They have been made officers on special duty
Three executive magistrates of Kurigram have been withdrawn following a midnight mobile court drive that jailed a Dhaka Tribune journalist Ariful Islam.
The Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular on Sunday in this regard.
The officials are -- Senior Assistant Commissioner Nazim Uddin, and Assistant Commissioners Rintu Bikash Chakma and SM Rahatul Islam.
They have been attached to the ministry and the order will come into effect immediately, the circular added.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told Dhaka Tribune: "There are allegations against them and they have been made officers on special duty [OSD].
"We will initiate divisional inquiry, and punitive action will be taken against them if they are found guilty after investigation," he added.
Ariful is the Kurigram correspondent of Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune.
On March 14, a mobile court set up at the Kurigram deputy commissioner (DC)'s office in the dead of night, jailed the journalist for a year, after law enforcement led by magistrates picked him up from his residence.
The officials claimed to have recovered drugs and alcohol from his residence, which his family termed as absurd.
However, Ariful, who was hospitalized after getting bail on Sunday, said he was tortured before being picked up from his house.
The journalist was also stripped and tortured blindfolded during the time he was kept at the DC office.
In the drive, Nazim Uddin, Rintu Bikash, and Rahatul Islam were among others, who broke into his home.
Nazim was also accused of humiliating several people at his previous workplaces.
On November 11, 2018, he was transferred from his post as assistant commissioner (land) of Cox's Bazar Sadar upazila to Rangamati's Langadu upazila after a video showing him humiliating an elderly man went viral on social media.
Writ on Ariful’s conviction
The High Court bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir has sought a copy of Ariful’s conviction upon hearing a writ petition seeking a court order to declare the conviction illegal on Sunday.
The court also asked the deputy attorney general to phone former Kurigram DC Sultana Pervin for all the information regarding the mobile court formed on March 14. The bench wanted answers to the following queries:
1. Was the drive conducted by a mobile court or a special taskforce?
2. There are some rules and regulations regarding entering anyone’s house at night (from sunset to sunrise). In this case, were these rules followed and what measures were taken?
3. A huge force of 40 people went to the journalist’s house to catch him. Did they go there to arrest a wanted terrorist? According to the journalist’s wife, 40 to 50 people took part in the raid. Surely, they must have considered the matter to be very important. Why did they consider the matter to be very important?
4. Before conducting any drive, an executive magistrate of a mobile court needs to take notes on the information source. Who informed the mobile court?
5. According to the Mobile Court Act, an incident needs to take place in front of the executive magistrate to warrant action. In this case, what kind of incident took place?