Tortured journalist Md Ariful Islam from Kurigram and his wife Mostarina Sardar Nitu on Tuesday gave statements to an inquiry board detailing how and why he was tortured and jailed by a mobile court in March, 2020 allegedly at the order of the then deputy commissioner Sultana Parveen.
Ariful, the Kurigram correspondent of Bangla Tribune, and his wife were separately inquired about the allegations against the former DC in her presence before the inquiry board led by public administration ministry’s additional secretary Md Ali Kadar at the secretariat.
The inquiry board interrogated them as listed witnesses as part of the departmental proceedings initiated against ex-DC Sultana Parveen, now attached to the public administration ministry for posting as deputy secretary, said officials.
‘The board interrogated me for more than two hours beginning at around 11:30am where former Kurigram DC was allowed to cross-examine my statement,’ Ariful told New Age after the interrogation at the secretariat.
On the night of March 13, 2020, Ariful was sentenced to one year’s jail on the charge of carrying 100 grams of marijuana and 450 grams of ethyl alcohol. The allegations were later found to be baseless.
When approached for comments, additional secretary and convenor of the inquiry board for the departmental proceedings Ali Kadar said that they could not say anything about the matter at this stage.
Ariful said he had also filed an attempt-to-murder case against former Kurigram deputy commissioner Sultana Parveen and three of her former colleagues for torturing, beating and jailing him after implicating him in a ‘false case’.
Sultana Parveen along with three executive magistrates of Kurigram was withdrawn on March 16.
The three executive magistrates, who operated the midnight mobile court drive that jailed journalist Ariful for one year, are senior assistant commissioner Nazim Uddin and assistant commissioners Rintu Bikash Chakma and SM Rahatul Islam.
Ariful said that the mobile court officials broke into their house at the dead of the night, beat him up and sent him to jail. The High Court later stayed the mobile court verdict, he said.
Sultana Parveen had previous enmity with Ariful over re-excavation of a pond and renaming it after her as Arif reported it, besides exposing the corruption indulged in by the Kurigram district administration.
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