Though almost eight years have elapsed since the brutal killing of six students on the night of Shab-e-Barat in 2011 at Aminbazar in the capital, the families of the victims are yet to get justice.
Sources said the case still remains pending with Dhaka Second Additional District and Sessions Judge’s Court due mainly to non-appearance of witnesses.The trial in the case started with recording of deposition of plaintiff Sub-Inspector Anwar Hossain of Savar police station as the first prosecution witness on October 30, 2013, but the deposition recording is yet to be completed.
The court has recorded testimonies of 52 out of 92 witnesses since the trial started five years ago in the much-talked about case.
Prosecution alleged that they cannot complete the case due to non-appearance of one of the investigation officers in the case.
The recording of deposition of first investigation officer (IO) Motiur Rahman concluded on November 11 last year, and since then the prosecution has kept summoning another investigation office and CID’s former ASP Sirajul Haque, but he is yet to appear before the court to testify.
Public Prosecutor Shakila Jesmin Mitu said: “We have recorded testimonies of 52 witnesses including first IO Motiur Rahman and the recording of deposition would be concluded through depositions of the rest two IOs —Sirajul Haque and RAB ASP Sharif Uddin Ahmed — in the sensational murder case.
The first IO testified in November last year but the second one Sirajul Haque is not coming to the court to testify despite summons one after another in the last six months, she said.“We are hopeful that the IO will appear before the court on the next date April 28 and the verdict in the case would be delivered soon after completion of the depositions of the two IOs,” Mitu added.
The victim family members alleged that taking the advantage of delay in the trial, the 49 accused in the case including prime suspect Abdul Malek are now enjoying a free life after getting bail while nine others accused are still on the run.
The accused are also giving threat to the family members of the victims in different ways, they added.
On the night of Shab-e-Barat of July 18, 2011, seven friends — students of different academic institutions in Dhaka — went to Bardeshi village near Aminbazar bridge under Savar police station in Dhaka to travel.
A gang called Bardeshi villagers saying they had caught a group of ‘robbers’. Then the villagers beat up the youths and this was how the murders were labelled by the accused as an incident of mob beating.
The dead students were Tipu Sultan of Tejgaon College, Towhidur Rahman Palash, Kamruzzaman Kanto and Ibrahim Khalil of Mirpur Bangla College, Shams Rahim Shamam of Maple Leaf International School and Sitaf Jabi Munif of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology.
But their friend Al Amin, who was also with them, is the lone survivor.
Talking to the correspondent, Al-Amin said: “We had tried to make the gang understand that we are students, not criminals, but they did not listen to us.”
“Several persons called villagers, saying they have caught robbers and all of a sudden, they began to beat us brutally, and my six friends died on the spot due to the mob beating but I survived luckily,” he said.
“I want justice.”
Victim Kanto’s father transport businessman Abdul Kader Suruj said: “So far as I know, the case is now pending with the court due to non-appearance of investigation officer. I want quick disposal of the case.”
Seeking justice over the killing of his son, Suruj also alleged that after coming out of jail on bail, the accused are giving threat to them in different ways.
Talking to this correspondent, another victim Tipu Sultan’s father Sheikh Abdur Rashid said: “We are waiting for justice for the past eight years, but the trial is yet to be completed.”
Expressing disappointment over the slow trial process, Rashid, also a freedom fighter, said victim Ibrahim Khalil’s mother Beauty Begum died several months ago and earlier victim Sitaf’s parents also died without seeing the justice.
After the incident, police filed the murder case with Savar police station accusing 500-600 unidentified villagers of Bardashi village.
On January 13, 2013, RAB submitted a charge sheet in the case while the trial started through framing charges against the accused on October 30, 2013.
A total of 14 accused have given their confessional statements before the court in the case admitting their involvement with the incident.