South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The government official, commissioned by the home ministry to probe the Rab firing on Limon Hossain, visited the place of occurrence and talked to a number of “witnesses” in Jhalakathi yesterday.

Limon is yet to be released from the prison ward at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, as copies of the bail order have not yet reached the Barisal central jail even three days after the High Court issued the directive on Thursday.

Limon’s family members and villagers alleged that the investigator and Barisal Additional Divisional Commissioner Shawkat Akbar, accompanied by the upazila nirbahi officer and Rajpur police officials, only talked to Rab sources, not any witnesses to the incident.

“The officials did not talk to us. Instead, they talked to people known as Rab sources, who had been waiting on the spot for the officials since morning,” said Limon’s mother Henoara Begum.

However, Shawkat told The Daily Star that he spoke to 13 to 15 witnesses at Jomaddar Hatkhola of Chhaturia village.

“I talked to those people, who approached us spontaneously to give deposition. I don’t know whether any of them is Limon’s family member or not,” he said.

“No deadline has been set for submission of probe report. I hope to turn in the report to the ministry by next week after further investigation,” the official said.

The home ministry initiated the probe after the High Court in a ruling asked the government to investigate the matter and submit a report.

Limon’s mother, who filed a case against six Rab personnel in connection with the incident, said the investigator talked to local drug peddlers Manik Jamaddar, Badsha Akond and Monir Hasan Tuhin, known as Rab sources in the area.

The investigator also recorded statements of local union parishad chairman Siddikur Rahman, Minara Begum, Abul Kalam, Hosne Ara Begum, Masudur Rahman, Rasul and others, who are witnesses in the cases that Rab filed against Limon.

Henoara and locals said the Rab sources gave the investigator a false account of a “gunfight” between Rab and criminals, and told him that Limon had links with notorious criminal Morshed Jamaddar.

When Limon’s maternal grandfather Nazim Howladar, who was present there, protested their statements, the sources quickly left the place, they said.

The 16-year-old college student still languishes at the hospital’s prison ward, as copies of the bail order are yet to reach Barisal prison.

Md Sagir Mia, senior superintendent at Barisal jail, said if they receive the bail order today, Limon will be released immediately.

A Rab team shot Limon in the left leg while he was on his way to bring back a herd of cattle home at Chhaturia village on March 23. The leg had to be amputated.

Source: The Daily Star – 09.05.2011