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Dhaka Tribune

Two policemen setting Santal homes on fire identified

Update : 10 Mar 2017, 01:34 AM
Two committees, one led by Rangpur range DIG Khondokar Golam Faruk and the other by Additional DIG Chowdhury Monjurul Kabir, submitted their findings before the High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hasan and Justice Krishna Debnath on Thursday. Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Saju said the probes had identified Gaibandha Detective Branch Sub-Inspector Mahbubur Rahman and Police Lines Constable Md Sazzad Hossain as the policemen who were seen setting fire to the Santal homes. The two have already been suspended and further departmental actions will be taken against them, according to the reports. Fifty-eight other policemen, who were present during the act of arson at Chamgari Bil area, have been withdrawn and former Gaibnadha police chief Md Ashraful Islam was transferred to Khagrachhari, the reports said. The court put the reports on record after the hearing. DIG Faruk’s report said 85 personnel of different ranks were on duty at Chamgari Bil area on the day of the attack. Of them, 72 including three inspectors, 13 sub-inspectors, 19 assistant sub-inspectors, 37 constables/nayeks have been transferred following the High Court’s order. The report said that though it was evident that some other policemen and civilians were involved with the arson, the probe committee could not identify them. “Police will inform the court in future if they can identify more people,” it said. On November 6, three Santal men were killed and 30 people, including nine policemen, were injured in a clash with law enforcers and workers of Rangpur Sugar Mills in a village in Gobindaganj. The clash broke out when mill workers along with police went to the Bagda Farm area to “reclaim” the sugar mill’s land allegedly occupied by the Santal community. Following the clash, the attackers looted and burned down the entire Santal village. The High Court on February 7 ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Gaibandha SP and all other police personnel present during the arson after it received a probe report prepared by the chief judicial magistrate of Gaibandha. It also asked the DIG Rangpur Range to identify the policemen who torched the shanties. Amid the uproar following the eviction, a video footage surfaced on social media showing policemen in riot gear setting fire to a shanty in that village. This was later picked up by the international media.
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