Wednesday, June 26, 2024

JS panel wants action against Fakhruddin, Moeen

A parliamentary subcommittee set up to investigate the August 20-22, 2007 violence in Dhaka and Rajshahi universities on Thursday put into the final form its report recommending action against former chief adviser to the caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed and former army chief Moeen U Ahmed.
The committee also suggested action against former adviser MA Matin, also a retired major general, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence directors retired major general ATM Amin and retired brigadier general Chowdhury Fazlul Bari, former inspector general of police Nur Mohammad, then DGFI officials Colonel Shamsul Alam Khan and Major Quamrul, committee sources said.
The report also recommended amendment to the warrant of precedence putting the position of people’s representatives before Armed Forces officials.
It also called for enactment of laws to make it mandatory for anyone, if summoned, to appear before the parliamentary committees.
The subcommittee earlier summoned top executives of the country to face interrogation.
It also recommended an end to torture in custody, especially the task forces interrogation cell and the joint interrogation cell.
The subcommittee also recommended amending and updating the 1973 ordinances to run the universities of Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar.
The subcommittee also called for cancelling the punishment courts ordered against students and teachers as the cases, the government earlier decided not to continue with, were not withdrawn.
After the 11th meeting of the subcommittee in the standing committee room, its chief Rashed Khan Menon, also chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the education ministry, said, ‘We have recommended actions against anyone responsible for the repression on students.’
‘The committee recommended punishment against the people it considered responsible for the incidents. We also suggested warning all concerned about dealing with such situations and recommended preventive measures so that such incident never takes place in future,’ he said.
Menon said that the report would be placed at the meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on the education ministry on December 21 for the final approval and after a scrutiny, it would be submitted to the house in the next session. The report contains 13 recommendations and 11 observations.
Menon declined to divulge the report. ‘It would not be wise to talk about it before its submission to the standing committee.’
He said that the depositions of the people before the subcommittee would also be annexed to its report along with the video footage of the incidents of violence.
The sources said that although the committee had initially recommended action against the people responsible for the violence and torture on students ‘as per the Code of Criminal Procedure’ the words were later changed to ‘as per existing laws.’
The committee also recommended that the treatment cost and compensation for the people injured in the violence should be realised from the people who had tortured them.
The report also recommended that the establishment of any military camp on university campuses should be approved by the syndicate of the specific university. It also called for strengthening the proctorial bodies of the universities.
The committee also asked the government to provide appropriate compensation for the family of rickshaw-puller Anwar, who was killed during the violence in Rajshahi.
Dhaka University students took to the streets in protest at assault of their fellows by soldiers in the university playground on August 20 and continued going on demonstrations demanding withdrawal of the army camp from the campus and an apology from the troops in August 20, 2007.
They clashed with police for the two days in which more than 250 people, mostly students, were injured.
Some army men beat up three students and insulted a teacher during a football match on the university gymnasium field.
As violence swept through educational institutions in the capital and elsewhere, the government ordered a curfew for all divisional headquarters and closed universities and colleges in the places on August 22.
Security personnel on August 24 picked up five teachers — two of Dhaka University and three of Rajshahi University — and took them to unspecified places for interrogation.
More than 80,000 unnamed people were also sued in seven cases on charge of creating ‘anarchy.’
The administration ordered withdrawal of the army camp from the Dhaka University campus and initiated a judicial investigation of the violence.
Four teachers and ten students of Rajshahi University and three teachers and five students of Dhaka University were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on charges of violating the Emergency Powers Rules.
Amid strong criticism at home and abroad, the government arranged a presidential clemency for the teachers and students and set them free in December 2007 and January 2008.
The teachers and students, however, appealed against their conviction and the courts in Rajshahi and Dhaka had already overturned the verdicts that had convicted them.

-With New Age input

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