Vol. 5 Num 286 Thu. March 17, 2005  

Wife says convict not the killer

The identity of a young man waiting to go to the gallows in a murder case was questioned in the High Court (HC) yesterday.

Rokeya Begum, the wife of Gazi Liaqat Hossain, who was murdered seven years ago in Old Dhaka, testified in the court that Shah Alam Babu, awarded the death penalty, was not among the killers of her husband nor an accused in the case.

"I've told the trial court during the deposition and also the investigation officer that Shah Alam Babu is not Sundar Babu who was among the killers. Three other prosecution witnesses also did not identify Shah Alam Babu in the dock as Sundar Babu. But the trial court did not pay heed to our depositions," Rokeya told the court.

Three lawyers linked with human rights bodies drew attention of media reports about miscarriage of justice and sought to right the wrong done during the whole trial process.

Gazi Liaqat Hossain, leader of transport workers, was shot dead at his house at Sutrapur on March 14, 1998. A case was filed and detective police officer Rezaul Karim investigated into the case and submitted charge sheet.

Media reports said that investigation officer Rezaul Karim, now officer-in-charge of Kamrangirchar Police Station, had placed Shah Alam Babu in place of Sundar Babu in the murder case to take revenge against him as he had a dispute with Shah Alam over a transaction of money.

After a lengthy hearing, Metropolitan Additional Sessions Judge Shamsul Alam Khan awarded death penalty to three persons, including the wrongly identified Shah Alam Babu, on August 18 last year.

Sundar Babu, who remained fugitive since the murder of Gazi Liaqat Hossain, was nabbed by Rab on February 13 while returning from the court after appearing in a criminal case. Police arrested him in another murder case. Sundar Babu is now in prison.

Taking cognizance of the submissions of Rokeya Begum, lawyers and media reports, the bench comprising Justice AK Badrul Huq and Justice M Fazlur Rahman observed, "We will see that the real culprit is brought to book and the innocent does not suffer."

The court set March 30 for order.