Trial of Humayun Azad murder remains incomplete

The trial in the sensational murder case of prominent writer and Dhaka University Professor Dr Humayun Azad is yet to be completed, eleven years since the incident.

The case currently remains pending with the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Session Judge’s Court in Dhaka.

On February 27, 2004, miscreants attacked the professor, stabbing him as he attempted to get on a rickshaw to go home from Ekushey Boi Mela on the Bangla Academy premises in the city.

After undergoing a series of treatments, he died of cardiac arrest during a visit to Munich, Germany on August 12 of the same year.

Following the incident, an attempted murder case was filed with Ramna police station against several unidentified people.

Three years after the incident, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Inspector Kazi Abdul Malek submitted the charge sheet on November 14, 2007, accusing five persons.

On October 24, 2009, Professor Azad’s brother Manzur Kabir filed another application, following which another Dhaka court ordered further investigation.

Later, on April 30, 2012, CID inspector Lutfor Rahman pressed fresh charges against five Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leaders and appealed to the court to turn the case into a murder case.

Later, on September 10, the court pressed charges against JMB leaders Mizanur Rahman alias Minhaz, Anwar Alam alias Anwar Hossain, Nur Mohammad Babu alias Sabu, Salauddin alias Salehin and Hafiz Mahmud.

The leaders are currently in jail except Salehin and Sabu, who are still at large. Minhaz and Anwar have given confessional statements before magistrates confessing their involvement in the incident.

However, the case still remains incomplete. Earlier, on February 20, 2014, the High Court directed the lower court to dispose the case within six months, expressing dissatisfaction over the lengthy proceedings.

Despite a year having passed since this direction, the trial is yet to gain momentum.

When contacted, Saiful Islam Helal, additional public prosecutor of the court told the Dhaka Tribune: “We are trying our level best to complete the trial soon.”

He said the blockade and hartal programmes have hampered the process of recording deposition of witnesses as jail authorities cannot produce the arrested before the court on security grounds.

Thirty-two out of 58 prosecution witnesses including the late professor’s daughter Mouli Azad have so far given depositions in the case. The next date for recording deposition of remaining prosecution witnesses is February 12.

Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

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