The arrested, Manik Hawladar, of Shariatpur’s Sakhipur union, has the same first name as the person against whom an arrest warrant was issued
A man has been languishing in jail for over three months after he was arrested in a case of mistaken identity, claim family members.
The arrested, Manik Hawladar, of Shariatpur’s Sakhipur union, has the same first name as the person against whom an arrest warrant was issued.
The real convict, Manik Miya, is a resident of the same union and a fugitive in a narcotics case. His father is Ibrahim Mridha and his mother is Lutfa Begum.
Confirming the matter, his father Ibrahim Mridha told Dhaka Tribune: “My son is the real convict, not Manik Hawladar. It is not right for an innocent man to serve jail time.”
According to police and family sources, on June 2, 2009, Manik Miya, along with three others, was apprehended by RAB 12 in Sirajganj with phensedyl in his possession.
After he was handed over to Salanga police station there, Manik Miya faked his identity. He put his name down as Manik Hawladar and faked his parents’ names and address.
After a few days in jail, he managed to acquire bail and went on the run ever since.
On February 11, 2019, Judge Fahmida Quader of Special Tribunal 1 handed down the verdict after nearly 10 years of litigation. The verdict had sentenced each of the four accused to four years in prison.
On September 9 of the same year, an arrest warrant was issued and sent to Sakhipur police station.
Subsequently, police arrested Manik Hawladar, son of late Nazrul Islam and Rezia Begum of Beparikandi village, from his home on November 28, 2020.
He was sent to Shariatpur Jail first and later to Sirajganj jail, where he is currently imprisoned.
Manik Hawladar's lawyer Partho Sarathi Roy said: “There can be many people with the same name. It is up to the police to check whether that person is a criminal or not. Manik Hawladar explained the matter and showed his national identity card to the police, but they did not listen.”
He added that Manik Hawladar's wife Salma Begum had filed a writ petition with the High Court on March 2 seeking her husband's release. The hearing was held before the bench of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Khairul Alam on March 3.”
Manik Hawladar's wife Salma Begum said: “I have spent all my money trying to free my husband. Now, I am in trouble with my four children. I want my husband released and I want compensation for my loss.”
In this regard, Superintendent of Police SM Ashrafuzzaman said: “The case is 12 years old. At that time Sakhipur was not under a separate police station. The area was under Bhedharganj police station. There were various complications and the matter did not even come to my notice. The court wanted a report on the matter and so we provided one. If there is any negligence on the part of the police, necessary action will be taken.”
Previously, in a sensational case of mistaken identity, jute mill worker Jahalam was sued in 33 cases for loan fraud and embezzlement of Tk18.5 crore from Sonali Bank Limited, leading to his imprisonment for three years. He was in jail since February 2016, while the real accused, Abu Salek, is still absconding.
He was freed from jail on February 4, 2019, after the High Court acquitted him in 26 cases in which charges were pressed.