NARAYANGANJ 7 MURDERS: 35 including Noor Hossain, 25 RAB men indicted

Our Correspondent . Narayanganj

Thirty-five people, including sacked ward councillor Noor Hossain and three sacked Rapid Action Battalion officers Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Arif Hossain, and MM Rana were on Monday charged with abduction and murder of seven people in Narayanganj on April 27, 2014.
Narayanganj district and sessions judge Syed Enayet Hossain framed the charges in two cases in presence of 23 accused including Noor Hossain, Tareque Sayeed, Arif, and Rana while the rest 12 accused were still in hiding.
The court posted for February 25 the formal commencement of the trial through recording testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.
The 35 indicted accused also included, detained the then RAB-11 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, also son-in-law of cabinet member Mufazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, the then RAB-11 special company commander Major Arif Hossain and the then RAB-11 Crime Prevention Company commander Lieutenant Commander Masud Rana, all who are now behind the bars.
The court framed the charges against 35 people, including 25 officers and rankers of the battalion, rejecting petitions filed by the accused seeking time for the indictment as it had earlier allowed such petitions on two occasions.
Plaintiff Selina Islam Beauty, also the widow of Noor Hossain, and her lawyer Sakhawat Hossain Khan said that they were happy with the indictment and demanded security for the prosecution witnesses saying that the witnesses were in fear which was also aggravated by defence counsel on Monday as they created chaos in the courtroom during the indictment.
Selina said that she and other members of the victim families were receiving threat from different quarters.
She urged the government to provide security for the victim families and the witnesses until the trial ended.
Seven people, including Narayanganj city panel mayor Nazrul Islam, his five associates, senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarker and his driver were abducted reportedly by a battalion team from the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road on April 27, 2014.
Their bodies were found floating in Sitalakhya River after a couple of days, triggering violent protests in the city and elsewhere.
Nazrul’s widow Selina Islam Beauty filed a case against Noor Hossain, also the ruling Awami League Siddhirganj unit senior vice-president, and five others. Chandan Kumar’s son filed another case against unnamed people.
Noor Hossain went into hiding following the incident as his nexus with the elite force was exposed.
The police in May 2014 sought the Interpol’s cooperation to arrest Noor Hossain, who fled to India about a week after the killings.
Nazrul’s family was alleging that the battalion in Narayanganj was hired with Tk 5 crore for the multiple killings.
The indictment came about two months after the High Court on December 14, 2015 observed that investigation officer in the case could conduct further investigation if he got evidence against anyone and it would require no permission.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Amir Hossain also observed that there were errors in the charge sheet that pressed no charge of criminal conspiracy although the investigation disclosed a good number of elements of such conspiracy.
The bench made the observations disposing of a petition Selina filed seeking further investigation into the case as the charge sheet dropped five people named in the first information report.
The petitioner had sought the further investigations for interrogating Noor Hossain as he had fled to India after the murders and was extradited to Bangladesh from India on November 12, after the submission of the charge sheet on April 8, 2015 by the Detective Branch of police.
Selina appealed to the High Court against Narayanganj Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court’s order passed on July 8, 2015 taking cognisance of the charges rejecting her petition filed on May 11, 2015 for further investigation into the case.

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