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Attack on Gaibandha Santals: No-confidence petition filed against CID charge sheet

  • Published at 03:11 pm January 5th, 2021
Santals demonstrate in front of the Gobindaganj upazila parishad
Santals demonstrate in front of the Gobindaganj upazila parishad, protesting the CID charge sheet on Monday January 4, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

Earlier, the PBI had submitted the first charge sheet and dropped the names of 11 main accused, prompting the Santals to file a no-confidence petition

Once again a no-confidence petition has been filed against the charge sheet submitted, this time by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), over the attacks on Santals in Gaibandha back in 2016.

Plaintiff Thomas Hembrom filed the petition at Gobindaganj Senior Judicial Magistrate Partha Bhadra’s court on Monday citing the charge sheet as unsatisfactory.

During the hearing, Supreme Court lawyer Adv Rafiq Ahmed Siraji, Gaibandha district judge court lawyer Murad Zaman Robbani and Gobindaganj court lawyer Foizul Alam Ronon were present on the behalf of the Santals.

Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, Adv Rafiq Ahmed Siraji said the key accused in the case had been dropped despite there being adequate evidence of his involvement. "Therefore, we have filed a no-confidence petition mentioning 16 points. The court says it will thoroughly review the charge sheet before holding a hearing in response to the petition."

“We have no confidence in the police or any of its investigation wings and so we have requested a direct judicial inquiry," the lawyer added.

Meanwhile, Santals under the Sahebganj-Bagda Bhumi Uddhar Sangram Committee organized a human chain in front of the Gobindaganj upazila parishad protesting the CID charge sheet.

The CID had filed the charge sheet at the Gobindaganj Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court on November 2, 2020.

Earlier, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) had submitted the first charge sheet against 90 accused on July 23, 2019 and dropped the names of 11 main accused, prompting the Santals to file a no-confidence petition on September 4, 2019 

The court later ordered the CID to conduct further investigation on December 23, 2019.

On November 26, 2016, Thomas Hembrom filed a case against 33 named and 500-600 unknown people who allegedly attacked the Santal Palli under Gaibandha's Gobindaganj upazila, set fire to their makeshift houses, looted their properties on November 6, 2016.

On that day, Santal families were ousted from the disputed Sahebganj-Bagda farmland, where Rangpur Sugar Mill was established during the Pakistan period.

The eviction took place following a violent clash between the dweller families, mill employees and police. Three Santal men were killed and 20 others, including nine policemen, were left injured in the incident.

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