tried to break in also. 

Later, the OC grabbed Sumon and jumped from the second floor onto a tin-shedded house next to it.

And that’s that last thing Sumon remembers of that fateful day. Later, he found himself waking up at the Patgram Upazila Health Complex. 

A total of 40 people, including the key accused Abul Hossain, alias Hossain Ali, the, have been arrested over the incident. 

Meanwhile, two probe reports submitted over the incident did not contain any evidence of Quran desecration.

Lalmonirhat Detective Branch (DB) Omar Faruk said the investigation is ongoing.

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