Torture, Jail of Journalist

Kurigram DC, 3 magistrates withdrawn

Inquiry against narcotics control official initiated

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:44, Mar 16,2020 | Updated: 00:50, Mar 17,2020

 
 

Withdrawn Kurigram deputy commissioner Sultana Pervin. — Focus Bangla News file photo

The government on Monday withdrew Kurigram deputy commissioner Sultana Pervin and three executive magistrates following an internal inquiry into arrest, torture and jailing of journalist midnight past Friday on the pretext of anti-drug mobile court.

The home ministry officials, meanwhile, said separate inquiry was initiated against Department of Narcotics Control’s inspector Jahidul Islam over supplying weed and alcohol to the executive magistrates that they used to convict Ariful Islam, Kurigram correspondent of the Dhaka Tribune, and jail him for one year.

The Department of Narcotic Control officials told New Age that inspector Jahidul Islam joined the drive on instruction from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office without informing his immediate senior in the district. 

‘None will be spared over the incident. Justice must be done,’ home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, told reporters at his office in Dhaka.

Kurigram deputy commissioner Sultana Pervin was withdrawn and placed at the disposal of the public administration ministry for posting.

Mohammad Rezaul Karim, deputy secretary of public admin ministry, was posted as the new deputy commission, said a gazette notification of the ministry on Monday.

In a separate order, the ministry also withdrew three executive magistrates of Kurigram —Senior Assistant Commissioner Nazim Uddin, and Assistant Commissioners Rintu Bikash Chakma and SM Rahatul Islam — who took part in the midnight mobile court drive that jailed journalist Ariful Islam.

The public administration ministry issued a circular on Sunday in this regard.

Magistrate Rintu Bikash Chakma, who led the drive, said that Ariful Islam was possessing narcotic substances at the time of arrest.

Ariful’s wife Mostarima Sardar said that the mobile court officials broke into their house at the dead of the night, beat Arif up and picked him up.

Nazim told media on Monday that he did not torture Ariful rather Rintu did it.

Nazim was also accused of humiliating several people at his previous workplaces and his colleagues from 33rd BCS batch also recalled his rowdy behaviour during his basic training. 

On November 11, 2018, Nazim was transferred to Rangamati’s Langadu from Cox’s Bazar Sadar after a video showing him humiliating an elderly man went viral on social media.

‘I am still traumatised. Once I close my eyes, I just see the scene. I have returned from death,’ Journalist Ariful told New Age on Monday at the Kurigram General Hospital.

He said that the mobile court officials took away his mobile phone, Tk 2,000, NID card, two debit cards and his wallet, among others.

Kurigram General Hospital resident medical officer Redwan Ferdous Sajib said Ariful’s physical condition was improving.

Ariful’s wife Mostarin Sardar Mitu demanded exemplary punishment for the torturers of her husband.

A human chain was formed on Monday in front of Kurigram Press Club on Kurigram-Chilmari  road for one hour demanding punishment against the magistrates who picked up Ariful at dead of night and tortured him.

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