Man accused of arson while staying abroad

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Police accused a Bangladeshi returnee from UAE of exploding a crude bomb and hurling a fire bomb on a private car during the opposition enforced blockade in January although he was staying in Qatar at the time of the incidents. The police had arrested the man, Md Waliullah, aged 44, six days after he had returned from Qatar on January 27, branding him a member of Jamaat-e-Islami, an ally of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Waliullah had to languish in jail for more than a month until the metropolitan sessions judge’s court granted him bail on March 9 examining his passport. The sessions court ascertained that it was not true that the accused was involved in the offences of January 15 as the police stated in the forwarding report sent to the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court on February 4. ‘It is certain that the accused was not in Bangladesh on January 15, he was definitely in Qatar,’ said the court order granting his bail. The passport showed that Waliullah left Bangladesh for Qatar on December 31, 2014 and had retuned to Bangladesh on January 15, said the court. Waliullah’s uncle Mozaffar told New Age that the Kafrul police picked up his nephew from his rented house in Senpara Parbartapara on the night of February 2. Mozaffar, an Imam who administers prayers in a mosque in Mirpur, said that the police, immediately after his arrest, told him that Waliullah would be released if he was found innocent during the investigation. Mozaffar said he had to pay Tk 10,000 to the police after they said that if they were given the money, Waliullah would only be implicated in a case of public nuisance under Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance and would be quickly released. As the matter was leaked, police returned the money to the family and produced Waliullah in the magistrate’s court, two days after he had been detained although the law stipulates that an arrested man should be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours, Mozaffar said. The police then applied to the court for an order remanding him for five days so that he could be interrogated in the pending case filed involving exploding a crude bomb on a parked car owned by Rahmatullah, a resident of Section 10 in Karful. The magistrate’s court at that time rejected the petition for bail and the police’s prayer for his remand in custody. Mozaffar said that Waliullah was never involved in politics. Waliullah refused to comment on this matter but his wife told New Age that her husband had to appear in court once a month in connection with the explosive case, and even he could not stay in house fearing further harassment. Sub-inspector Mohammad Rakibul Islam at the Kafrul police station, who is investigating the case, told New Age on Tuesday, ‘It is our duty to arrest anyone suspected to have links with crime but the court takes a final decision on the basis of evidence.’ Rakibul, however, rejected Waliullah’s family allegation that the police demanded money and that his passport was showed to the police demanding his release. Supreme Court lawyer and director of School of Law at BRAC University Shahdeen Malik, told New Age on Wednesday such arbitrary use of law by the police takes place only when the state becomes ‘undemocratic’ and the authority functions beyond due process of law without maintaining ‘accountability’ and therefore, ‘the country is becoming a police state’. ‘This is becoming the way of extortion by the police through implicating innocent people in pending criminal cases,’ said Shahdeen. Around 19,000 people were arrested for violence related cases filed during the blockade and general strike in the period between January 5 and March 15, according to sources in the police headquarters. More than 1,500 cases were filed for the violence across the country while 367 others were filed for the violence in the capital. Of the cases, 3,000 people were named as accused while 4,000 others were made unidentified accused not mentioning their names.

Source: New Age