The police official is accused in a Digital Security Act case filed over an incident that led to the murder of Feni’s Nusrat Jahan Rafi
The former officer-in-charge (OC) of Feni’s Sonagazi police station, Moazzem Hossain, who is accused in a Digital Security Act case and has been in hiding since last month, has finally been arrested in Dhaka.
Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general of police (public relations) at Police Headquarters, confirmed this on Sunday, saying: “He [Moazzem] is now in the custody of Shahbagh police station.”
The station’s OC, Abul Hasan, told Dhaka Tribune that police took Moazzem into custody around 4pm.
Later, at a press briefing at his Malibagh office, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Commissioner (Ramna zone), Maruf Hossain Sardar, said: “Moazzem was arrested from the Kadam Foara area near the High Court."
“He will soon be handed over to Sonagazi police,” he added.
Moazzem was arrested 20 days after a court issued an arrest warrant for him in the case filed by a Supreme Court lawyer for circulating a video on social media about Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi's statement taken at Sonagazi police station.
Nusrat's family demands Moazzem's punishment
The family of Nusrat has demanded punishment of the police official for the offense he committed, and expects that other people involved in capturing and circulating the video on social media will be arrested soon.
“We are satisfied, and we want his punishment, considering the offense. Also, if there are any other people involved in capturing and circulating the video, I want them to be placed on trial quickly, without delay,” Nusrat's mother Shirin Akhter said in an immediate reaction.
She also thanked the prime minister for the arrest of the former Sonagazi OC.
“Other people were present when the video was recorded. We also want their role to be investigated. We will get peace only when justice is ensured,” said Mahmudul Hasan Noman, a plaintiff in the murder case.
In a Facebook Live video, Supreme Court lawyer Syedul Haque Sumon, who filed a petition against Moazzem for breaking the law, said he will seek denial of bail for the former OC.
Will there be any action against former SP of Feni?
Even though OC Moazzem Hossain and the former Superintendent of Police (SP) of Feni, SM Jahangir Alam, were both found guilty of dereliction of duty and were withdrawn, only the OC is facing legal action.
A report submitted by SP Jahangir Alam on April 11 to Police Headquarters said that Nusrat’s family was wasting time in lodging a case.
However, later, a Police Headquarters probe committee found evidence of negligence on the part of both the OC and the SP, and recommended punishment for both.
On May 12, Jahangir Alam was withdrawn as SP of Feni and attached to police Headquarters in Dhaka.
Why Moazzem was arrested
The OC is a key accused in the case pertaining to Nusrat Jahan Rafi who was killed last month.
Nusrat went to Sonagazi model police station to file a case against Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa Principal, Sirajuddaula, on March 27 for sexually assaulting her the day before.
Moazzem recorded a video of her statement without her consent, asking her offensive and insulting questions. The video then surfaced on various social media platforms. It was reported that Moazzem had put up the video.
Nusrat, 18, an Alim examinee, was set on fire by Sirajuddaula’s followers on April 6 for refusing to withdraw the rape attempt case her family had filed against him. She died from burn injuries four days later.
On April 10, Moazzem was withdrawn from his post as OC and transferred to the Armed Police Battalion, after Nusrat’s family said he had not been cooperating with them.
On May 15, Supreme Court lawyer Syedul Haque Sumon filed a case against Moazzem under the Digital Security Act. The Dhaka Cyber Tribunal ordered the OC's arrest on May 27 when the PBI found the allegations against him to be true.
Later, OC Moazzem filed a bail petition with the High Court. Since then, the OC was a fugitive on the run until his arrest on Sunday.