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Dhaka Tribune

Quota reform movement: 5 years on, investigation in 4 cases still not complete

Officers have sought time extension for investigation 41 times

Update : 08 Apr 2023, 11:27 AM

The investigation of four cases filed with Shahbagh police against some leaders of the quota reform movement in April 2018 has not been completed in five years.

One of those was filed on charges of sabotage and the others for vandalizing the residence of Dhaka University's vice chancellor, obstructing police from performing their duty, damaging police vehicles and torching the motorbike of an officer of the Special Branch of police.

At present, detectives are still investigating these four cases.

In the five years, the investigating officers of the cases have sought extension 41 times for submitting their probe reports.

Humayun Kabir, deputy commissioner (DC) of Ramna Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Police, said: "Investigation of the cases is going on. The reports will be submitted to court only after the investigations are complete.”

According to court sources, 20 activists of the quota reform movement were arrested in these four cases. 

Later, on August 20, 2018, the court granted them bail. They are currently out on bail.

The accused are  Rashed Khan, joint convener of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Songrokkhon Parishad, the platform of quota reform activists, Farooq Hossain, Moshiur Rahman, Masud Alam Masud, Saidur Rahman, Abu Sayed Fazle Rabbi, Ali Hossain, Atiqur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan, Tariqul Islam, Sakhawat Hossain, Ali Hossain, Mazharul Islam, Robin Hussain, Mahfuzur Rahman, Zakaria, Syed Mohammad Amanullah, Sohail Islam, Masood Sarkar and Jasim Uddin Akash.

For the attack on the residence of the VC, Senior Security Officer of Dhaka University SM Kamrul Hasan filed the case as the plaintiff.

According to the complaint, on the night of April 9, 2018, hundreds of unidentified masked criminals and miscreants entered the building of the Dhaka University vice chancellor with locally made weapons, iron rods, pipes, hammers, sticks, etc. They vandalized and looted valuable goods. Two cars were torched and two cars were vandalized. The accused carried out the attack in an attempt to destabilize Dhaka University and embarrass the government by killing the vice chancellor.

The accused in this case Rashed Khan, Masud Alam Masud, Saidur Rahman, Abu Sayed Fazle Rabbi, Ali Hossain, Atiqur Rahman and Rakibul Hasan, all of whom are on bail.

Another case which was filed for obstructing police from performing government duty stated that the accused, with iron rods, pipes, hammers, sticks, etc, mixed with activists of the quota reform movement gathered at Dhaka University and hurled bricks and stones at police officers. They obstructed police to perform official work and vandalized public vehicles. Besides, they damaged nearby shops and buildings by throwing bricks and stones. They also brought valuables on the street and set them on fire.

The accused in this case are Farooq Hossain, Tariqul Islam, Masud Alam Masud, Sakhawat Hossain, Abu Sayed Fazle Rabbi, Rakibul Hasan and Ali Hossain. All are on bail in this case as well.

And in the case of vandalism and arson, the accused obstructed the police and carried out assaults, vandalism, arson and injuries to the police and the public.

In this incident, Bhajan Biswas, sub-inspector of Shahbag police station filed the case.

The accused in this case are Sohail Islam, Masud Sarkar, Moshiur Rahman, Jasim Uddin Akash, Ali Hossain, Abu Sayed Fazle Rabbi, Rakibul Hasan and Masud Alam Masud.

Apart from this, police filed another case on charges of damaging police vehicles and torching the motorbike of an officer of the Special Branch of police.

The accused in this case are Mazharul Islam, Robin Hussain, Mahfuzur Rahman, Zakaria and Syed Mohammad Amanullah.

The lawyer for the accused Md Zaidur Rahman said: "The real accused are beyond reach… But innocent, talented boys are appearing in court year after year. Reports of the cases should be submitted through proper investigation. Those who are appearing in court as victims in these cases should be acquitted. Due to these cases, many talented students are being deprived of jobs.”

Public Prosecutor (PP) of Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court Abdullah Abu said: "It should not take so many years to investigate the cases. If no one is identified in the investigation, the report must be filed.”

A report should be submitted after completing the investigation quickly, he added. 

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