The deputy commissioner (DC) of Jhalakathi has advised Limon Hossain to apply for clemency in the two cases Rab filed against him hours after he had been shot and maimed by some of the elite force members.
The Rapid Action Battalion on March 23 last year charged the college student with possessing firearm in one case and with obstructing law enforcers from conducting their duties in another.
Limon told The Daily Star that DC Ashok Kumar Biswas had also assured him of sending a recommendation based on his application to the home ministry to withdraw the cases. But for that Ashok put a condition that Henoara Begum, Limon’s mother, has to withdraw the case she had filed with Rajapur Police Station, accusing six Rab personnel of attempting to murder her son.
The unexpected move was made on October 24. Kabir, the official chauffeur of the Kawkhali upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), around 11:00am on the day informed Limon that UNO Rafiqul Islam would like to have a talk with him. Soon after Limon and his mother went to meet the UNO at his residence, Ashok reached there. The meeting lasted for nearly two hours when the DC placed his proposal.
Hamida Hossain, chairperson of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), the organisation that has been giving legal aid to Limon, told The Daily Star that Rab should conduct an investigation and hold the people responsible to keep its image intact.
“If they [authorities] know that the cases against Limon are made up, why shouldn’t they withdraw the cases?” she said.
Nur Khan, acting executive director of ASK, said such a conditional approach indicated the government’s intention.
“It is unethical and deprives a person of his right to justice.”
Nur also said such proposals put great mental pressure on Limon who, in fear of persecutions at his village of Jhalakathi, had been staying in a rented room in Kawkhali and continuing his study in Kathalia PGS Bilateral High School and College.
Asked, DC Ashok said he had coincidentally met Limon and his mother at the UNO’s residence.
“Limon is suffering because he somehow got involved in an incident. I told them [Limon and his mother] that they had the legal right to apply for clemency and this would help the young man continue his studies unhindered.
“But obviously Henoara Begum would have to withdraw her case.”
Limon said he wanted justice.
“Through justice I want to ensure that nobody else in the country suffers the way I am suffering.”
The Rab shooting happened on March 23, last year when he was fetching cattle from a field near his house in Chhaturia village of Rajapur upazila.
Meanwhile, Rajapur police on August 14 submitted a report to the Jhalakathi court, clearing all the six Rab personnel of the charges brought by Henoara. She then officially filed an objection to the police report. The court will give a direction on the objection on December 12.