Cases that have been filed against top criminals for the last two decades are yet to be settled.
Some of the accused are imprisoned inside the country. A few have fled the country and sought refuge in India, Pakistan, US, Dubai, Germany, France, or other countries. The government has declared bounties on them, and several of them have been listed in Interpol’s criminal list.
However, those affiliated with the cases have blamed the prosecution for the delay by failing to bring witnesses to court.
Based on the latest information from prison authorities, except for a few, most of the cases against the accused are still on trial, and have been for years.
Criminals yet to be convicted
Tofael Ahmed, alias Joseph, is serving a term in Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj. He was accused in a murder case filed at Mohammadpur police station in 1996.
Habibur Rahman Taj is also serving a term in Kashimpur High Security Central jail for being convicted in one case among nine cases lodged against him in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 in Mirpur, Kafrul, and Pallabi police stations. The other eight cases are still pending in various courts.
Besides these two individuals, none of the others have received judgment. Akhtar, another accused on the list, is now in Dhaka Central jail. Two cases lodged against him on 1998 and 1999 in Gulshan police station are under trial in the Speedy Trial Tribunal and Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge court.
Two cases, filed in 1997 and 2006 in Tejgaon and Shahbag police station against Sanjidul Hasan Emon, currently imprisoned in Kashimpur Central Jail-1, are under trial in Dhaka Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge and Metropolitan Magistrate court.
Similarly, Biplob Rahman, alias Lambu Selim, has been incarcerated in Kashimpur Central Jail-1, yet the cases filed against him in 1998, 1999, and 2017 in Gulshan and Shyampur police station have been pending in various courts.
Shahjada, against whom 6 cases have been filed in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, in different police stations spread throughout the capital, is still imprisoned in Kashimpur jail while the cases remain pending in different courts.
Five cases, lodged in 1999, 2001, and 2002 from Kafrul, Cantonment and Uttara police stations against Killer Abbas, currently confined in Kashimpur jail, are undergoing trial in different Dhaka courts.
Emamul Hasan alias Pichchi Helal, confined in Kashimpur Central jail-2, has three cases against him from the years 1997, 2000 and 2004 filed in Mohammadpur police station, all of which are pending in different courts.
Sheikh Aslam, alias Sweden Aslam, against whom a case was filed in 1997 at Tejgaon police station, has been imprisoned in Kashimpur High Security Central Jail, yet the case remains under trial in Dhaka Special Judges court. The 1993 case against Khorshed Alam Rashu, who is confined at the same jail, has been on trial in Dhaka Special Joint District Judges court.
According to police and detective sources, a government list published in 2001 identified 23 top criminals, which was expanded later. Among them, Pichchi Hannan died in a shootout with RAB and Ala Uddin got lynched. Kala Jahangir has also gone missing, alleged to be dead due to internal conflicts.
The sources also say that top criminals including Shahadat Hossain, Subrata Bain, Mollah Masud, Khanadaker Tanvirul Islam Joy, Haris Ahmed Haris, Nabi Hossain, Shamim Ahmed, alias Aga Shamim, Amin Rasul Sagor, alias Tokai Sagor, Leather Liton, and others are still in hiding.
Rafiqul Islam, Haris Ahmed, Nabi Hossain, Prakash Kumar Biswas, Zafar Ahmed, Jisan, Tokai Sagor, Abdul Jabbar Munna and Shahadat Hossain are included in Interpol’s red notice.
Dhaka Metropolitan Deputy Commissioner of Public Relations Masudur Rahman said: “The top criminals are under constant monitoring by the police, however, we cannot do anything to speed up the trials that are pending in court.”
When asked about the delay in settling the cases, Dhaka Speedy Tribunal court-1 Public Prosecutor Md Abu Abdullah said: “The cases are not being settled because of the High Court’s suspension order and unwillingness of witnesses to provide testimony.
“In cases like these, witnesses do not want to come forward,” said Md Abu.
“However, the prosecution is trying to settle the cases quickly.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com