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Feni jail authority may get charged with misconduct in Nusrat murder

  • Published at 12:25 pm April 26th, 2019
Nusrat Jahan Rafi
File photo of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, an Alim examinee and student of Sonagazi Madrasa in Feni, who died on April 10, after being set on fire on April 6 Dhaka Tribune

The instructions of the murder came directly from the madrasa principal, who was in prison at that time

Two key accused in the Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder, Nur Uddin and Shahadat Hossain Shamim, have confessed that the instruction to kill the madrasa student came directly from her imprisoned madrasa principal, Sirajuddaula.

According to the statements, Nusrat’s murder was planned following the directions of the now formal principal of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa, and he managed to do it while sitting in jail.

Sources of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) said the jail authority of Feni might be in trouble for allowing Sirajuddaula to meet with his goons. 

Nusrat’s family members fear that, if the investigators cannot recover the CCTV footage and related information regarding that meeting, the principal might get away with the crime.

A reliable prison source said, according to the jail code of conduct, a guard or representative of the jail authority is supposed to be present during any such private meeting. 

However, nobody was present during the meeting, when the principal, Nur Uddin and Shamim talked for two and a half hours. 

If a prison guard was present, the prison authorities might have known about Sirajaddaula giving the murder instructions at that time. 

When asked whether anyone can meet a prisoner without the presence of a guard, Moniruzzaman, PBI's additional superintendent of police (ASP), said: "I am not aware of the jail code of conduct. However, the matter is being investigated."  

Nusrat's brother, Mahmudul Hasan Noman, said: "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is monitoring the case investigation. Those who were directly and indirectly involved in the murder will be brought to justice, she said."

Advocate Shah Jahan Saju, a lawyer of Feni court, said: "The jail authority cannot evade the responsibility, as the madrasa principal instructed and coordinated with the gruesome killing from jail. People concerned with the jail authority should also be brought to justice and properly interrogated."

When contacted over the phone, Didarul Alam, jailer of Feni jail, said he did not know anything on the matter and refused to say anything further. 

PBI Inspector Shah Alam, also the probe officer of the case, said: "The matter is being thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators involved directly and indirectly, will be brought to book."

Earlier on April 15, Nuruddin and Shahadat Hossain Shamim confessed in court, implicating 12 other people including Awami League’s Sonagazi upazila unit President Ruhul Amin, in the crime.

Feni Senior Judicial Magistrate Zakir Hossain recorded their confessional statements for over nine and a half hours.

In the statements, they gave detail descriptions on how the madrasa principal gave them directions from jail and how Awami League leader Ruhul Amin supervised the implementation from outside. 

On April 6, Nusrat, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa and also an Alim examinee, was set afire inside the madrasa building after she refused to withdraw a sexual harassment case against Sirajaddaula.

She died on April 10 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

A total of 23 people have been arrested in the case so far, and eight of them gave confessional statements before court. Seven of the arrestees have been placed on remand.

Law Minister Anisul Huq says the government has taken all necessary measures to ensure a swift trial in the case.