The Financial Express

HC orders identification of ‘actual culprit’ in Shariatpur drugs case

| Updated: March 09, 2021 16:55:35

HC orders identification of ‘actual culprit’ in Shariatpur drugs case

The High Court (HC) has ordered a judicial inquiry to determine who the true culprit is between two men sharing the same first name of Manik in a narcotics-related case in Manikganj.

The top court also asked investigators to check if anyone other than the guilty had been arrested, reports bdnews24.com.

The investigation will be conducted by Shariatpur’s chief metropolitan magistrate or any other magistrate under his supervision. Sirajganj’s Special Tribunal-1 and the district superintendent of police were instructed to assist the probe.

A report must be submitted to the registrar general of the Supreme Court within 30 days.

Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam of the High Court issued the order along with a rule on Monday after a hearing on a writ petition challenging the arrest and detention of Manik Hawlader in place of Manik Mia.

The rule asked why the arrest and detention of Manik Hawlader without verifying his guilt would not be considered illegal and ultra vires.

The home secretary, the law secretary, the inspector general of police, the judge of Sirajganj’s Special Tribunal-1 chief judicial magistrate of Shariatpur, the deputy commissioners of Sirajganj and Shariatpur, the supervisor of Dhaka Central Jail and the OC of Shariatpur police were asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.

Lawyer Partha Sarathi Roy presented the petition in court while Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy represented the state.

“The next order has been set for Apr 12,” Partha said after the hearing.

“Both of them are named Manik. One is called Manik Mia and the other is Manik Hawlader. Manik Mia’s from the village of Byapari Kandi, while the other is from Alam Chan Byapari Kandi. Both of their hometown is Bhedarganj Upazila’s Shakhipur Union in Shariatpur.”

Manik Hawlader’s father is Nazrul Islam while Manik Mia’s is Ibrahim Mridha. However, the case dossier mentioned Manik Mia’s father to be Nazrul Hawlader, the lawyer said.

In June 2009, a case was filed with Sirajganj’s Salanga police against four individuals following the recovery of 668 bottles of the banned cough syrup Phensedyl from a car. Police later arrested Manik Mia, who was accused in the case.

Several days later, the High Court granted him bail and he has been on the run since then.

A Sirajganj court handed the four jail terms in February 2019. The accused are - Mantu Sheikh, also known as, Jamal Uddin, and Sohrab Hossain from Faridpur’s Alfadanga, Jamal Hossain from Patuakhali’s Baufal and Manik Mia.

Later in October that year, Sakhipur police received an arrest warrant for Manik Mia, son of Nazrul Hawlader from Byapari Kandi village sentenced to four years in jail in a drugs case by Sirajganj Special Tribunal-1.

Police then arrested Manik Hawlader on Nov 28 last year. He is currently in Sirajganj district jail.

His family filed a bail petition with the court Shariatpur judicial magistrate on Nov 30. They presented documents in favour of Manik Hawlader’s innocence in the plea.

The judge then instructed Assistant Deputy Inspector Shamsur Rahman, who issued the warrant, to present a written explanation of the matter.

Later on Dec 9, Shamsur appeared in front of the court and elaborated that the mistake occurred due to the similarity in the names of the one arrested and the accused.

On Mar 2, Manik Hawlader’s wife Salma Begum filed a writ petition with the High Court pleading for his release.

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