Teachers of the Rajshahi University (RU) mass communication and journalism department have rejected the police charge sheet over the suicide of their colleague Akter Jahan Jolly, claiming that it was full of misinformation.
Seven of Jolly's colleagues held a press conference at the department on Thursday afternoon, where they read out a written statement.
The statement read: “We, the teachers of the department, are deeply shocked and disappointed regarding the charge sheet submitted by Motihar police station Sub-Inspector (Investigation) Broj Gopal Karmakar, who investigated the case filed over the unnatural death of Akhter Jahan Jolly. The deposition of seven MCJ teachers documented in the charge sheet under Section 161 [of the Code of Criminal Procedure], is full of incorrect and inconsistent information.
“The teachers never recorded formal depositions with police regarding this case. Only a few teachers were questioned by police; many were never even contacted. However, the charge sheet mentions that seven teachers recorded depositions under Section 161.”
The statement further said the depositions contained incorrect information that had never been mentioned by any teacher of the department.
Instead of carrying out a proper investigation, police have further damaged the teachers' reputations, they alleged.
“The police did not inform us before including us as deponents. They did not even take our signatures, which is required for recording depositions under Section 161,” said Dr Pradip Kumar Pandey, chairman of the department.
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Abdullah Al Mamun, associate professor at the department, said: “Police have disrespected us by not informing us beforehand about the inclusion of seven teachers as deponents in the charge sheet.”
When contacted, Sub-Inspector Broj Gopal Karmakar told the Bangla Tribune: “The charge sheet was submitted after a year of investigation, and after talking to the teachers of the department. I was accompanied by several senior officers as we talked to them regarding the case.”
An associate professor of MCJ department, Jolly was found unconscious in her room at RU Juberi Bhaban on September 9, 2016. She was rushed to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, where the doctor on duty pronounced her dead.
A suicide note was later found in her room.
Her younger brother filed a case with Motihar police station against an unknown individual for inciting suicide on September 10 the same year.
Sub-Inspector Broj Gopal submitted the charge sheet on the case on August 25 this year, charging Atiqur Rahman Raja, associate professor at the MCJ department, with Jolly's death.
Accusations were initially made against Tanveer Ahmad, associate professor at the same department and Jolly's former husband, for indirectly inciting her suicide. He was suspended from his job over the issue on September 22, 2016.