Former Officer-in-Charge of Sonagazi police station, Moazzem Hossain has been denied bail, sent to jail on Monday
Family members of former Sonagazi police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Moazzem Hossain, who was sent to jail after being accused in a Digital Security Act case, have claimed that he is innocent.
OC Moazzem’s brother Arifuzzaman Khandakar, and mother Manwara Begum made the claim to Dhaka Tribune correspondent on Monday evening, hours after a Dhaka court sent Moazzem to jail denying his bail petition.
The OC’s brother Arifuzzaman said: “My brother (Moazzem) is in no way involved in spreading the recorded video of Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi on social media.”
“The prime accused of Nusrat murder case, Sonagazi Islamia Fazil (Degree) Madrasa Principal Sirajuddaula, is a very powerful man. When the victim (Nusrat) went to Sonagazi police station to file a complaint against principle Siraj, someone else recorded the video with my brother’s cell phone. It is true, but he did not spread the video. According to a probe report of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), a local journalist named Atiar Howladar Sajal is the one who spread the video on social media.”
“We also filed a General Diary (GD) with Sonagazi model police station. In the GD, we mentioned how journalist Sajal stole the video from my brother’s phone, and gave it to Dr Fakhruddin, former president of Bangladesh Islami Chharta Shibir central committee. The Shibir leader then spread the video on social media.”
Expressing grievance, Arifuzzaman said: “It is unfortunate that the journalist managed to stay above the law, but my brother, who is an innocent man, became a victim of the situation.”
He also alleged that in spite of conducting the trial of the main murder case of Nusrat, everyone is focusing on the Digital Security Act case filed against his brother.
“That video, recorded on my brother’s phone is the main evidence in the Nusrat murder case. My brother should have been awarded for it, not punished.”
When asked why OC Moazzem recorded the video without the consent of the victim, Arifuzzaman said: “My brother did it as a precautionary measure, as the matter was very sensitive. Spreading the video was not his intention.”
Arifuzzaman also offered his, and his family’s unconditional apology to Nusrat’s family, and to the nation, if any unpleasant behavior was accorded to Nusrat during the recording of her statements.
Seeking the court’s mercy, OC Moazzem’s mother, in a weeping tone, said: “My son is innocent. He did not spread the video. He was sent to jail for a crime he did not commit.”
Urging that the prime accused of Nusrat murder case should be tried and not her son, she also demanded punishment for those who degraded her son by spreading the video on social media.
Sonagazi police station former Officer-in-Charge (OC) Moazzem Hossain has been denied bail, and sent to jail custody in a Digital Security Act case.
Dhaka Cyber Tribunal Judge Ashsams Joglul Hossain passed the order around 2:40pm on Monday.
The tribunal also scheduled, June 30, as the next hearing date for this case.
Why was Moazzem arrested?
The OC is a key accused in the case pertaining to the murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who was set on fire two months ago.
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.
Eighteen-year-old Nusrat, an Alim examinee, was set on fire by Sirajuddaula’s followers on April 6, for her refusal to withdraw the rape attempt case that her family had filed against the principal. 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 complained that 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.