By Jahangir Alam Akash, Bangladesh is a country where there is no right to life. By the various way this right has been violating there. The causes of violation to this right are death penalty, extra judicial killings etc. Here is a common practice of death penalty and killings without justice. Every year many peoples are killed by death penalty and by the extra judicial killings. How many people have killed since independence to till today we don’t have this statistics. It is no doubt that, death penalty is one kind of killing.
Recently five persons were killed in death penalty within a day in Bangladesh. On 28th January, 2010 Bangladesh was executed this death penalty which decision was made by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. The killed persons were self declared killers of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabondhu is the father of the nation of Bangladesh. Though, question has arisen on the execution procedure of this death penalty.
I want to inform some statistics on Bangladesh to the national and international community. Especially it for the human rights organization and bodies which are working national and international level for the human rights. We have been seeing and reading the news on death penalty almost every week from Bangladesh which was declared by several courts for various charges.
Only by extra judicially at least 1,600 people were killed in Bangladesh since 2004. 58 persons were killed during the ‘Operation clean heart’ in 2002 led by army. We couldn’t remember the horrible mass killings in so-called mutiny at BDR headquarters on 25-26 February, 2009. By that mutiny at least 74 were killed inhumanly including 57 meritorious army officers. After that mutiny at least 71 BDR members was died (Source: the daily Bhorer Kagoj, 25 February, 2010). Most of the died BDR were tortured before death, it was alleged.
Anyhow, execution of death penalty is very inhuman, degrading and cruel. And no where it approved. Especially it is prohibited by the Constitution and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. But, Bangladesh has executing the death penalty as normal.
According to the Spinney Press, The UN reaffirmed and strengthened its position against the death penalty in December 2007 when the General Assembly passed a resolution calling upon member states to establish a moratorium on executions “with a view to abolishing the death penalty.” Evidence from around the world has shown that the death penalty has no unique deterrent effect on crime. Many people have argued that abolishing the death penalty leads to higher crime rates, but studies in the USA and Canada, for instance, do not back this up. In November 2009 the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 was introduced before the House of Representatives. The legislation fulfils Australia’s obligations under the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which requires Australia to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty. As a consequence, the death penalty will not be able to be re-introduced anywhere in Australia. Although the world is gradually moving towards abolition of capital punishment, in 2008 an estimated 1,718 people were executed in 25 countries and at least 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries. Three quarters of those executions took place in Asia, with China carrying out more executions than the rest of the world’s nations put together. Since 1967 when the last Australian (Ronald Ryan) was hanged, the Australia has maintained a policy of opposition to the death penalty. (It was written in the book-’The death penalty’).
According to this book, most of the executions in 2008 were carried out in Asia, where 11 countries continue to practise the death penalty: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Viet Nam. China alone accounted for at least 1,718 executions – although the figure is believed to be much higher as statistics on death sentences and executions remain state secrets. The Middle East and North Africa was the region with the second highest number of executions (508). In Iran, stoning and hanging were among the cruel and inhumane methods used, with at least 346 people put to death, including eight juvenile offenders. In Saudi Arabia, where execution is usually by public beheading, at least 102 people were executed. In the Americas, only the USA consistently executes people, with 37 executions carried out in 2008 including more in Texas than in any other state. The release of four men from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence brings to more than 120 the number of such cases released since 1975. The only other country in the Americas to execute in 2008 was St Kitts and Nevis, the first Caribbean state to carry out an execution since 2003.
According to the Amnesty International, 93 percents of the world death penalty has executed in China including other four countries. DW-Bengali online section writes (25-2-2010), the European Union was published a declaration on an anti-death penalty. Europe is the first place which is a death penalty free. A proposal of European on anti-death penalty in the Human Rights Commission of Geneva and general assembly of UNO in 1998, was spoiled by the contradictory of USA, China, Africa and some countries of Asia. Though, in 2007 that proposal was passed in general assembly of UNO. And the 58 percents people of China are support to death penalty. In the mean time 93 countries have already abolished to death penalty by making the law. At least 141 country haven’t giving death penalty, now.
We know the Italy has a historical background on anti-death penalty movement. So, we want to thanks and salute to the Italy as well as the countries of European Union for their dedications to the right to life and for the human rights.
Our hope, Bangladesh should obey to national and international treaties and declaration for human rights. And Bangladesh government should abolish the death penalty system immediately. If they have believe a little bit on human rights.
Archive for February, 2010
By Jahangir Alam Akash, Just now Indigenous-Tribal communities have been cleaning by the government and Bangalee people who were taken shelter in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). It was totally illegal. The local people think that, only for that the present problem has arisen. Most important Land Commission for CHT hasn’t functioned yet. Though, it was put inside of the peace treaty. And it is a very burning and demanding issue from the Indigenous people of CHT. Hundreds houses including Buddhist temple and church were burnt. Bangalee settler and army men together attacked on Indigenous people. At a stage the Indigenous people were starting fought with them.
The government has totally failed to protect the houses and lives of Indigenous of CHT. Not only that, within 12 years the government couldn’t fulfill the peace treaty. At the present time the CHT has been bleeding and burning. There is a horrible situation going on. The Indigenous people are living inhuman condition. After set fire they don’t have food and housings. On the other hand, torturing, burning, killings and mass arresting have been going on the Indigenous people. The local Indigenous people are panic and threatening by Curfew. On 23rd February curfew was imposed there.
According to the unheard voice, on 19-20 February 2010 massive communal attack on Jumma villages was made by military forces and Bengali settlers at Baghaihat area of Sajek union under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. It is reported that at 8 Jumma villagers including a woman were killed and 25 Jumma villagers wounded in this attack. It is learnt that around 200 houses of Jumma villagers including Buddhist temple and church were completely burnt into ashes.
Various sources told, the Bangalee settlers tried to make a house on the land of Indigenous people on 19th February, 2010 at afternoon. Then the Indigenous people protested against making house by Bangalee. The Bangalee were making their house with the helped of Army. It was at Gangaram area. In the night again the Bangalee people were started set fire on the houses of Indigenous people under Jumma village. Again the Bangalee people were attacked on Indigenous at morning on 2oth February. In that morning Indigenous people were gathered to protest against attack on them. Then the armies were started fired on the Indigenous people.
After that the agitations were spread out to the other areas of CHT. The violence’s turned towards Khagrachori. Then administration imposed section144 at 2.00pm of 23rd February, 2010. But the violence was spreading rapidly to other areas of CHT. Government was taken a decision to imposed curfew on 23rd February.
According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), about 100 indigenous tribal peoples including 40 from Khabhampujjya area under Khagrachari district were arrested early this morning on the eve of the visit of Home State Minister.
But, according to the English newspaper the daily Star (24-2-2010), Joint forces members during the overnight 10-hour curfew arrested 70 people, including 42 indigenous and 28 Bangalee settlers, from Khagrachhari district town and its adjacent areas. On 23rd February another killed as identified Anwar, son of Rawshan Ali. Twenty vehicles were also vandalized during the violence in the district headquarters. A number of journalists, including Talat Mamun (NTV), were among the injured. Bangalee settlers allegedly broke the cameras of Channel I and Desh TV when camera crew Dilip Chowdhury and Mongsapru Marma were filming the violance.
Exactly, how many Indigenous were killed in six days long violence yet not clear. But, the villagers told, at least six were killed. The killed are Buddha Pudi Chakma, 30, Laxmi Bijoy Chakma, 30, Banashanti Chakma, 23Liton Chakma, 34, Debendra Chakma, 43 and Notunjoy Chakma, 28. The seriously injured indigenous persons are Prem Lal Chakma (26), Dari Chakma (40), Sushil Jibon Chakma (32), Shanta Shil Chakma, Mrittunjoy Chakma, Amar Jiban Chakma (30), Nibesh Chakma (35), Jitendra Chakma (35). On the other hand, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) claimed that at least eight indigenous people were killed and other 25 were seriously wounded.
A Background history of CHT violence was written by unheard voice. They wrote, Bangladesh military forces undertook plan to settle down the infiltrated Bengali families along the roadsides of Sajek road from Baghaichari to Gangaram Mukh in 2005. It is also mentionable that thousands of indigenous Jumma families have been living in this area for decades long. Hence, Jumma villagers of these areas have been protesting against this illegal settlement programme. Despites the protesting, in 2008 Bengali settlers illegally constructed some houses at Gangaram area on the land owned by Jumma villagers. At a stage on 20 April 2008 the Bengali settlers with the direct support of army of Baghaihat zone attacked on the 7 villages of indigenous Jumma peoples and at least 76 houses of indigenous villagers were completely burnt to ashes. Again, since starting of January 2010, Bengali settlers with the support of Baghaihat army zone resumed expansion of their settlement in Sajek area under Baghaichari upazila in Rangamati district. A number of houses have already been erected by the Bengali settlers occupying Jumma villagers’ land. The villagers, under the banner of Sajek Bhumi Rakkha Committee, submitted a memorandum to the Baghaichhari UNO on 10 January 2010 with an ultimatum of 16 January 2010 to return them their lands. As the deadline expired without any fruitful result on 16 January, Jumma villagers started their agitation and started to boycott Baghaihat market from 18 January 2010. On the other, on 25 January 2010 the PCJSS sent a letter to the Home Minister with copy to State Minister of CHT Affairs Ministry and other concerned government authorities demanding to stop settlement prgramme and to withdraw Bengali settlers from Baghaihat area. However, government did not take any measure in this regard.
According to the New Age (23-2-2010), at least 1,500 ethnic minority people of 300 families in nine villages were displaced after their houses were burnt down allegedly by Bengali settlers.
Here mentioned that, former Awami League government singed the CHT peace treaty in 1997 to establish peace in CHT. But, the treaty wasn’t fulfill yet as fully. We know very well that, justice delayed and justice denied is a common true in Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh could never saw justice especially those who are oppressed they have waiting to see real justice. Indigenous-Christian leader Choles Richil, Alfred Soren were murdered. But, yet not finish trial against killers.
Most of the national and international human rights and different socio-cultural and political organizations demanded to find out the root cause of the violence. They also demanded to judicial enquiry of the violence. But we don’t want to say like them. We want to say Bangladesh should practice of rule of law, good governance and democratic practice especially in politics and governing. Then, the oppressed community would get justice automatically.
By Jahangir Alam Akash, Another person was killed in extra judicially in Bangladesh. Today on 24th February, 2010 it happened by police at Pangsha of Rajbari. (Source: the daily Star, internet edition, 24-2-2010)
The killed was identified as Ramzan Ali. With this killing, 153 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Please read more on extra judicial killings:https://jaakash.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/is-rab-a-%e2%80%98god%e2%80%99-in-bangladesh/
By Jahangir Alam Akash, The power of RAB is stronger than government. Is it true for Bangladesh? Or is RAB a ‘God’ in Bangladesh? Or the government himself wants to continue extra judicial killings? Many questions are rounding in our minds. Because, High Court orders, national and international voice against extra judicial killings, Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights nowhere allowed killings and torturing. Even torturing is prohibited of the religion. In spite of they are doing this inhuman work continuously.
Today on 23rd February, 2010 another person was killed by RAB-police in extra judicially. The killed is Saidul Islam in Kushtia. Before this killing on 15 February, 2010 another was killed by RAB at Kafrul in Dhaka. The killed was identified as Parvez. Osman Goni was killed by RAB-police on 30 January of this year at Dakshin Rangamatia village in Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong. After passing the order against extra judicial killings by high court how could law enforcers killing one after another in extra judicially?
