One year of Raihan murder: Trial of the case yet to begin
Published: 05:46 PM, 11 October 2021
Deceased Raihan Ahmed, who was tortured to death at the Bandarbazar police outpost in Sylhet (left) and the main accused ousted SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, in charge of the Bandarbazar outpost (Right); File Photo
Today marks one year since the murder of Raihan Ahmed, who was tortured to death at the Bandarbazar police outpost in Sylhet. The trial of the murder has yet to begin, though one year has been passed.
The court accepted the chargesheet on September 30, 11 months after the incident due to the COVID situation. The court has fixed November 2 for the hearing of the chargesheet.
The departmental case investigation against 9 policemen, on the other hand, in connection with Raihan’s murder has not been completed in a year.
Five of the nine policemen in the departmental case are accused in the Raihan murder case. The other four are attached to the Sylhet Metropolitan Police Lines on a temporary dismissal order.
Raihan, a resident of the Akhalia area of the city, died while undergoing treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital on October 11, 2020, after being tortured by police at the Bandarbazar police outpost.
On October 12, Tahmina Akhter Tanni, Raihan’s wife, filed a case with the Sylhet Kotwali Police Station under the Death in Police Custody (Prevention) Act. Shortly after the incident, on October 13, SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, in charge of the Bandarbazar outpost, escaped from police custody and fled to India.
SI Akbar was arrested later on November 9 last year from the Kanaighat border in Sylhet. On May 5, the investigating agency, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), indicted six people, including five policemen, and filed a chargesheet. The court last accepted the chargesheet on September 30. However, the trial has not started yet.
The entire incident took a turn when ousted SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, the main accused in the case, offered to take care of Raihan’s wife Tanni and daughter on the condition of a compromise in the case.
Condemning the incident, Raihan’s mother Salma Begum said she will never allow this. “Akbar killed my innocent son. I will never forgive him. They don’t have to worry about our maintenance. Return my son if you can,” she said.
Meanwhile, Raihan’s mother Salma Begum and wife Tahmina Akhter Tanni have expressed frustration over the slow pace of the trial. They also demanded the execution of the killers. They made the demand at a human chain held at the premises of Shahid Minar in Chauhatta on Sunday.
Salma Begum told at the human chain program that the chargesheet was filed at late even the accused were arrested. We are a little “disappointed”. If necessary, the case should be handed over to the speedy trial tribunal and the trial of the case should be expedited and exemplary punishment should be given to the accused.
According to the PRB (Police Act), there are two types of departmental punishment (minor-maximum) against a policeman if he is involved in criminal activities. The maximum sentence includes permanent dismissal from the job under severe punishment, however, there is only removal or demotion from duty in the case of minor offenses. Of the five policemen charged in the departmental case, only Akbar could be sentenced to “maximum term”, sources close to the investigation said.
About this, Deputy Commissioner (North) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) Azbahar Ali Sheikh said the departmental investigation activities of the police are not included in the criminal case. This is being investigated “internally” by the police. The allegations against the accused are being analyzed and investigated. The testimony of some people has already been taken. The statements of the accused have also been taken. The investigation report against them will be sent to the police department. Later they will be punished as per the departmental law, he added.