It is not often that action is taken against law enforcers in Bangladesh for involvement in any crime, deliberate negligence of duties or aiding and abetting criminals. So the measures taken by the police, regarding the Sonagazi madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s murder, are exceptional.
The probe body formed by the police has found evidence of negligence and misconduct against four police officials. Moazzem Hossain, the officer-in-charge (OC) of Sonagazi police station at the time, has been temporarily suspended. A video of Moazzem interrogating Nusrat prior to her death, which went viral on social media, revealed that the former had taken the side of the madrasa principal Siraj Ud Doula who ordered the Nusrat murder. The probe body formed by the police headquarters also supported this allegation. According to the report, OC Moazzem Hossain and sub-inspector Iqbal Hossain helped each other in a bid to brand Nusrat murder as a suicide.
Two sub-inspectors of Sonagazi police station were temporarily suspended and Feni’s police super Jahangir Alam was being withdrawn and attached to another unit. Police headquarters said that the attachment was not a regular transfer, but part of punishment. According to the probe report, SP Jahangir was informed of Nusrat being set on fire, at around 10:00am but headed to Chattogram Hill Tracts instead of going to the spot. He, however, headed back to Feni halfway at the order of deputy inspector general of Chattogram range.
It is evident that the perpetrators and executors of the Nusrat killing were confident that powerful local police officials were with them. The killers had a sense of impunity due to support from these officials.
The temporary suspension of OC Moazzem Hossain and two sub-inspectors is correct. Such police officials not only hinder the rule of law but also encourage crime and criminals. Such officials are harmful to the police department. The image of the police department suffers for them as people lose trust in the police for their misdeeds. Police should get rid of such officials as they tarnish the police department.
We want to believe that punitive measures against these police officials will pave the way for justice in Nusrat’s case. For this, submitting a strong charge sheet and handling the case efficiently is a must. Also, the sincere commitment of the investigating officer and other concerned officers is a prerequisite.