With these killing, 152 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killing have been going on by the violating of highest court ruling ordered. Not only have that by this killing the Bangladesh government is violating the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Actually there is (Bangladesh) no right to life.
The term “extrajudicial killing” means execution without justice. This is a grave human rights violation. It’s both a violation of Bangladesh’s constitution and of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these types of killings still occur frequently in Bangladesh.
The State Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh openly support the extrajudicial killings, despite the fact that Bangladesh signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Torture. Not only that, the constitution of Bangladesh also safeguards the right to life.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2004. According to Art. 35(5) of the constitution of Bangladesh and Art. 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” And according to Art. 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” But, in practice, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh.
We can see that state institutions such as the judiciary, the rule of law, regulations, the constitution and the national assembly have been disabled. The media’s role regarding extrajudicial killings covered up under reports of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters” is negative and constrained. The media has only been publishing the normal reports about these encounters filed by the RAB or the police themselves.
A few human rights organizations have long been asking the government to stop the killings, terming them “extrajudicial”. Moreover, the High Court of Bangladesh, on June 29, 2009, asked the government to explain why killing people without a trial, in the form of extrajudicial killings, is not being declared as illegal, and why measures are not being taken against the perpetrators. After this ruling, we still haven’t seen anything happen.
Extrajudicial killings continue even in violation of the High Court’s ruling. How can they continue? It’s very alarming for human rights, democracy and the right to life. And why is the High Court silent regarding this gross human rights violation?
Both governmental and nongovernmental sources have said that the death toll has reached 152 from such extrajudicial killings – labeled as “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police – since January 6, 2009 (from January 6, 2009 to 23 February, 2010) when the Awami League-led government assumed office. In Bangladesh, we have a so-called democracy, but there is no rule of law. Every day sees more killings of citizens by the state machinery, killings which are both well-planned and covered up.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2002 (including operation clean heart).
In 2004, the BNP-Jamaat government made a decision about extrajudicial killings and formed the RAB. From March 26, 2004 until January 31, 2009, around 1,600 people (including 58 killed peoples in operation clean heart of 2002) have been killed without justice.
The government of Bangladesh has sided with the extrajudicial killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also said, in an indirect way, that extrajudicial killings will continue. She spoke clearly, upholding “crossfire” killings. What was said by our popular Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New York is very unfortunate for the rule of law, democracy, the constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the people of Bangladesh.
According to the Bdnews24.com, Sheikh Hasina talked with journalists in New York on Sept. 27, 2009. Referring to “crossfire” killings at the time, she said, “I do not believe in extrajudicial killings. But if anyone launches an armed attack (against a law enforcer), then they shouldn’t be allowed to kill them like sitting ducks.”
Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion continues to engage in extrajudicial killings despite Supreme Court directives to halt it. Although the court is handling the issue of extrajudicial killings, RAB does not seem to be bothered either about the judiciary or the country’s laws.
At least 16 people were killed in RAB-police’s custody since the court issued a suo moto order on Nov. 17, last year asking the government for an explanation into such types of killings.
The High Court on Dec. 14, last year expressed grave concern over the recurring extrajudicial killings even as 11 people were killed in custody since the issuance of a suo moto order on Nov. 17, asking the government for an explanation on the matter.
During the court hearing, the Attorney General was asked to convey the court’s concern to the director general of RAB. The High Court also asked the Attorney General to take initiatives so that no such killings took place till the next hearing scheduled for January 9. In addition, the HC also asked the state’s top law officer for the names of RAB officials of Madaripur that were involved in detaining two brothers Lutfor and Khairul Khalasi who were killed on November 16.
But, after January 9, 2010 what happened by high court we couldn’t know. We haven’t seen any news in the media of Bangladesh on this matter. Our question is that, why the judiciary department and national human rights commission blind on this human rights violation issues?
When the present ruling Awami League party was in opposition, they often raised their voices against extrajudicial killings. Not only that, during the last general election, which brought them to power, they often said that extrajudicial killings should be stopped. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also told the international community that her government did not support extrajudicial killings. Indeed, the government’s attitude, work and words on this issue of crossfire are unfortunately inappropriate.
The assertions of responsible people in the present government are shocking. Home minister Sahara Khatun recently said that, there was no crossfire. It seems, either directly or indirectly, the home minister and other minister’s are defending the perpetrators of such “crossfire” killings. Finally we can say that, in Bangladesh has no rule of law.
We want to say that the reports of so-called “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings that are made by the RAB and the police are totally false. We believe that terrorism should never be combated or controlled through state killings. It is the establishment of the rule of law that is essential to control terrorism.
Without the democratic practice, rule of law and good governance how could we say that Bangladesh is a civilized country?
By Jahangir Alam Akash, This family was living in the village Jhaluka at Durgapur in Rajshahi of Bangladesh. After horrible persecution they were shifted their living place. Now their large lands of the house is ploughing for crops. This family was oppressed several times during Awami League (2000) and BNP-Jammat (2001) period. The head of this family Dasharat Chandra Kobiraj was honourable to all as a primary school teacher. He was attacked for attempt to murder in 2001. Then after two years he was died. Still this family has waiting to see the justice. Before persecution Dasharat Kobiraj (96) was blocked by the BNP-Jammat cadres with his wife Laxmi Rani in his own house for 22 days.
Ranojit Chandra Kobiraj is a son of Dasharat Kobiraj. He is a school teacher and he is the general secretary of Puja Udjapon Parishad Rajshahi district unit. We were taking his interview on 3rd January, 2010. He told, After the election of 2001 on 4th October the terrorists of BNP-Jammat government were looted and damaged our house. We are six brothers and one son of a brother were flown from house. After then we couldn’t go t our house. WE also couldn’t growing crops in our lands. From that time we the brothers and nephew have been living in separate places. Now we have made a mango garden in our house lands. Attempt to murder to our father for extortion we were filed case against the cadres of Jote government. But the eye witnesses couldn’t go to court to give their statement or we couldn’t took them in court. Because the fearing of terrorists. So, the case was quit without justice.
Now we the brothers are living in separate places. Two brothers of me are living at Durgapur city and one brother is living at Puthia. Other two we are living here (Amgachi) between. If we have get the legal assistance then we want to justice before our deaths. If the government would take initiative then we must want to get justice. Our failure that we couldn’t take eye witnesses to the court. Nobody didn’t go to court for giving their statement for the afraid of terrorists. On 26th October, 2001 the cadres of jote government were murdered to our father for wanting money as extortion. They seemed that our father was dead. But, fortunately he was alive in that situation. After then he was taking treatment in a hospital. But, he wasn’t cure. We couldn’t give him better treatment for economic reason. And after fighting with die he (Dasharat) was died on 29th August, 2006. He couldn’t death in the land of his house which was getting from his father and grand father. It is a great sorrow to us. But we were buried him there.
Wife od Ranajit Kobiraj told, when we remind that scenario or talk the situation in that time we are feeling very pain in our mind.
When we thought our situation then we are astonished. We couldn’t thinking that painful situation. By any means we are living now. But, we couldn’t see each and other (with our brothers and other relatives). Those who weren’t made statement for that we have no claim. Because we know that they couldn’t6 say anything for fear of terrorists. Even we couldn’t go to court for giving our witness statement. Mind pain have our in mind. We couldn’t do anything. But, we want to justice. If we would see the justice in our life then we would be very happy. Which we have lost we wouldn’t back but if the justice would finish that is our pleasure. Though, father (Dasharat) couldn’t see or know anything. He was gone with great pain in his mind.
Another son of Dasharat told, how could finish justice? Without eye witnesses statement court also nothing to do. So, we wouldn’t get justice. Because for justice should need real eye witness. We were here together with our brothers. Our own group, brother or neighbour what I says we are alone. Lack of own people we had leave this place. We have nobody here. Some people weren’t giving their witness statement for the love of their relatives, group or religious. Court would say that take competent witness. But where we could get witness? So, nobody would give statement. That is why we are put our pain inside of the mind. We are still alive we should take care of our children’s. In 2000 the terrorists were set fire and looted our houses. In that connection we were filed a case. In that case 34 accused were convicted. But, they had gone to higher court. In the high court the case is hanging now. We were tortured two times. At the end we couldn’t live there.
Jogesh Chandra Kobiraj a son of Dasharat told, we are a oppressed family of Jhaluka village. We were filed 6/7 cases against the terrorists which were damaged our house and attacked to our father. Most of the cases were dismissed for continuously threatening. And 2/1 cases we were withdrawn by forcedly. I myself is the plaintiff of the attempt to murder case of my father. Being their threatening we were withdrawn case forcedly. On the other hand we couldn’t found eye witness for continuously threatening by terrorists. By the attacked of terrorists my father was died. In 2000 during the period of Awami League government we were tortured. But, we didn’t get any help from the government in that time. After the election of 2001 we were again oppressed during BNP-Jammat government. In that time also we didn’t get any help from government or administration. Though, after attacked we were scattered from our house. Even the present Awami government has passing their one year time still we didn’t get any help. We are a oppressed family. Then our demand is that, government should remember to us. At least 32 members of Dasharat Kobiraj after persecution we were scattered and living inhumanly with sorrow and pain. Our hope the government should give us an opportunity which would have our dependent to live. https://jaakash.wordpress.com/
By Jahangir Alam Akash, As a professional journalist, writer and worker for human rights, I am a helpless victim of the conspiracies and revenges of corrupt politicians and the persons related them jointly. The State, terrorists, miscreants-clique, violators of human rights, army executives are all under the same roof! Why and on what grounds I became their praise of barbarous tortures, conspiracies from all sides and through whom, if these could be properly researched, a clear picture of breaking democracy, administrative, executive and legislative systems of Bangladesh, violation of human rights, state-tortures, corruptions, free from punishments and criminalization’s could be obtained.
On the 11 June 2007, Mr. Mijanur Rahman Minu, the then Mayor of Rajshahi, Organizing Secretary of Central BNP was arrested on the charges of forceful contribution-collection. Through trial, 11 leaders of BNP including Mr. Minu were sentenced to 13 years of imprisonments. But later on from the higher court, all the accused with Mr. Minu were released as not guilty. At least from this trial and from another against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused on the charges of 3 hundred millions of forceful Contribution-collection, the people of the country were sure that on political reasons, the army-controlled interim government did forge and impose the cases. The plaintiffs were forced to file cases against the top political leaders. The plaintiff of Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina, explained the backgrounds of the filing of the case in a press conference. Although MP and the influential Minister under Sheikh Hasina, Sheikh Selim gave statement under section 164 and accepted the charges. People of the country do not know yet how this confession of Sheikh Selim did come out. Was it volunteerilily or under any pressure?
As per constitution, country belongs to the people. After nine months of bloody liberation war, with the sacrifices of 3 millions of martyrs, in exchange of rapes to the 2 hundred thousands of mothers and sisters, on the 16 December 1971, Bangladesh came into being in the world map. The main aims of this great struggle were to achieve partiality, exploitation, deprivation, torture-free golden Bangladesh. After the independence, the father of the nation, Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tried his best to re-build this war-devastated country by strengthening is economy, creating the infra-structure of the state and to redress the total administrative system. He took several plans in this regard so that the Bengali nation and Bangladesh could proceed forward. In this time the defeated enemies of 1971, the independence-opposing murderers-clique, national and international conspirators with the help of imperialistic powers killed Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with almost all of his family-members. Perhaps in the history of the world there is no such human rights violation and persecution ever held. Actually after this event, attempts were made to reverse the course of the history. The old Pakistani ideologies were tried to bring back in Bangladesh.
