In February last year, the duo was convicted in a case filed over signature forgery and land grabbing charges and jailed for 14 years
A Sylhet court on Thursday upheld the 14 year jail sentence for industrialist Ragib Ali, as well as the 16 year sentences for his son, daughter, and two others, in a case filed for forging legal papers and grabbing the endowed land of Tarapur Tea Estate in Sylhet.
Judge Dilip Kumar Bhoumik of the Sylhet Special Session’s Judges Court passed the order after hearing the appeal by the convicts, reports UNB.
Earlier on February 2, 2017, Sylhet’s chief metropolitan magistrate handed the jail terms to Ragib Ali and the other accused.
In addition, the court acquitted Sebayet Pankaj Kumar Gupto.
The other convicts are Ragib’s son Abdul Hye, daughter Rozina Qaudir, son-in-law Abdul Qaudir, and relative Dewan Moshtaque Majid.
Ragib’s daughter and son-in-law are still absconding.
On August 25, 1999, the then parliamentary watchdog on land affairs found evidence that a vast area of endowed land of the Tarapur Tea Estate had been grabbed, and several establishments had been set up there illegally.
Later, the subcommittee of the parliamentary watchdog recommended legal action against the illegal occupants.
SM Abdul Hye, then land commissioner of Sylhet Sadar, filed two cases against six people, including Ragib Ali, with Sylhet Kotwali Police Station on September 27, 2005.
One of the cases were filed against Ragib and his son for grabbing the land after forging Land Ministry documents, while the other was filed for misappropriating Tk1,000 crore of the government.
On January 19, 2016, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court asked the authorities concerned to reclaim Tarapur Tea Estate. The court also ordered reinvestigation into the cases against Ragib, even though police had submitted a final report and disposed of the case.
Following the order, the Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate’s court ordered the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate the cases again. On July 10, 2016, the PBI submitted a report accusing Ragib Ali and his son.
Police submitted the charge sheets in the two cases to the Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on July 10, 2016. Ragib Ali and his family members fled to India hours after the arrest warrants were issued against them.
On August 10 last year, a court issued warrants for the arrest of six people in the two cases.
Indian immigration police arrested Ragib from Karimganj district of Assam for an illegal stay on November 24 last year, while Abdu Hye was arrested from Jakiganj on November 12.