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Kamal: Comilla courtroom murder being investigated

  • Published at 08:29 pm July 16th, 2019
File photo of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal Collected
File photo of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal Collected

Accused murderer stabbed by another suspect in court

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan says the authorities concerned are verifying if there was any negligence in providing security at a Comilla courtroom where a person accused of murder was stabbed to death.

He made the statement to reporters at an award ceremony at the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The paramilitary force organized the event to recognise its members who have attained remarkable professional achievements, where the minister was present as chief guest. 

Asaduzzaman said: “How did he [the attacker] get the knife inside the courtroom? Who gave him the knife? The facts will come out after the investigation is completed.

“Such an incident inside the courtroom is unprecedented. From now on, we must make sure such incidents are not repeated in the future.”

The home minister went on to  say: “Normally our police perform their duties without arms on court premises and the courts give security directives. Police and prison guards were doing their duty conforming to the court’s direction.”

Several measures have already been taken to beef up security at courts in the wake of the murder that took place during a court session on Monday.  

“We will recommend the court authorities set up archways and metal detectors at court entrances to avoid such incidents,” Asaduzzaman added. 

What happened in the courtroom

On Monday, a man accused of murder, Faruk, and his cousin Hasan, also a co-suspect, appeared before the Comilla Additional District and Sessions Judge Court 3, for a 2013 murder case.  

As accused Faruk entered the courtroom for the hearing, Hasan suddenly started chasing him with a knife and attacked him, said court sources.

Faruk ran into the judge’s chamber to save his life, but Hasan chased him down and stabbed him repeatedly, they said.

The entire incident took place in front of the judge who said there were two or three police officials present in the courtroom, who did nothing to stop Hasan. 

Severely wounded, Faruk was taken to Comilla Medical College and Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Both the judge, and the legal counsel present for the trial, blamed the police personnel present in the courtroom for failing to prevent the incident, saying their negligence in duty resulted in the gruesome attack and death. 

Writ filed

On Tuesday, Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Ishrat Hasan filed a writ with the High Court seeking a directive to provide proper security to judges and courtrooms across Bangladesh. 

Ishrat, also the wife of a judge, said: “Being a judge’s wife, I’m worried by the grisly murder inside the courtroom and that’s why I’ve filed a petition seeking a directive to provide security to all judges and courtrooms across the country.”

Poor security at apex court: 

Security measures at the Supreme Court and lower court premises have been found to be lax, owing mostly to an acute staff shortage, and inadequate equipment.

Security archways at the entrances to the Supreme Court complex, and judges’ corner are out of order.

Dhaka Tribune ran a report “Are our courts safe?” on April 9 this year.