As I have reported against the violation of human rights, about the corruptions and terrors as a professional journalist and human rights-worker, I became the victim of tortures by a special armed force of the state. Against me three forged cases of forcefully contribution-collection were filed. Not only I was physically tortured, I and my family were harassed mentally. I was persecuted in front of my son (then 4 months old, now about 3 years) and wife. My eyes were tied with a towel, head was covered by a dark cap and I was kept in the darkness for 15 hrs at a stretch. I was hanged from the ceiling of a room and tortured brutally. But what was my fault? Media is called the 4th pillar of the state. It is quite obvious that media will always tell the truth. But what we have seen? The so called protectors of law and order arrested me from my house. But it was reported in the media, I was arrested at the late of night from the Shahebbazar Area of Rajshahi Metropolitan city on the charges of doubtful movements! While a terrorist is arrested, big reports were published, my arrest as a professional journalist and as a victim of tortures was tactfully avoided by the media (except one or two Newspapers). So the questions: is our media free, Independent? Or determined to publish the truth? Except the Weekly Media watch of daily Amader Somoy, no other media of the country did publish research-reports on my arrest and tortures.
On the 2nd October 2007, the first forged case against me on the complaint of contribution-collection was filed in the Boalia Model police station of Rajshahi. On the 16th October, I got the advance interim bail from the High Court. To obtain proper and neutral enquiries about the complaint against me in this case, on the 22nd October 2007, I applied to the Chief Advisor of the interim Government, Home-Secretary and Army Chief separately. But after one day, on the 23rd October night, I was again arrested by RAB-members from my house. Only 4 and half hours before the arrest, a new case on the charges of Contribution-collection against me was filed in Puthia police station. The plaintiff of the case was himself the first accused of a case where he has been charged with the complaint that he has killed planfully the complainant of this rape case! During arrest, I was molested before my child son. My son is still suffering from this trauma! Who is responsible for this?
Dear reader let us talk about the time of difficult and dark time. I am a journalist, deprived of the soil of mother land, water, air, nature and love. Every year majority of my countrymen fight against natural calamities, flood, draught, cyclone, winter and the change of weather. I always cry for my poor, hungry and hard working people of my country. Dear reader, fellow countrymen, I am talking from the distant abroad, Germany. I want to tell you today a story. No, it is no fiction. A true, hard and real episode of my own life. I am writing this with the hope that nobody in my country suffers like me!
‘Lubdhak’ is the name of a house. It is the no. 55 house of the Rajshahi satellite town in sector no.2. I, my wife, Farhana Sharmin, student of last year, Dept. of Folklore in Rajshahi University, my child-son Fiman Farhad, we three used to live in the left side of the ground floor. CSB has been closed. So the Beauro office of CSB News in Rajshahi (in Kadfirgonj) is not opened like before. I worked in this 24 hours news Chanel and could give no much time for my family and friends. As the CSB did not broadcast, I had no work to pass the time. I went off and on to Press club and stayed till late night.
But my wife had a standing order; I must come back by 10-00 p.m.!’ But many times I disobeyed it. When I made late to come back, after 10.00, she rang me in Mobile. She asked Fiman to talk over Mobile and I rushed back home.
On the 23 October 2007, I was in the Press club till 11. At least twice Farhana has reminded me by Telephone. Around 11-30, I came back home. Fiman was not sleeping till. We were playing with him. TV was on. We did not have dinner. We were trying both to bring the child in bed. At long last she slept. We took our meals and went to bed. Around 1-30 night, our calling bell rang with a big sound!
Bell was ringing endlessly. Our sleeps were broken. I with my wife came out in the Balcony. I had Fiman in my lap. I understood a group of armed people had surrounded the whole house. All had arms in their hands. I did not know them. But why? I thought as I had case against me, they came to arrest me. But I was bailed out in that case by the High Court. And why either Police or other law-enforcing people surrounded whole house to arrest a simple journalist like me? Am I a thief, robber or a convicted criminal?’ Police and other security personals had their dresses but they were in plain dresses. In plain dresses but they had all arms. Are they terrorists or robbers?’ They had come to plunder this house etc. thoughts rang in my mind.
In the meantime, the unknown persons have rung all the calling bells of the house. Not only were the people of this house, also the neighbors all awakened. This was a 3-storyed house and the owner Mr. Abul Kashem and his son, Likhon came down from that floor. 10/12 armed people in civil dress came to the door of the Balcony of the part of the house where we lived. They introduced them as administrative persons and told they would search my house. We should open the door. I and my wife asked about their identities. I asked, ‚until I am not sure of your real identity, I shall not open the door.’ They said, ‚open the door now, otherwise you will be in difficulty.’ I asked ‚what difficulty? Why you are disturbing, so late night in a civilian’s house?’ They rebuked me as terrorist and contribution-collector.
I phoned with my mobile in Boalia police station to know whether administrative persons or armed-robbers had raided my house. Duty officer said, ‚None from our police station has gone to your house. But who are they, belong to what force, we don’t know.’ In this time, one armed person inserted his hand through the grill of Balcony and snatched away my mobile. I thought clearly they were robbers. After some time, they told themselves to belong to the RABS.
I say, ‚but I cannot believe that you are RABS. And if you want to search my house, have you the search-warrant?’ I and my wife told this together. They became angry. Likhon, son of the owner of house wanted to know the identity of them. They started beating him. I thought if they were from RAB, why they were hitting the House-owner’s son? I appealed to them, ‚why you are flogging him? Please don’t do anything illegal. I am opening the door. You can search my house. But please don’t do any injustice to me. Please don’t deposit your arms in my house and then arrest me in the arms-charge! I gave Fiman to her mother. I opened the Balcony door. Just I have opened it; RABS dragged and pulled me out of the house. My two hands were hand cupped. My eyes were tied with towel. Not only that, my total head was covered with a black cap up to my neck. In front of my child, wife and house owner, RABS were flogging and kicking all over my body right and left. Armed forces in charge of law and order of a civilized country can behave so beastlike and vulgarous; I faced the experience for the first time in my life!
RABS dragged me like a terrorist in a Microbus. In the Bus, 2 were in my front, 2 in my back and 2 each in my both sides hold me tightly. All were armed. One of them asked, ‚tell you the rogue, where we are taking you?’ I replied how I could know it. They said, we are RAB’s. Don’t you know where RAB takes the people?’ I asked whether I was taken to be killed in a cross-fire. They started slapping and boxing me. Microbus started. I could feel from the turnings and speed breakers that it was going on to the University. After crossing Binodpur gate by the University, there was one speed breaker. If then it turned to the right, I would be sure I was being taken to the RAB-5, Headquarters of Rajshahi RAB. On the way, I was beaten. They rebuked me in filthy language. They threatened me to accuse me with Arm-case and also of ‚crossfire.’ One in the car told me, ‚take the name of Allah, recite prayers from Quran. You would be killed in crossfire.’ I thought I had not done any wrong, committed no crime, I was not a killer. Why I was to be killed through crossfire. Was it possible? Then I felt Bangladesh is a country of all possibilities. Here to kill a person out of trial is nothing new. Shahriar Kabir and Muntasir Mamun like humanitarians are to face state-tortures here. But the murderer, war-criminal like Nizami roams on the streets with national flag in his car! While thinking so, once I was sure, I was brought to the RAB Headquarter No.5 in Rajshahi.
In the RAB Headquarters, my two hands were tied and then hanged from the ceiling of a room. Before, I was to walk up and down from this room to the stair house several times. At night, around me, 4/5 persons came with the sounds of their Boot-hills, stood a while and then again went back with the same sound. My eyes were tied, head was covered with black cap till neck and I was hanged whole of the night! In this way whole of the night, I was mentally tortured. Around 8 in the morning, my hands were made free and I was brought down. One very small thin bread with watery-cereal was given me to eat. I tried to feel from the size of the bread and water like cereal, whether with ex Vice Chancellor of Rajshahi University Mr. Saidur Rahman Khan, Abdus Sobhan and Moloy Bhowmik, RAB had behaved same! All these 3 genious teachers were also arrested by RAB-5. I heard in the Rajshahi Central Jail how the ‚beasts’ had tortured these honorable teachers of the University. While I was hanging whole of the night, I felt that perhaps my two hands were separated from my body! With a towel my eyes were tied very tightly and then a black cap made of a thick cloth was put on my head. My breathings seemed to be stopped! I repeated requested to take out the cap but the ‚inhuman beasts’ did not pay any heed of. The cap I wore, this was the same cap which were only worn to the ‚death-sentenced- criminals’ while they were brought to the gallows. I took a little morsel from the thin bread and then drank water to satisfy thrusts. Then I was hanged again. While I was given food, the cap was not taken away. Till upper lip, it was drawn up. Always they have scolded me with vulgar words.
Around 10 a.m. in the morning two persons came to me and asked about my name. When they talked, I could know them. Before I was arrested, I met them several times on professional reasons. They were RAB-5 Crime Prevention Company (CPC)
Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid and Second-in-command of RAB-5, Major Humayun Kabir. They were not in Rajshahi now. Major Rashid was sent to Ivory Coast as a member of UNO peace keeping Mission. Major Kabir was transferred to Bandorban, so I have heard. When on the so-called kidnap-allegation, Kamrul Islam alias Majnu, Workers Party leader was killed following the tortures of RAB on the last 18 May 2007, I then met Major Kabir. One week before the closing of CBS News, I talked with Major Rashid in his office on professional ground. One of my earlier known two officers, Major Rashidul Hasan started torturing me. At the outset, he asked, ‚you the son of a beggeress, why you have so prestige? You son of a beach, contribution collector and terrorist. I fuck’ your journalism. You swine, you must not again report to the CBS News. Make no report on Lichubagan (Lichi Garden) , the story of Benjir’s wife, about the Waqf-Estate of Khairuzzaman Liton (resigned General Secretary of Rajshahi Awami League and central executive committee member, Mayor of Rajshahi Metropolitan city, he is the nephew of Mr. Loton who is the plaintiff of my case). Bastard, you have seen RAB, but not yet experienced the actions!’ I thought why this RAB officer was taking the name of Liton, son of our national leader? Had he provoked to arrest and torture me? But I did no harm to Mr. Liton. As a journalist, I have made a report just to perform my professional duties. If because of this report, Mr. Liton was angry and dissatisfied with me, how he could be so much revengeful with me? Or this Major was using his name as to give him the full responsibility for my assaults? Later on, I came to know that honorable Mr. Mayor was one of the planers of the total conspiracy against me!
While being tortured, I asked Major Rashid, ‚you are an employee of the state. You are forgetting your duties and responsibilities. How you can behave so badly and uncivilized with a citizen? State and constitution have given you no right to torture anybody. One time, Major Rashid slapped in my left cheek and I bled through lips. After sometime, he gave electric shock in my left heap. I did not know that this was an electric shock. After I had gone to Rajshahi Central Jail, I could know it. While torturing Major Rashid hit in my left heap with a ball like subtance very speediliy and several times. This is electric shock. I felt that my whole body was burning! My total physical condition was deteorating. It was about 10-30 in the morning. My hands were freed. I was placed in the electric chair. After half an hour, I was lied down on the floor of the torture chamber. Now both Majors Rashidul Hasan Rashid and Humayun Kabir together started molesting me. I was thinking, they were torturing me just out of their personal revenge. With batons both were trouncing me. At the same time they were kicking me with their boots with slaps and blows. Known as our national pride, two members of the Army persecuted me for a long one hour. They are no prides, rather symbols of shame and hatreds. With a thick and round baton, both have hit on the palms of my two feet. Both of them were very much delighted while torturing me. I lost my sense. When I got back my sense again, I found myself in a abandoned kitchen above the straw. Many insects were moving there. I was kept there like cattle, my hands, face and eyes tied up. About 1-30 afternoon, the two RAB-members asked me to stand up. But because of the tortures, I could not stand erect. Major Rahsid said, ‚brother-in-law is acting!’ and then pressed my feet with his boot. He said, ‚beating is not yet complete, Swine is acting. Son of a dog, stand erect and walk! Otherwise, I shall beat you again. Son of a bitch, you must be put to the crossfire!’ I said I was not acting. Really I could not stand and walk. But they wanted not to believe it. Major Rashid, ‚till you walk, I shall give you blows.’ I tried my best to stand and walk, but could not.
