• Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020
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Wrongfully accused man acquitted after 17 years

  • Published at 09:40 pm October 17th, 2019
Natore Wrongly Convicted Man
Wrongly convicted Bablu Sheikh with his wife Minu Begum Dhaka Tribune

The observation of the verdict compares Bablu Sheikh's case with the widely discussed 'Judge Mia,' and 'Jaha Alam' scandals

An innocent day labourer, who spent the last 17 years wrongfully accused in a case and spent time behind bars, has at last been acquitted and released from jail.

Bablu Sheikh, 55, son of Yakub Ali of Achalkot village in the district’s Singra upazila, came out of jail yesterday, following an order passed by Natore Additional District and Session Judge Md Saifur Rahman Siddique after an appeal hearing.

Court police Inspector Aminur Rahman and Public Prosecutor Sirajul islam confirmed the development.

Despite being a Muslim, Bablu had to languish in jail for months in place of the real accused Sri Babu, a man from the Hindu community who is also known as Bablu, of the same village.

The court yesterday ordered police higher-ups, including the inspector general of police, to take action against the two case investigation officers who submitted the charge sheet in the case without investigating properly — which led to Bablu Sheikh’s wrongful conviction.

The observation of the verdict compared Bablu Sheikh's case with the widely discussed wrongful convictions of Joj Mia and Jahalam, which had made headlines.

The court also remarked that Bablu Sheikh could also go to the High Court seeking compensation, if he wishes.

After the verdict, the man and his wife Minu Begum expressed their satisfaction over the court’s order. They also demanded compensation over Bablu Sheikh’s wrongful incarceration.

According to case details, Kazi Abdul Malek, of Gangil village under Sadar upazila, filed a case against six people, including Sri Babu, at Natore police station three days after a clash took place on April 15, 2001.

Without investigating properly, first case investigation officer Mominul Islam detained Bablu Sheikh instead of Sri Babu on November 7, 2002, and showed him arrested as Sri Babu.

Even though Bablu Sheikh told police that he was Muslim and innocent, his pleas went unheard.

After years of prolonged hearing, during which Bablu Sheikh spent around 70 days in prison, a Natore court on June 23, 2016 sentenced him to two years rigorous imprisonment, and fined him Tk5,000.

The court had also awarded him an additional three months of imprisonment after he failed to pay the fine.

Later, a wrongfully convicted Bablu Sheikh filed the appeal with the District and Sessions Judge Court.