Saturday, March 2, 2024

Citizens seek fresh probe

A citizens and right activists’ group on Thursday demanded an immediate, fresh impartial investigation of the Limon Hossain episode and justice for him with the withdrawal of cases filed against him and the family to set an example of the rule of law in society.
Limon was shot at by the Rapid Action Battalion when he was grazing cattle in his village, Saturia at Rajapu in Jhalakati on March 23, 2011.
Members of the citizens’ group expressed their sympathy and solidarity with Limon and attended the daylong series of programmes such as visit to the house of Limon and the place where the battalion shot at him, a human chain and a rally in front of the Jhalakathi Press Club, discussions, and exchange of views with the local elite in the district bar association and the press club and with the district and the police administration.
Barisal division unit of the Human Rights Defenders’ Forum organised the programmes.
The human chain in front of the press club held in the morning was presided over by local cultural and rights activist Kazi Shafikul Islam in the presence of the victim Limon Hossain and his mother Henoara Begum.
Along with the local elites and right activists the programmes were attended and addressed among others by
Rights activists Khushi Kabir and Hamida Hossain, Nina Goswami of Ain o Salish Kendra, economist MM Akash; Rafique Siraji of the Association for Land Reform and Development, Rejaul Karim of the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Rahnuma Ahmed of Drik, Jahangirnagar University teacher Nasim Akhter Hossain, Masud Imran Mannu, Anwarul Bhuiya Tapan, and Parveen Jolly, Rajshahi University teacher Abdullah Al Mamun; writers Aditi Falguni and Hana Shams Ahmed, artist Arup Rahee; Zunayed Saki of Gana Sanghati, Taslima Akhter of Biplabi Nari Sanghati, journalist Sushmita Mridha, political rights activist Baki Billah also attended and spoke at the programme.
Khushi Kabir said, ‘We have seen various forces working against Limon and the family. We want the government to clear its stand on the issue as its action in this regard has differed at times.’
Limon not getting justice will set a negative example in society and frustrate the nation’s aspirations for democracy and the upholding of rights, particularly constitutional rights, and the equality under the law, MM Akash said. No organ and force should ever enjoy any indemnity against the violation of any rights, he added.
‘It has been 18 months since the 16-year old college student Limon Hossain lost his leg after being shot at. None of the five investigation reports have yet been made public and no justice has been done to the family and there has been no apology from the offenders,’ Hamida Hossain said.
The submission of two charge sheets in cases filed against against Limon, clearing the battalion of its involvement in the incident on the grounds that there were no witness and evidence, attack on Limon’s family on Eid day and their implication in a ‘murder case’ by a battalion informer, Md Ibrahim Howlader, who was also the 17th witness in the case that the battalion filed against Limon etc, have been done to intimidate and silence Limon and the family and to create a culture of fear in the locality, the speakers observed.
The incidents show that the way Limon is being harassed relentlessly reflects badly on the state’s role as the protector of its citizens and the state of rule of law, human rights, civil liberty and even democracy, they observed.
Limon said, ‘I have stopped having a normal life after the Rapid Battalion shot at me. I, however, hope for a fair investigation to bring the people responsible for this to justice.’
‘In the case my mother filed, the police submitted a false investigation report by concealing the truth to prove RAB innocent. A murder case has also been filed against my parents, brother and uncle,’ he said.
He demanded withdrawal of the cases against him and the family and an impartial investigation.

Courtesy of New Age

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