Major Rashid was kicking me in my feet and dragged me in a room. About 2-00 p.m., from my head the black cap and towel from the eye were removed. It seemed to me that as if I came out of the darkness of grave! I could again breathe normally. RAB members took my finger and palm prints from the both hands. A plate with my name was placed in my breast. I was photographed with a digital Camera. After Finger print and photo-taking, again my eyes and face were covered. Black cap was placed to my head. I was again brought to a Microbus. About 3-00 pm. I was in the Boalia Model police station. RAB wanted to show me as arrested on the contribution-collection case filed by Awami League leader, Loton and to send me in the court through the police station. But Police informed RAB that in this case, he was in bail. So he could not be taken into the custody now. While I was taken to the police station RAB members threatened me, ‚in the police station, you must walk normally. Otherwise, was hall bring you back again and put to the crossfire and kill you. When police asks, you must say I was not tortured.’ I thought I would not tell a lie, even if I was to die. But the face of my child son appeared in my mind. I became restless. I was crying. With the tears, a part of black cap was wet. As in the case filed by the Awami league leader, I was in bail given by the High Court, police refused to accept me. So from the police station, I was brought back to the RAB Headquarters. RAB members spoke that I was taken to the Baghmara police station and there I would be taken into the custody on an arm case. I also heard that in the Puthia police station also a case against me has been filed on contribution-collection charges. I might be taken there. At the end, around 5-oo p.m., RAB handed me over to the Boalia Model police station u/s 54. My eyes and face were freed.
After RAB has left the police station compound, I was brought to the police custody room. The room was filled up with burnt out cigarettes, spits, cough, bnana peels and other garbage. A total unhygienic atmosphere with pungent smell! I felt to vomit! After sometime, SI of police station, Nuruzzaman came to me. He is he uncle of present Rajshahi Mayor Mr. Lyton and the enquiry officer of the case filed by Awami League Leader Loton against me. I knew him. When I was a student of Rajshahi University and was a resident of Ziaur Rahman Hall, he was also student there. He was known as the cadre of Chatradal. He is also nephew of Mr. Shahin Shaukat, ex Rajshahi Chadradal leader. I could easily imagine how he could get a job by police. Anyway, he started rebuking me with filthy language. He said, ‚son of a bitch, you belong to the Awami murderers of Hasina League. When you were in the University, you wrote false reports on Chadradal and Shibir. Now I shall beat you in remand.’ Police of Boalia Model police station, sent me to the Chief court of Metro police Magistrate under the emergency Act 16(2) of 2007 in the evening of the 24 October 2007. SI Nuruzzaman took me to the court in his Pick-up with Siren. He wanted possibly to show (on the way from police station to the court) a ‚great convicted criminal, known terrorist’ to the whole people of Rajshahi city! There was no magistrate in the Court, when I was taken there. Within few moments, police took me in the van and I was brought in the Rajshahi Central Jail.
Jail authority admitted me in the Emergency of Rajshahi Central Jail Hospital at Surgical Ward-4. Next day, on the 25 October 2007, early in the morning, I was brought by 2 prisoners to the case table (Jail court). There whole of my body was inspected and although I told about the tortures, the senior Jail Superintendent of the Central Jail ordered to keep me in the normal ward. I was taken to the import-ward (first comers are brought there). After seeing me the prisoners of the import-ward requested the Jail-subeder to admit me in the Jail Hospital. He transferred me into the Hospital. Upto 3rd November, I was in the Hospital. But before I was totally cure; as I could not bribe the Hospital Surgeon, he cancelled my stay in the Hospital (Release letter from the Hospital as cured). I was then transferred to the No. 6 Civil Ward. I passed there the rest 28 days in the darkness of the Jail.
Following the report of Police, I was released on the 8th November from the charges u/s Emergency Act 16(2). But on that day I was presented as arrested on the second contribution-collection case (filed only before 4 hrs of the arrest). On the 18th November, 2007 I got the bail after a miss case was filed by the District and sessions Judge Court. On this respect from the last 24 October, 2007 to the 19th November 2007, I was imprisoned in the Rajshahi Central Jail and was released on the 19th November at 8-00 p.m. After few hours of being free, I was informed that I would be again arrested by RAB and this time I would be killed in crossfire. Confronting with such a threat and because of the anxiety and concern of the family members, I left them in panic and fled away from Rajshahi and came to Dhaka. I was admitted into the Bangladesh Rehabilitation centre for Trauma victims and obtained physical and mental treatment. After this unexpected event of my life, I wrote four books on state-tortures, religious militarism, Bomb and Grenade attack. They are, ‚15 hours in darkness’, ‚Murders extra judicial and revenge’, Militant Godfather and others’, From Udichi to Peelkhana’. ‚Tortures on religious minorities and Politics’, and ‚Struggling for Peace’ are two books under publication. Still now when I see RABs and Cars with RABs, I got panic. Each of my moment is restless! A threat to kill me is still there. Conspirator-influential cliques and militants are threatening me incessantly. Unbearable pains and the memories of sufferings still haunt me. I am, so to say, mentally, physically, economically, socially and culturally invalid now. Invariably the state is responsible for my condition. In the face of endless threats and panic, recently I was forced to leave my country.
See my ill-luck, only due to my journalistic activities, my searching reporting’s on state-tortures, religious militancy, corruptions and political terrorism, my father-in-law was not given nomination from Awami League in the last election of 29th December 2009. Not only was that, to prevent him to contest the election as an independent candidate, many tricks made to close the road. One millionaire was nominated. The grass root workers protested and he was given the nomination. But that was a show. It could be understood while ultimately he was not given the final nomination. But in the election of 1991 the elected Awami League MP, Advocate Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque, President of Rajshahi District Awami League has been working with the ideals of the party and Bongobandhu, the father of the nation for the last 42 years. He, Mr. Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque and Khulna District Awami League Leader Harun-ar-Rashid collected the proves of the forgeries in the much discussed Magura Bye-election and so became the victims of harassments of political cases. My father-in-law started first the movement against the Militants in Rajshahi. For this reason, he and his intimate friend Fozle Hossain Badshah, Polite-Beauro Member of the Workers Party and four journalists were threatened by so called ‚Bangla Bhai’ (militant leader) and his forces to be killed openly. In his long political career he got many lucrative offers but never left Awami League and joined another party. Although there are evidences that those who became‚ reformists’ unitedly with Ferdaus Ahmed Koreshi and DGFI got the nomination of Rajshahi Awami League!
It is reported that under the pressures of RAB, DGFI, Army and the honorable Mayor of Rajshahi, my father.-in-law was not nominated. We don’t know whether it is a fact. But if it is true, this is not at all good for the politics. This thing will be clearer in future, I believe.
The daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina has promised to the people to protect human rights. So we expect from this new government the end of murders extra judicial. People of the country also want the proper and neutral enquiries of the past murders without trials by RAB. Government must ensure the due punishments for the persons responsible. As normal citizens of the country, we demand to the daughter of Bangabondhu and the father of the nation, to establish the rule of law in the country immediately, to finish the trials of the war-criminals, re-trial of Jail-killings, make the judgments of Bangabondhu-murder case effective and to stop all sorts of killings-tortures along with murders extra judicial. People who are related to these crimes must be brought to the books through necessary actions.
The politics of Bangladesh is how much depending on black money, I want to talk about this. During emergency the filing of cases on the charges of ‚forceful-contribution-collection’ became the only arms for taking revenge! From this charge, even the prime minister of the country herself was not exempted. A similar case
(Illegal and forceful collection of 3 hundred million of Taka as contribution) against the President of Awami League and present Prime Minister, daughter of Bangabondhu, Sheikh Hasina became a farce! Against the top politicians of the country, one after another such cases were filed. Including the prime minister of the country and other powerful politicians were only the victims of politically motivated forged cases (but few cases were true). Observing such cases, for the past disputes out of political, personal, land and property and other interests, a big festival of false ‚contribution-collection’ cases was started throughout the country just to redress the enmities and conflicts. As the cases are filed under the emergency Act, accused had no right to get bails!
Against me total 3 cases on so-called forced collection of contributions and one particular case on the Emergency Act u/s 16 (2) were made. They were purely on political motivations as I have reported on the Killings extra judiciary, militarism, corruption and above all due to my collecting news on research. Still now two contributions-cases are hanging against me! From the local Rajshahi Court No.2 to the higher court, I am to move about the cases and I am fed up! Because of the forged cases, I am physically, mentally, economically, familiarly and socially upset! On the other hand, hundreds of real contribution-hunters, terrorists, Godfathers of terror-corruption and militancy are still out of catch! Late prominent writer and educationist Dr. Humayun Azad said the truth, ‚everything now has been owned by the spoils!’
After the 11 January 2007, after the change of political scene, the interim government took the power which was actually a Military-regime in disguise. So the just gone interim government is commonly known as ‚army-controlled’. Emergency was proclaimed in the country. Within the emergency many operations of RAB-5 in Rajshahi raised many questions amongst the people. On the 2 May 2007, Benjir, once a top terrorist in Rajshahi was shot by RAB in his own house in the bedroom in front of his wife and child-daughter and he was sent to the court under arms case. In the same month on 16th, in the room of the then Director of Rajshahi Medical college Hospital, the hands and feet of Sahebul Islam, a prison-guard was broken by the beatings of RAB. After 2 days (18 May) in the Choto Bonogram of Rajshahi Metropolitan City Workers Party Ward-President, Kamrul Islam alias Majnu Sheikh was beaten to death by the RAB members. He was then guarding a Lichi-Garden and he was blamed with the so-called kidnap-drama. The people of Rajshahi became furious against the RAB because of this murder. Violating the Emergency Act, thousands of men and women came out in the Roads and indulged themselves in movements. Through the waves of angry people, Emergency Act drifted away. Police and RAB could not resist them.
Only in CSB News Chanel 24 hours, this peoples-movement was broadcast. It was a similar broadcast as following the events of 20th August in Dhaka University, students had started the movement and gradually it turned into a people’s revolution. So the anger of the people was displayed. And this was the black ominous sign of my life. After the closing of CBS News, it seemed that the administration had covered up their total revenge for the CBS with me! With the administration the political corrupted-interested-circles also played their roles. Before CSB News was closed because of its investigating Reporting’s, on the 20 June 2007 in Boalia model police station, the first class contractor Mahfuzul Alam Loton, new Awami leaguer and Vice President of present Metropolitan Awami League filed a case against me on the charges of so-called forceful contribution-collection. That complain was recorded by the police, GD No—1160, dated 20.06.2007. At the end of August of the same year, I could understand the meaning of the case. I have heard that higher police officers of Rajshahi did not want to accept the case as the complaint was a biff lie! But what police had obtained after the enquiry of this case, I don’t know that report. Later on the present Mayor of Rajshahi who has also the status of junior minister and his uncle Mahfuzul Alam Loton, as per plan, with the collaborations of some officers of RAB reactivated the GD-Entry in the Boalia police station on the 6th September, 2007, the day when CBS News was closed. Commander Lt. Col. Shamsuzzaman Khan, Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid and Major Humayun Kabir of RAB-5 Rajshahi have put pressure on police and they were bound to revive the case against me.
