Rokshana Yesmin :
Amid a strange silence for the last few days, police finally submitted charge sheet against 24 people including Ayesha Siddika Minni in a case filed for killing Rifat Sharif in broad daylight in Barguna town on June 26.
Inspector Humayun Kabir, an investigation officer of the case, submitted the charges to the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Sirajul Islam Gazi.
Two days earlier, the High Court today granted bail to Ayesha Siddika Minni in her husband Rifat Sharif murder case on conditions that she will remain in her father’s custody and that she cannot talk to media. If Minni violates the conditions, her bail will be canceled, the court said. (Source Daily Star).
We are going through different problems. Death of Rifat, Nushrat and Renu have shocked the nation. Dengue outbreak made people worried and Rohingya people are becoming a grave concern for us. It seems, there is no single good news for the nation.
But, I have been thinking of Ayesha Sidfique Minni for the last few days. How is the girl? Will she able to fight with the local influential, who are apparently trapping her in a murder case? Really, I do not know anything. What is happening behind the scenes?
An online portal has made a news a few days back that Minni was tortured severely in police custody. When family members of Minni went to meet her, Minni broke down into tears saying that she has been tortured on cell as some policemen wanted to make her an accused in the murder case of his husband Rifat.
While talking to journalists, Minni’s mother Jinat Jahan broke down into tears and said, “Policemen led by a sub-inspector had tortured my daughter inhumanly.”
Quoting Minni, she said police asked her to memories a script written by them and also asked her to give it as a statement.
“They tortured Minni unless she gave the statement accordingly,” said Jinat.
A local terrorist group led by Nayon Bond hacked Rifat Sharif to death in the broad daylight on June 26. Throughout the day, all media released news saying that a man was hacked to death in front of his wife. His wife tried her best to save her husband but could not save her husband and eventually the man died. Everybody on social media was very sympathetic towards the couple, expressing sorrow for them.
But, the scenario has changed following the day when people started the character assassination of Minni. They started making question why Minni was adorning kohl when Rifat was killed?
I want to say, women, as well as girls, love to adorn kohl as I do. Their criticism got a boost with an intimate video of Minni and Nonyon. Many people expressed doubt whether the video was of them or not. If the people seen in the video footage were Noyon and Minni, what is the problem? They were a couple and they got involved in sexual intercourse like other couples and it is normal, if not it is abnormal.
I got astonished when Rifat’s father formed a human chain and demanded punishment of Minni claiming that she was involved in the killing of his son.
At last, Minni was arrested. I would like to say that she was arrested as the police wanted to save a section of influential people. Afterward, Minni was produced before a court, but her family failed to appoint any lawyer because there was no lawyer who was eager to deal with the case in favor of her.
Mozzamel Hosaain, the father of Minni, alleged that no lawyer wanted to stand for his daughter due to pressure from influential people especially local lawmaker Dhirendra Devnath Sombhu since his son Sunam Devnath was involved in the killing.
Renewed lawyers of the country opined that it is the constitutional right of an accused to get a lawyer. They also rebuked lawyers of Barguna for not standing in favor of Minni.
According to article 33(1) of the constitution, an arrested person should be taken no longer in police custody unless he/she was apprised of the arrest and the person should be given right to appoint a lawyer or defend himself or herself.
Then, many human rights organization said if they needed would appoint a lawyer for Minni.
Former law minister Shafiq Ahmed said, “If anybody wants legal assistance it is the moral obligation of a lawyer to help his/her. If any lawyer refuses to help Minni and his family, they should go to bar council tribunal and write a complaint against the lawyer concerned.” If Minni does not get any lawyer, the court will appoint a state appoint lawyer for them, he said. (Source : Daily Samakal).
Afterward, we heard that Minni had regular contact with Nayon and she used to visit the house of Noyon.
Noyon’s mother claimed that Minni used to visit their house frequently and their relationship was similar to other couples.
I have a question why Noyon family allowed them to do so? If she did not allow them, her son would have been alive.
Minni’s father, as well as the locals, alleged that Minni was trapped in the case as local lawmaker’s son Sunam was found in video footage taking part in the killing and a vested quarter wants to save him.
Sunam is known as a godfather in Barguna and the terrorist group of Noyon was formed with the patronization of Sunam.
Noyon along with his gang had been running drug trading smoothly in the locality with help of Sunam. Some people are saying that Barguna police administration is working in favor of Sunam.
Police claimed that Minni confessed her involvement in the killing. Police can say when and in which situation Minni confessed this to them. Police said they have proof that Minni had a conversation with killers in which it was established that Minni was the mastermind of the murder.
It may be right. But this claim has to be proved through proper investigation.
In the recent past, we saw police made an innocent Judge Mia compelled to confess his involvement in the grenade attack of August 21, 2004. Later on, it was revealed.
It was revealed as Awami League came to power in 2009. If not Judge Mia might be executed by this time.
I am not saying that Minni is innocent. Minni may be involved in multiple relationships simultaneously and I have a moral obligation with it. She along with Noyon and his gang might have killed Rifat. I am not blowing off anything. If Minni is a murderer, she must get punishment; there is no other option.
But I am worried thinking will she get justice? Media can play a vital role in this regard so that no influential person can trap her and manipulate the entire trial process.
It is said, “Let hundred guilt be acquitted, but one innocent should not be convicted.
In criminal law, Blackstone’s ratio is the idea that: It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. And we have to keep this in mind.
Rokshana Yesmin studied MS in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Dhaka. She has been working as a journalist for the last 18 years. Apart from this, she is involved in social movements, especially women’s rights movements. She regularly writes columns on women and children’s issues.