‘Murdered’ girl found alive: High Court orders probe into fiasco

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Narayanganj has been asked to submit a report by Nov 4.

Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Mostafizur Rahman issued the order on Thursday.

The victim, suspects or the state may appoint a lawyer for them if they wish, the High Court said in its order.

Lawyer Mohammad Shishir Monir presented the revision petition in court while Deputy Attorney General Md Sarwar Hossain Bappy represented the state.

“The High Court ordered the chief judicial magistrate of Narayanganj to conduct an investigation. He will analyse the FIR and confessional statements given in the case. He will then prepare a report based on the statements of the victim, defendants and their lawyers,” Shihsir Monir told reporters.

The accused will be allowed to have their lawyers present while giving their statements, Monir said, citing the court order. State prosecutors can also be present when the statements are recorded.

“I  believe this is an unprecedented order as lawyers are usually not allowed to be present when statements are recorded.”

The 15-year-old girl went missing from her Deobhog home in the city on Jul 4, prompting her family to file a general diary and subsequently a case.

Police later arrested three auto-rickshaw drivers, ‘Rakib’, ‘Abdullah’ and ‘Khalil’, in connection with the incident. The trio subsequently gave ‘confessional statements’ to the court, where they claimed to have “dumped the girl’s body in the Shitalakkhya river after raping and murdering her.”

However, the girl later called her family on mobile phone on Aug 23 to tell them that she had eloped with a man named “Iqbal”.

It prompted the police to launch an investigation into allegations that a sub-inspector arrested the three men on fabricated charges.

Although the accused gave confessional statements to the court, their families allege they did so after the investigation officer, SI Shamim Al Mamun, tortured them and extorted Tk 47,000 from their families.

On Aug 25, five lawyers appealed to the High Court for a revision of the abduction case, raising questions on its legality and rationale. They sought to bring the case documents over.

The court later summoned two investigation officers in the case from Narayanganj on Aug 27, following an initial hearing.

SI Shamim was ordered to provide a written statement over the incident on Sept 17 while the new investigation officer Inspector Abdul Hai was directed to submit the case dossier.

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