Before 23 October 2007 some co-incidences occurred with the case against me planned on harassments and my arrest, torture. On the 21 August 2007, in the campus of the Rajshahi University, a group of patriot teachers organized a ‚Silent-Procession’ to protest the events in the Dhaka University. University is an autonomous body. Free thoughts are practiced here. To protest the Dhaka-occurrence, a silent procession in Rajshahi was not a crime or illegal. On the 22 August following the Army tortures on the Dhaka university students while the teachers-students of Rajshahi University were peacefully protesting, the cadres of Chatrashibir and, a part of employees known as 544 planfully damaged, plundered widely and set fires in the campus. During the clash, Afzal Hossain the Rickshaw puller was killed by police firing. When the devastations were going on in the campus, a car of Rajshahi DGFI entered through the Kajla Gate of the University. The police requested the Assistant Director of DGFI in the car not to enter into the campus because of the agitated situation. But the officer did not pay any attention.
In the campus he met the Vice-Chancellor in his house and talked. When he was returning, students were coming to the VC’s house with the corpse of the killed Rickshaw puller from the opposite direction. After the DGFI car crossed the gate of house of VC, the motor was stopped. Aggrieved students set fire to the car.
In these circumstances of the University, DFGI alias Army scented a conspiracy. Secret agents discovered a big conspiracy of the teachers within the students-agitations and this was a plea to punish the progressive teachers! The ex elected Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saidur Rahman Khan, the then convener of University Progressive Party, Professor Abdus Sobhan and newline famous dramatist and leader of progressive teachers party, Moloy Bhowmic were arrested from their quarters by the members of RAB-5. These talented teachers were taken that day by the black-dressed persons, binding their eyes, face and hands to the Army camp (RAB torture-centre). How the ordinary Lt. Col., Major and Captains misbehaved with the teachers, that can’t be expressed in language. Not only that, what bathe monster Pak Army could not do in those cruel days of 1971, RAB of an independent country has done! All their activities are against the constitution. Amongst the 3 arrested teachers, mostly Moloy Bhowmic was inhumanly tortured by RAB members. Through their repeated baton-charges, all the bones of his both feet were broken. The gentle and polite Professor Saidur Rahman, popular and dear to all, was moved in an Electric Chair sitting. When he stood from the chair he vomited vigorously. Yet by the cruel RABs did not show any sympathy. They went on with tortures on the teachers. The sweet spoken Professor Abdus Sobhan was also mercilessly beaten. Irony of fate is that some of these beast-RAB members, whose pay, foods and dresses are from the peoples’ tax, were direct students of these teachers! Even in the Army, many higher officers were taught by them! After the University-incidence, eight more teachers were arrested and taken to the Jail. While the movements were going on, by order of the VC, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Sadekul Islam performed the responsible duty of recording the events through VIDEO. But he was also stamped as a conspirator. He was also arrested on the charges of setting fire to the DGFI car. He was imprisoned also. Two other teachers of the University of Geology and Mining, Choudhury Sarwar Jahan Shajal and Gholam Sabbir Topu were the witnesses of the murder-case of Professor Taher of the same department. It is assumed because of this; these two teachers were included in the car-burning case and were put to the jail. In all it seemed that the total arrests of the progressive teachers were to please the Jamat-Shibir Clique. In the Dhaka University the same drama was staged. Here the Professors Anowar Hossain, Harun-ar-Rashid, Sadrul Amin, Nimchandra Bhowmik were arrested and harassed. The ex general Secretary of Dhaka University Teachers Association, Mr. Anowar Hossain is the brother of patriot and brave col. Abu Taher.
The sensational Cases against the Rajshahi University teachers had begun. In the court, the curious people were crowded. While the trials are going on, I went there on my professional grounds. I took the notes on the statements of the witnesses and interrogations. Possibly because of this event, before I was arrested, another incidence took place in the Rajshahi Court. On the 26 September 2007, from the morning, I was taking notes on the statements and interrogations of the then Officer-in-Charge of Motihar police station, Khondokar Ferdaus Ahmed who has filed the much discussed case against the six teachers of the University on the charges of violating the Emergency Acts. In the court Mahbub Kanij Keya, teacher and General Secretary of Women’s Council, Rajshahi University, educationist Muhammad Naser, teacher of Philosophy Department and cultural personality S.M. Bakar and some other teachers, students and some common spectators were present. Around 2-15 afternoon, police assaulted me openly during the process of the Rajshahi Metropolitan prompt-trial court for the law and order violators. When the court was adjourned, I was driven out and dragged outside by police. Immediately about the incidence, I submitted a written complain to the Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Mr. Afzal Hossain. The copies of the complain was sent to then Rajshahi DC, Md. Khalilur Rahman, Police Commissioner Muhammad Mahbub Mohsin and to the President, General Secretary of Rajshahi Bar Council.
Because of the Rajshahi University events, I went everyday to the court after DGFI officer Shaukat Ali and Motihar police station O/C Khandokar Ferdaus Ahmed filed the charges and till the witnesses are heard, interrogations are made connecting with the case, I remained within the court. On the 26th September 2007, I went to the Prompt-trial Court for the law and order violators of Metropolitan Magistrate S.M. Fazlul Karim Choudhury. From the morning, plaintiff O/C Ferdaus was interrogated. Magistrate made 20 minutes recess at 2-00 p.m. I was sitting in the court. CSI Kamaluddin and 4/5 polices came to me and asked me to get out of the court. I politely showed my journalist-identity card. But they pulled me by force out of the court. (Source: daily Bhorer Kagoj, 27 September, 2007, ‚ Journalist is molested in Rajshahi Court’).
On the 2 October, 2007, the forceful collection of contribution complain against me by Loton was recorded in the Boalia Model police station. On the assault of police to me by the police in the court, on the same day in reply to my written complain Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mr. Afzal HHossain issued me a Notice: Memo No. – CMM/Raj/Go/1-1/97-1109, dated 02-10-2007. It is said in the Notice, ‚the hearing of the event as described in your complain (expulsion from the court of S. M. Fazlul Karim Choudhury by police on the 26 September) would take place on the 4 October 2007 at 9-30 a.m. in the chamber of CMM. You would present with your witnesses.’
Accordingly on the 4 October 2007 I went to the court of CMM with in time Dr. Md. Naser, teacher of Statistics, Mahbuba Kanij Keya, teacher of psychology and some other eyewitnesses. After we reached court, I was informed that against me a case of contribution-collection had been filed in Boalia police station and police will arrest me here in the CMM court. Under the circumstances, I applied to the CMM to adjourn my hearing and left the court quickly. I came to Dhaka on the same day. I wanted to take bail from the Dhaka High Court on the contribution-collection case. But Supreme Court had then vacation. I went to Mr. Syed Mamun Mahbub, ex Students Union leader of Rajshahi University and my respected elder brother. I called him per Telefone. He asked me to come to his house. I went and gave him all the case-documents. He took the matter seriously and submitted a bail petition (Case No.-14454/2007) to the vacation bench (Criminal Misc. Cases) of the High Court. In the High Court vacation-bench (Justice A. F.M.Rahman) the hearing was held on the 16 October 2007. After the hearing Justice A F M Rahman granted me an interim bail.
But he told openly,’ where is he evidence that he (meaning me) did not collect contribution illegally? Do journalists this crime not? Because of their arbitrary reporting’s the country is facing a helpless condition.’ I was ashamed of when Hon. Justice commented. I was also very much angry. I did not collect contributions forcefully, why he had told this? I uttered silently, ‚Ho. Justice, how you can believe that I am no illegal-collector, the complaint against me is total false, forged. But maybe he is right, but can we accept his comments in general? It is a fact, many of the journalists today cannot swear that they are clean, man of principles and worshipers of truth!’
The proficient son of Rajshahi, Mayor A. H. M. Khairuzzaman Liton asked respected Mr. Syed Mamun Mahbub why he had applied for my bail; ‚He (meaning me) does not belong to us. Why you have arranged his bail?’ Very shameful, painful and pitiful are this conversation! A people’s represntative, son of a national leader, why he is so meanminded? I am very much sorry to think about. Hatreds occur to me. Although High Court has granted me bail, yet RAB arrested me illegally. The night when I was arrested, on the day, there was a meeting in the circuit house in Rajshai. The agenda was to exchange of opinions on making the judiciary total separate. I went there as a journalist. Speakers said that to ensure justice amongst the people is the cherished goal of the separation of judiciary. Attempts must be taken so that no hindrance is created to this process. If there is any obstacle already, that must be immediately removed. Judiciary is the last resort of the people. Separation will bring a new era for the judiciary. They said, this initiative will enrich the country and bring welfare for the people. We are living in such a society now, where man to man, family to family there exists a complex situation. Under the circumstances, government must take the historic step and along with it, we must help to fulfill this duty. On the 23 October 2007 evening in the exchange of opinions meeting, the highly powered Observation Committee set by the Hon. Chief Justice for making the separation of judiciary member, M. M. Ruhul Amin Mirza, Justice Bangladesh Supreme Court, Mirza Hossain Haider, M. Kamrul Islam Siddiqui, Secretary Law-justice and parliamentary affairs, Kazi Habibul Awal, Registrar Bangladesh Supreme Court M. Ikdetar Ahmed, Jt. Secretary Law-justice and parliamentary affairs, M. Anowarul Hoq, Additional Registrar, High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Farid Ahmed Shibly were present. Others who took part in the discussion, they are: Rajshahi District and session Judge, A. R. Masud, the then additional Commissioner, Rajshahi Division, M. Hafizuddin, District Commissioner, Rajshahi, Md. Khalilur Rahman, Police Commissioner Rajshahi, Md. Mahbub Mohsin, Police Superintendent, Rajshahi, Didar Ahmed, President Rajshahi Bar Association, Mojibur Rahman Talukdar, General Secretary, Najmus Sadat, PP Ekramul Hoq, GP Moyenuddin Ahmed, Supervising Engineer of Public Buildings, Sultan Ahmed and others. District Judgeship Judge Jahangir Alam Mollah, Sirajul Islam, M. Rezaul Islam, Metropolitan Magistrate S.M. Fazlul Karim Choudhury were also present. Speakers said, since long time the demand for the separation of judiciary is there. This demand belongs to all in the society. As the demand is fulfilled, everybody is happy. With this historic decision, people who have been facing political and administrative misbehaviors till now would be free. We express our gratitude’s to the government. Government must ensure now so that poor-helpless people get justice and honest trials. All are to work together. Amongst the judiciary, law and order and administration must prevail now a situation of harmony and tolerance. There might be many meetings, seminars or researches in future on the materialization of peoples dream and expectations through the separation of judiciary. Just to arrest me on the night of 23 October, around 8-45 a.m., another forged contribution-collection case was filed against me in Puthia police station. This illegal contribution-collection was held during the BNP-Jamat government, so was mentioned in the case. Plaintiff of the case was Abdul Jalil, himself a dedicated member of BNP, said in the complaint that he had no courage to file this case during the reign of political government! This Abdul Jalil was he chief accused of the murder case of Abdul Halim, worker of Awam League. Abdul Halim was the plaintiff of a sensational rape case. Attempts were made that he withdrew the case but as he denied, he was planfully killed. After the complaint of Abdul Jalil was recorded in the police station, I was arrested after 4 hours from my house in the satellite town.
