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Sugar mill MD asked to explain destruction of evidence

  • Published at 06:30 pm January 8th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:28 pm January 9th, 2017
Sugar mill MD asked to explain destruction of evidence
The High Court bench comprising Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Mohammed Ullah made the order. The move was preceded by a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Suprokash Datta in December 2016. The writ petition alleged the crime scene was destroyed by using tractors to demolish the burnt ruinsof the houses. The crimes committed on the instruction of the mills’ Managing DirectorAbdul Awal were criminal offence but police did not prevent the sugar mills authorities from doing so or take any legal action.
Also Read- Judicial, PBI probes kick off in affected Santal areas in Gaibandha
The HC also issued a rule asking Rangpur Sugar Mill MD Abdul Awal why inaction to initiate legal actions under Section 201 of the Penal Code against him should not be declared illegal and why authorities concerned should not be ordered to file criminal cases against him. In addition, the home secretary, industry secretary, superintendent of police in Gaibandha, and the officer-in-charge of Gobindaganj were asked to provide separate explanations within four weeks. Meanwhile, on Sunday Gaibandha SP Ashraful Alam offered unconditional apology to a High Court bench comprising Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Krishna Debnath for his “derogatory words” in a report on the attacks on Santals. The court accepted his apology and warned him never to use such words in future and exempted him from personal appearances before the court. The court also extended time till January 31 for the submission of the report on the attack on Santals. The court extended the time following an appeal by Gobindaganj Chief Judicial Magistrate Shahidul Islam.
Also Read- ‘No one told police to set fire to Santal homes’
The investigation report was ordered on December 14, 2016 to look into the alleged police involvement in the torching of Santals houses. As the chief judicial magistrate was abroad at that time he could not submit the report within the deadline and sought a 30-day extension. On December 12, 2016 Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner (DC) Abdus Samad too apologised unconditionally for his derogatory words.The DC termed the attackers “Bangalee dushkritikari” (Bangalee miscreants). The court sought the explanation since Pakistani occupation forces used the same term to describe the Bangalee people in 1971. As the DC claimed that he picked up the words from the report submitted by Gaibandha SP, the court summoned the SP. On November 6 and 7 last year, the Rangpur Sugar Mill authorities, along with some local Bangalees, political activists, and law enforcement authorities evicted 600 Santal households from their ancestral land in Sahebganj-Bagda sugarcane farm area. The eviction led to the death of at least three Santal men and countless injuries when they protested the eviction. Following the incident, three rights organisations filed three separate writ petitions with the High Court which initiated the proceedings.