In the case lodged by Awwami League Leader Mahfuzul Alam Loton, (Boalia police station Case No.-2, dated 2/10/2007, the time of recording was 12-05 midnight, u/s 385/386 penal code, MGR No.- 843/2007, Session No.- 672/2007), I got the interim bail on the16 October 2007 from the High Court. Within next 28 days the charge sheet of this case was submitted to the court (CS No. – 398, dated 30/10/2007). Enquiry officer was SI Nuruzzaman. I was released from the Rajshahi Central Jail on the 19 November 2009 on bail. RAB threatened me then to kill me in crossfire. So I rushed to Dhaka gain. I was admitted there in BRTC for treatment. But on the 29 November, 2007, I was attacked with pox. 22. November, 2007, a prayer for time was submitted in the court. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate granted the prayer but accepted the charge sheet. He ordered the transfer of the case to the District and session judge on the same day. It was proposed that case should be brought under the Emergency Acts 2007. On the 25th November, 2007 Government granted this. (Memo of home ministry no.- M.N. (law/1) Emergency-1/07/(part-13)/1236, dated 25/11/2007). On account of illness, with medical certificate, on the 29th November, 2007, again a prayer for time was submitted in the District Session Court, on behalf of the defendant Court granted. In his order, District Judge said, ‚ the permission for this case to bring under Emergency Acts 2007 u/s 19 (1) has been obtained. The prayer for time because of the absence of the defendant, I have forwarded to the learned PP, he has accepted with objection. The prayer for the time is being submitted for the hearing.’ On the 13 December 2007, again a prayer for time was submitted to the court on my behalf as I could not attend the case because my pox had not been healed. On the ground of illness (pox), an extension of time till 1 January, 2008, a payer of my absence had been made. Challenging the government order to bring my case under Emergency Acts, a writ petition was submitted to the High Court through the Supreme Court Advocate Mohammad Hossain (Writ No.-10905/2007). On the 2nd January 2008, High Court Division Bench of Justice A. B. M. Khairul Hoq and Justice Abdul awal ordered and issued a Rule-Nishi to the government to postpone the application of the Emergency Acts for 3 months by the lower court. I was not cured from the pox. So on the 3rd January 2008, local advocates quoting the High Court order and with the certificate of Advocate, on behalf of the defendant, appealed again for time. The Rajshahi District and session Judge Mr. A. R. Masud did not grant the extension of time cancelled my bail and issued warrant of arrest against me. N the 14th January 2008, the attested copy of the High Court order was submitted to the District and Session Court. District Judge postponed the hearing date till 12 April 2008 but kept the order of arrest in force. A High Court Bench formed by justice Najmun Ara Sultana and Justice M. Ashfakul Islam, on the 7th February 2008, granted my bail for 3 months. On the 18th February, 2008, the Bailbond of the bail was submitted to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Rajshahi. On the 20th February, 2008, in the court of Rajshahi District and Session Judge, a prayer to recall the order for the warrant of arrest to enable my presence in the court was submitted. Judge Mr. A. R. Masud granted my bail and ordered recall for the warrant of arrest. On the 31 March, 2008 in the High Court Bench of Justice Sarifuddin Chakladar, the postpone-order for the application of Emergency Acts was extended up to the 6 April 2008. Justice M. Iman Ali and Justice A. F. M. Abdur Rahman of High Court division Bench, on the 6th April, 2008, issued an order to extend the 3-months postponement of application of Emergency Acts. On the 1st July, 2008, Justice Iman Ali and Justice M. Emdadul Hoq ordered for one month extension of the postponement order and interim bail. Justice Khademul Islam Choudhury and Justice Mashuk Hossain Ahmed of another High´Court Bench, on the 4th August, 2008 ordered again for an extension of 3 months for both. Justice Jeenat Ara and Justice Muhammad Ziaull Karim of another Bench, on the 3rd November, 2008 gave order for another extension of 3 months. I was to present physically in the District and Session Judge Court regarding this case on the 12th April, 7th July, 6th August and 6th November, 2008.
On the charges of killing the plaintiff of the much discussed Rape case (under trial), BNP supporter millionaire Abdul Jalil has filed a complaint against me on contribution-collection (Puthia police station case no.-13, dated 23/10/2007, u/s- 385/387/506 penal code, the time of recording the case: 8-45 p.m., GR. No. 251/2007). Following this case, on the 22 January, 2009, I attended the Rajshahi District Additional Judge Court-2, and got bail. On the next February, 2009 in the same court, it is supposed that the hearing would be held on the charge sheet. On the 6th January 2008, charge sheet was submitted (Charge sheet no.-1, dated 6/1/2008). Enquiry officer of the case is SI Moazzem Hossain. On the 25 October, 2007, while I was in Rajshahi Central Jail, I was shown as arrested in this case. On the 29th October, 2007, in the court of the first class Magistrate of Rajshahi ‚B’ area, a bail petition was submitted on my behalf. Magistrate cancelled the petition. On the 12th November 2007, Chief Judicial Magistrate Abu Saleh Sk. Md. Zahirul Hoq (Dulal), a prayer was submitted for the haring of the bail. Magistrate Mr. Dulal was a Student League leader while he was in Rajhshahi University. This is known to all in Rajshahi. I have heard he is very close to Mayor Mr. H. M. Khairuzzaman Lyton. His rival is my father-in-law (of the same political party), Mr. Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque. He is he President of Rajshahi District Awami League and ex MP. I am the son-in-law of him!
On the 14th November, 2007, in the same court, Magistrate has cancelled my prayer for the bail-hearing. On the same day, in the District and Session Judge court a Miscase (No.-2149/2007) was submitted on my behalf. =n the 15th November District and Session Judge, Mr. A.R. Masud asked the documents for the hearing of the Miscase. On the 18th November after the hearing he ordered to grant my bail against a bail bond of 20,000 Tk. Next day on the 19th November, I was released from the Central jail. On the 3rd January 2008 I was absent on petition in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. In the same year on the 4th February Magistrate accepted the charge sheet and I was also absent that day. On the 23 March, as per trial-law, court recognized the case. I was present physically. Magistrate granted my bail on condition. In his court, hearings were held on 12 May. On the 25 May, though the order on hearings should have been issued, Magistrate fixed again another date of hearing! On the 8th July, hearings on complains were held and Magistrate ordered to submit charge sheet. During the process, my advocated said, ‚on the 20th April, 2002, in the Dainik Sangbad (Newspaper), Akash published a report in the first page, ‚Again the Chadradal Cadre is defendant on the charges of teenager-rape in Puthia’.
Not only this, the father of the victim was killed through poisoning! On this rape and murder case, journalist Akash had written many reports. On this reason, the father of the accused-rapist, Abdul Jalil, after 4 years willfully has filed a case against Akash on ‚contribution-collection’. There are no element of GD-Entry and formulating of charge sheet in the case. So we pray for the release Akash from the charges.’
On the 21 October, 2008, in the same court witness of the plaintiff Abdul Jalil was heard. Public prosecutors were APP Abu Raihan Al-Beruni Minhaj, Abdul Hamid and Afzal Hossain. During the cross-examination, PP Al Beruni Minhaj tried to dictate the plaintif, my advocates raised objections. In this day, my senior Advocate could not attend the case on personal ground. So his junior Advocate Jamshed Ali and Sarwar Jahan Tuhin appealed for time to the Magistrate. Magistrate rejected and allowed the witness of plaintiff. At the beginning, the plaintiff could not tell the exact year (2002) of the incidence! In this time, APP Beruni saw the GD-Entry and told him the date and year! He could not tell the second date and the year! In the way APP tried told him and plaintiff repeated it for the Magistrate’s my advocate Sarwar Jahan Tuhin objected and told ‚ Public Prosecutor has dictated the witness, this is totally illegal. This is injustice for the defendant.’ Chief Judicial Magistrate ordered APP not to tell further anything to the plaintiff.
We submitted Criminal revision case against the charges in the Session Judge court on the 5th November 2008 (Criminal Revision Case No.-162/2008, dated 5/11/08). After the hearing, District Judge ordered orally and openly no to grant the application. My advocates asked for the attested copies of the order, so that we can go to the higher court. The assistant of my Advocate, while went to the court to bring the attested copy, he was informed that next day (6th November) again a date for the hearing has been fixed. After the hearing of that day (6 November) , District Judge A.R. Masud granted the revision and issued order to the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court to send him the current files of the case. On the 9th November, on my behalf, in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court, application was made about the reference of the revision of the case. Chief Judicial Magistrate fixed the new date of accepting the order of Session Judge on the next 30th November. I was ill before. On that day (30 November), to the District Judge, time was begged for my illness. District Judge acknowledged the case and transferred it to the court of the Additional Judge -2 to settle the case. On the 22 January, 2009, in the court of Additional District Judge-2, I was present and appealed for the ‚transfer-bail.’ Justice Ali Ahmed granted my bail and fixed the next date on15 February 2009.
The 3rd case against me on so called Collection of contribution was filed by Abdul Latif Biswas, BNP Puthia police station President. He complained in the Puthia police station (Puthia PS Case no. – 28, dated 25/11/2007, u/s- 385/506 penal code, GR No.- 283/2007). Enquiry officer of the case was SI Amjad Hossain. GDR Entry was sent to the court on the 26th November, 2007. After enquiry, Police found no truth on the complaint. On the 4th January, 2008, they submitted the final report (Final report no.-2, dated 4/1/2008) to the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court. 3rd February was fixed as the date of the submission of the report. But Police submitted no report. On the next 18 March, 2008, Police made the final report and asked the permission from the court to file a case u/s 211against the plaintiff on making a false complain! On 19th June, 2008 Chief Judicial Magistrate Abu Saleh Sk. M. Zahirul Hoq accepted the final report and acquitted me from the charge. But he did not take any action against the plaintif u/s 211. Another case against me was under Emergency Act 16(2). GD Entry No. of Boalia Model police stattion-1239, dated 24/10/2007. Plaintif is he state. Under Emergency Acts 2007, as per 16 (2) section I was sent to the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (GR no.- 106/2007). On the 8th November, 2007, additional chief metropolitan Magistrate Ali Ahmed acquitted me from the charges under Emegency Act, 16(2). On the same day, I was shown as arrested on the case filed by Abdul Jalil in Puthia police station. The case which was forged by the Awami League leader, in the charge sheet, against me GDs of a journalist and one retired teacher and as I underwent some investigating reports against some journalists and the concerned paper-cutting describing me ‚unwanted’ had been added. In this context, on the 11 June, 2001, my filed case GD Entry No.- 488, dated 11/6/2001 and against one Mrs. Humaira Begum and Retired teacher Ashraf Ali Khan GD Entry No.- 449, dated 11/12/2000, carried a special significance! It is worth mentioning here that in different courts, the advocates who have represented me, they are: Advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Muhammad Hossain and Syed Mamun Mahbub. In the local court were senior Advocate Mojibur Rahman Choudhury, Ex MP Advocate Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque, Ex P Mansur Rahman, Advocate Kamrul Monir, and Ex General Secretary of the Rajshahi Advocates Bar Council, Ibrahim Hossain, Advocate Jamsed Ali, Advocate Rashed Ahsan, Advocate Sarwar Jahan Tuhin, Advocate Sakhawat Hossain Shamim, and Advocate Tanveer Hossain Khan.
Advocate Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque, President Rajshahi Didtrict Awami League and Ex MP got the greatest shock in his last 42 years of political life and that is for me! He is my father-in-law. On the kast 29th December, 2008, he was not given the nomination from Awami League. But a drama was staged in the name of giving him nomination! Rajshahi-5 (Puthia-Durgapur) is his own area. He is not a sudden appearance in the politics. He was students league member when he was a student, then Upozilla Chairman and from there to the Member of the Parliament. All were under the banner of awami League. He has never left Awami Lreague in his more than 4 decades of political life. He hid not pay attention to many lucrative offers from other parties. But while Awami league was in the peak, he did not get the nomination!
I enquired and came to know that ‚I am the only reason that he has been so insulted!’ I have reported against corruption, terrorism, militancy, killings extra judicial, violation of human rights and I used to make investigating journalism. And this was the great barrier to the political career of my father-in-law. One suffered for the fault (!) of other!
Because of my professional works, his political rivals and a special section of the administration took their revenge! In their directions, for the last 24 months, a unnatural situation was pressing on the people, a heavy big stone was that! Can we tell him a society civilized where there is no rule of law, principle, ideals, honesty and transparency? Not at all. But in such a wild society, we are living. Here are vileness, conspiracy, forgery, cheatings, dishonesty, black money and oiling are the chief measures of quality!
Through the artifice and fraud, in 2001 BNP and Jamat came to power and then with a master plan, murder-torture-terror and plundering were manifested on the Awami League leaders, workers, supporters, religious minorities and Indigenous. But in that election, with the people’s votes, Mr. Tajul Islam Faruque was elected. But through fraud he was defeated. As per government Gazette, 94% votes were recorded here as cast. It is simply unbelievable! But he got 47% of votes! In 2001 election, there are many election centers, where 100% (more than 100%) votes are claimed to be cast! On the 22 January 2007, BNP-Jamat qualition tried to hold ‘onesided election’ again as per the blue print of 2001 and so on the 11th January came a drastic change in the country!
On the 6th November in an extended meeting in Puthia-Durgapur area held under the directions of the central Bangladesh Awami League, the grass root workers, through democratic way, decided unanimously to give Mr. Tajul Faruque the nomination from Rajshahi-5 constituency. But the parliamentary board did not agree to it. Nomination was given to Garment Merchant Abdul Wadud Dara who has been living in Dhaka permanently for the last 20 years! Later on Tajul Islam was given the party-nomination but the final selection was Mr. Dara. In this way Mr. Tajul Faruque faced an unprecedented injustice in his long political career where he always raised the banner of the ideals of Bangabandhu and for their materializations. He has faced innumerable molestations, persecutions as prisoner, victim of warrant of arrest, fugitive etc. He was always with the people of Puthia in their good and bad days. During the last BNP-Jamat Government, he gave shelters, arranged securities for the workers, supporters of his party confronting the tortures, terrorism. He preserved the party against all adversities. He is not a new comer in the party. He is a devoted soldier of Awami League, Bangabondhu and the people’s leader, Sheikh Hasina.
He started his political career as the Vice-President of the Ishwardi police station Students League in 1967. Later on step by step, he was elected as the Upozilla Chairman of Durghapur, Rajshahi (his birthplace), and was elected as the member of the parliament in the national election of 1991 as candidate of Awami League. After the killing of Bangabandhu, Tajul Faruque after the beginning of ‚Politics within 4 walls’ in 1977, he organized many Thana and Union Awami League units. He played a leading role to re-establish the Awami League. In the movements against the autocracy in 80’s, peoples’ Uprising in 90’s, his role is worth mentioning. During the fraud of Magura Bye-Election, he and Khulna Awami League President, Harun-ar-Rashid protested and collected evidences. BNP filed cases against both of them.
During his more than 4 decades of political career, he was always loyal to the party. He was never opportunist to leave the party under lucrative proposals from the others. Because of this BNP-Jamat qualition government tried with their cadres and also the traitor-renegades in his own party, tried to kill him several times! On 20 February, 2004, in Bagha the conspirators, opportunists and traitor-party leaders provoked killers to kill him. Armed raid was made on him. Bangla bhai alias Siddiqul Islam and Shayokh Abdur Rahman with the direct assistance of the last BNP-Jamat qualition government started the militant activities with the name of ‚Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh’. In 2004 the militants tortured random to the Awami League and other progressive political party-workers-leaders-supporters, killed innocent people and at the same time plundered, robbed, forceful contribution-collections in large scale. Tajul Faruque first started movement against the militarism through a press conference. On the 23 May, 2004, Rajshahi District Awami League and other 11 political parties called a half-day strike to protest the tortures of militants, to bring them into book and to resist the armed expedition of them in Rajshahi. But the metropolitan Awami League did not support it (source: Daily Janakantho, 24 May, 2004). For this Tajul Fruque became the target of the militants. Bangla bhai openly threatened him to kill.
In the last days, through conspiracy with the BNP candidates, to make him defeated in the election, attempts to kill in Bagha, during the last interim government, forged cases against me (his son-in-law), his arrest, and tortures in the RAB camp, behind all, there were Awami League Central leaders and the newly elected Mayor of Rajshahi, A H. M. Khairuzzaman Liton. Last not the least, after the (last) interim government came to power, many false complains were dictated and lodged against him (by name or anonymous) to different administrative offices. But after the enquiries, they were all proved to be fake. Following these events, Tajul Islam did not support or oppose any candidate the City Corporation election. But in the Rajshahi Naohatta Municipality, he rendered all his strength, organizational capacities so that the Awami League candidate Abdul Gafur was elected as the Mayor.
As a part of continuous conspiracy, on the 23 August, 2008 in Durgapur police station, against him and his younger brother, Vice-President of Thana Awami League, Kabirul Islam Anis and the President of Durgapur Awami League, Mr. Nazrul Islam, General Secretary, Mr. Tofazzal Hossain on false allegations a GD entry was made. But the complaint was proved to be false after enquiry. Through the provocation of an influential Rajshahi Awami league leader, one Abdul Latif accused of corruption and fraud filed the case against Ex MP Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque and other 4 Awami League leaders in Durgapur police station. (GD entry no. – 857, dated 23/8/2008). About the matter of being candidate of the Upozilla election, District Awami League President, Advocate Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque, Durgapur Upozilla Awami League President, Nazrul Islam, Vice President, Kabirul Islam Anis and General Secretary, Tofazzal Hossain had threatened to kill, so complained Abdul Latif s/o Abdul Jabbar Ali Mridha of village Hoja Anontakandi of Durgapur. On enquiry, no truth was found in this allegation. Second oficer of Durgapur police station, Mokhlesur Rahman entered one GD (GD no.- 980, dated 26/9/2008) in his police station in this matter.
In 1980, he was elected as the General Secretary of Awami League of Durgapur Thana. Afterwards Tajul Faruque elected twice General Secretary of Rajshahi District Awami League. On the 26 September, 2005, he was elected as the President of Rajshahi District Awami League. In that party conference, he knew the wish of Party Leader, Sk. Hasina and against the resistance of the councilors, he requested them to elect Omar Faruque Choudhury as the General Secretary and lastly Mr. Choudhury was elected. It was the greatest mistake of his political career. General Secretary of District Awami League Mr, Abdul Jalil, and Member of the Presidium Mr. Tofael Ahmed, Organizing Secretary Mr. Abdul Mannan and Akhtaruzzaman were present. They formed a Committee with the newly elected President, General Secretary, Awami League leader Nurul Islam Thandu, Mr. Ataur Rahman, Mr. Engineer Shafikul Islam to organise a full Committee for the Rajshahi District Awami League. But the General Secretary did not want to work with them. Moreover he tried to include some of his own and self-choiced Metropolitan workers in the District Committee. This was the cause that a full Committee could not be formed. Later on the General Secretary-in-charge of Central Awami League Mr. Syed Ashraful Islam, wanted to send letters to the new nine Thana Committees and Municipal-Committee general secretaries with a proposal to convene a joint meeting to organise the full Committee of the District Awami League. But it was not materialized. Mr. Tajul Faruque faced a big financial loss and even became debtor for his political career. But he never left Awami League or the ideals of Bnngabondhu. At the end of his political career, while under the leadership of Bangabondhu-daughter, the great qualition of Awami League after winning the great victory in the election and millions of Awami League supporters were celebrating, Mr. Tajul Faruque and his family were confronting various conspiracies. For the last 7 years, he has been preparing the field for Awami League in Puthia-Durgapur but he was not given the nomination as Awami League candidate: This injustice, he can’t possibly ever forget.
It is reported that DGFI, RAB and the Mayor of Rajshahi, together these three powers, had opposed the nomination for Tajul Faruque and even he was insulted after once nominated and then the withdrawal of that by rendering another person the final nomination! Did he not get the nomination due to me? I could not calmly think about it. This thought makes me angry. Is really the country now wonder the rogues?
If not, why one is punished for the wrong of other? As my father-in-law had to compensate for my activities! I have heard because of the interventions of Army, RAB and DGFI, he was not given the Awami League nomination. But I don’t know the actual reason why Party-President and Parliamentary Board did not give him the nomination. But if because of the above reasons, he was deprived of, it is terrible for the politics. Pity to Bangladesh!
Bangladesh is known as one of the risky countries for the journalists. In the last 16 years, about 29 journalists-writer were killed. Many of them were victims of tortures. But few events were investigated and put to the trials. Throughout the country, everyday many journalists are doing their professional duties at the risks of their own deaths, persecution and intimidations. In different District towns, it is more dangerous than in capital, Dhaka. In spite of many adversities, the journalists in villages are fighting courageously for their existence in this profession. I was the victim of false complain, put to the jail and tortured. After I came out of the jail on bail, comments of my many colleagues had hurt me. Some seniors of me, they call themselves as the leaders of the journalists, said, ‚I move against the current, I chase everybody! Because of this, I was imprisoned and persecuted.’ An elderly from Rajshahi University, a colleague advised me to leave this profession to make an end of my crisis!
My wife is my friend, colleague and the source of my inspiration. She asked me after I was released from the jail, ‚ for your honesty, courage and transparency, you got the reward with being arrested on the charges of forged complains and imprisoned. Society, state and colleagues do not recognize your honesty and transparency, then why you are fighting against the corruption and the violation of human rights?’ I answered, ‚ I would continue my fight ignoring all obstacles to establish truth, justice for the country and the people. At least I have the self-satisfaction and I would definitely get the love of the common people.’
Only due to professional reasons, I was inhumanly tortured and harassed and arrested through on the grounds of forged complains and cases lodged against me one after another. I have been passing an unnatural life for the last 4 months as a result of the conspiracy of an united clique. At the same time, with me, 3 families attached to me are also suffering. Why against me the conspiracies, I want to explain.
Any report of an event which is held, is for the favor of someone and against some other. This is natural. One professional journalist has to search for the truth. If this truth is published or broadcast in media, one side is happy and another side is unhappy! Those are favored by the report are happy and vice-versa! Especially the concerned persons are not friends of a responsible, professional and honest journalist who reports about their corruptions, terror and crimes. Because of the reports they are unhappy and they vow to take revenge with the reporter. As I have reported against the corrupted-terrorist-circle and the violators of human rights, my life has become totally insecure. Because of the reporting’s on these matters, I became victims of tortures and forged cases. I was arrested on fake charges and molested in front of my wife, child, my house owner and his son. What the elite forces misbehaved with a human rights-worker journalist, I don’t know whether a convicted criminal had been so handled! I am now out of the jail after 28 days. But the conspiracy against me is not stopped.
Being committed with the state, country and people, sometimes along with the journalism, I worked as an activist. On the 21 August, 2004, after the grenade-attack and following the similar attacks throughout the country, on protest against the fundamental activities, I alone did a silent Rally with burial-dress. This report was published the daily Star (24 August, 2004) under the title, ‚An Unique Protest’. On the same day, a report, in the Bengali Daily, ‚Prothom Alo’ under the title, ‚ Awake the conscious, save the country, an extra-ordinary protest by a journalist in Rajshahi’ was published. To protest the journalists-killings, I went with lonely movement. While in 2004, in Rajshahi North areas, Militants started murders and tortures, I first, made a detail report on the Militant leader Siddiqul Islam and Shayokh Abdur Rahman on their murderous activities and made a GD entry on the 30th May, 2004 in Rajshahi Boalia police station (No.-1587, dated 30/05/2004) and another in Baghmara police station (N0. – 1647, dated 30/05/2004). Both GDs are not yet investigated.
On the 26th April 1997, the terrorists of Chatrashibir raided on the then Vice Chancellor and famous Folklore-expert Professor Abdul Khalek and three other teachers in their residences. I was then a student of the University and worked as the correspondent of daily Sangbad. The cadres of the Chatrashibir set fire to my room, crumbled and tried to kill me. Source: Special News after the 8-00 pm BTV News on the 28 April, 1997. In the same year in daily Ajker Kagoj, Daily Bangla, Bangladesh Observer, daily Sangbad and almost all other national dailies, on the 27 April, this report was published. To make a much discussed report about the Islamic militancy and revolution in Bangladesh, Alisa Griswold, American journalist of New York Times Magazine came to Rajshahi. I helped her to investigate in Militant area of Baghmara, on the spot. Source: Daily Amar Desh, 6th March, 2005. Student’s league leader Ahsan Habib Babu was killed in the Brushfire of RAB in Durgapur, Rajshahi on 1 December, 2006. On behalf of the Bangladesh Institute of Human rights (BIHR) an investigation was made. I led the investigating team. Source: Daily Janakantha and daily Bjorer Kagoj, 9 December, 2006.
I prepared a report on the killings-tortures, plundering and rapes in Rajshahi area by the BNP-Jamat Qualition and their armed cadres after the election of the 1st October, 2001. It was published in daily Sangbad. For this, many times the cadres of the qualition-powers tied to kill me. Since last 15 years, what was my role to protect the Bengali culture and with all progressive-democratic movements, the people of Rajshahi know it. In September 2002, in Sadhanpur of Puthia, Rajshahi on the direction of then MP of BNP Nadim Mostofa, BNP cadres attacked on me with arms. In 2003, miscreants kidnapped and brought me to an unknown place tortured me. Militant leader Siddiqul Islam alias Pakibhai (self-proclaimed, Banglabhai) threatened me to kill. After the closing of CSB News broadcast on 2 October, 2009, Mahfuzul Alam Loton, on the provocation of his nephew, AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, lodged a conspiracy and forged case against me on contribution-collection. They made me arrested with RAB and arranged my tortures by them. That conspiracy is still going on. I have reported on the complaint of the administrative-corruptions in the Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate (Religious-Grant-property) of Rajshahi. Because of this, Liton and Mr. Loton has harassed me with lodging fake cases against me. I was arrested by RAB and tortured. After 28 days in jail, on 19 November, 2007, I was released on bail. But both are still against me. These two are joined with one from the law and order (Army). I am a harassed victim of extreme injustice as a journalist. Recently it is rare in Bangladesh that a humanist-journalist is persecuted through forged cases. My profession was the reason for all these mishandlings. It is not yet ended. The known opportunists and corrupts were angry with me. They always searched plea to put me in trouble. In the beginning of June, 2007, the conspiracy started. After the closing of CBS News, this was enlarged. Special state army personnel joined in it because of his personal grudge. As a consequence, I was charged with a complaint of forceful collection of 50,000 Tk, by contractor Loton. I got the interim bail of this case from higher court on 16 October 2007. Yet on the 23 October 2007 at night, I was arrested. Till now I have 3 fake cases against me. My life is at a great because of my professional career. The deep reasons are my reports on the violation of human rights.
‘Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate’ is a widely known Estate in Rajshahi. Everybody knows about the corruption in the administration of this Estate. Cases in the courts have also been lodged. On 9 April 2002, in Daily Sangbad, a report was published, ‚Complains of large irregularities and corruptions in Rajshahi Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate, a new administrator has been appointed’ and on the 17th December, 2006, another report‚ ‚Police has handover the responsibilities to the new administrator of Rajshahi Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate’ was published. I made the both reports. On 25 April in CSB News, under the title‚ ‚In North areas, the Waqf-Estates are being
Illegally occupied’ was broadcast. The complaints about the Waqf-Estate were elaborated here. Besides I made reports on the 30 June, 2003 in the weekly Mridubhashan, ‚the Awami League in Rajshahi is finding no direction’ and on the 21 February, 2004 in daily Sangbad about the postponement of Awami League Bagha Upozilla Conference and assaults on the local Awami League leaders and workers by one particular group with the help of BNP cadres where with Central General Secretary, District General Secretary, 20 workers were harassed. In the same year I reported on the 28th December, Rajshahi Awami League is shattered with the inner party struggle’, on the 19 May 2005, ‘The process of familiarization of Rajshahi Awami League’. Mr. Lyton was dissatisfied with me. On 11 January last year, after the change of government (interim), Emergency was proclaimed in the country. Uncle and Nephew took the chance of Emergency and with the help of an influential RAB Officer, started conspiracy against me. Mahfuzul Alam Loton, son of Abdus Samad, Delwar Waqf Estate-Administrator, planfully forged a contribution-case against me and submitted. Mr. Abdus Samad, father of Loton, was fired on the charges of corruption from the Waqf-Estate. In May, 2001 Loton joined Awami League. Now he is the Vice-President of Rajshahi District Awami League and a contractor by profession. Before on the 4th March, 2000, I was made a report in the daily Sangbad, ‘From the spot of the event in Rajshahi, out of fear of the terrorists, two families can’t go out’. Another report from me was‚ Case has been lodged but Police is silent’. On account of these reporting’s, Mr. Loton wanted to teach me a lesson! So he let the terrorists loose on me. But his cadres, out of mistake, instead of me, wounded the then correspondent of daily Jugantor, Mr. Uttam Kumar Das. I made a GD entry in Boalia police station (no. – 310, dated 7-3-2000). Mr. Loton is accused of fraud and cheating. He is the 4th accused of Rajpara police station case no-10, dated 7-10.2007, and u/s 466/468/471/406 penal code. In Rajshahi Boalia Model police station on the last 20 June, 2007, Mr. Loton filed a GD and police recorded (GD no.-1160, dated 20-6-2009). After about 4 months on the last 2 October, in the same police station, a ditto copy of this GD was submitted as complainant’s deposition. Police recorded this as a case (Case no. 2, dated 2-10-2007, u/s 385/386 penal code). On the last 16 October, I got interim bail from the higher court in this case. On the 23rd October night (1-30 a.m.), I was arrested by civil-dressed RAB from my satellite town-rented house. Before I was arrested the second collection-case was filed against me in Puthia police station. Case no. – 13, dated 23-10-2007, u/s 385/387/506 penal code. Plaintiff was BNP supporter Abdul Jalil. On the 19th April 2002, his son Chatradal cadre, Harun raped teenager Shiuli. He was then caught by the people. Abdul Jalil gave pressure on Awami Leaguer Abdul Halim to compromise the case. But his attempt failed and it was alleged that he has killed Abdul Halim with adding poison in sweets (Jilapi). He was charged with this murder and he was recorded as the chief accused in Puthia police station, Case no. 7, dated 9-5-2005, GR No.- 99/2005, complain document no.- 136, dated 12-8-2005, u/s 302/34 B. penal code.
Over this sensational rape-incident of 19th April 2002 and about the murder of Abdul Halim, I made several reports in daily Sangbad. On the 25th November Puthia Thana BNP President and ex administrator of Puthia Municipality Abdul Latif Biswas filed the 3rd forged contribution case against me. Puthia police station case no.- 28, dated 25/11/2007 u/s 385/506 penal code. Plaintiff of this case was of the chief accused of a sensational attempt to kill, plundering and also collection case! The case against Mr. Abdul Latif with Puthia police station is no. 3, dated 2/7/2007 (GR 152/2007) u/s 147/323/325/307/385/427/114 penal code. On the complaint against Mr. Abdul Latif to open an Alcohol-Distillation in Puthia, my report was published in daily Sangbad on the 23 August, 2003. The political company of him, Mamtajul Alam lodged a case against me and the respectable editor of daily Sangbad Mr Bajlur Rahman on defamatory charges. Court has acquitted both of us.
After I came out of jail, from various circles I was advised to leave journalism. I told them, ‚journalism is my first and last profession of life.’ I want to conclude, ‚ I would never go backward to tell the truth. With hundreds of harassments, persecutions and tortures, none can stop my pen! Let us unitedly make journalism free from all pressures and ensure is independence. This profession must be more decorated, recognized. We must secure the rights to know the truth, the human rights and. We must be united to fight for a free Bangladesh from terror and corruption.’
Because of my investigating reports on corruptions and violations of human rights, I have been harassed. The fake cases against me are nothing but revenge! As a result my and two other families are passing days in panic and insecurity. This is an unbearable dreadful life. I want freedom from all these persecutions. I demand the security of my family and me, a natural life and justice.
By Jahangir Alam Akash, Militancy is still very active in Bangladesh. Former BNP-Jammat government was patronized to militant organizations for their own purpose. Now the militants are grown up whole over the country. Yet, we didn’t seen that the Godfathers and the petronizers of militant gotten punishment. I want to show to the readers by a video documentary what happened in the name of Islam in Bangladesh. What are having inside of that documentary now I want to take you there?
The young women who’s tears broken. She said, shouldn’t beaten to any one illegally without any guilty. We want to life for life especially who was the responsible for Maznu murder we want to see his death. Maznu wouldn’t come back. Because for giving money we wouldn’t get life. Our Maznu (who was killed by RAB) was a good man no one have like him.So we want to see hang to death to the killers of Maznu.
(In the PTC I was (Akash) told : The fourth day of the festival separated two workshop on education and land problems of Indigenous community were held. The speakers of that workshop has urged to form a separate commission for solve the problem. Jahangir Alam Akash, CSB News, Godagari, Rajshahi.)
Piarul Islam who is the brother of killed Qamrul Islam Maznu Sheikh told, yesterday we went to the Boalia police station to file a case. But, before us Major Rashidul Islam Rashid (RAB officer) arrived there. He was sitted. He was tried to compromise with us by various ways. He (Major Rashid) was told by his own mouth that, the real victim was Kiuddus. But we couldn’t catch to Kuddus, accidentally our operation gone on your brother Maznu. And he was also said to us that, they called to the criminal by their cell phone. And by this way they went to the Lichi garden. They took the record of the sound of conversations of cell phone. Major Rashid were heard to us that cell phone recording sound. But, there were no sound of my brother Maznu. At a stage he (Rashid) told to us with annoyed that get out from here you could do what you like.
Another PTC of me I was telling, in any government hospital to taking money for without medicare from the people is totally immoral. The sufferers demanded to remove this dicision of the autrhority imediately. (The authority of the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) has taken a dicision to take money as an entrence fee for the patient attendance.). For this immoral dicision of RMCH I was made an investigative report for CSB News.
The agitated general people were gathering to protest the Maznu murder during the emergency. They told that, we want to punish to the killers of Maznu. We want to trial RAB even hang to death to RAB those who were responsible for the Maznu murder. Another victim of RAB. He is Abul Kalam is a leader of Bangladesh Awami League.
I was asked to the general people about the activity of Islamic militant organization JMB/JMJB Siddiqul Islam Alias Bangla Bhai on behave of CSB News. Then the general people told, no never he was a good man. He was a criminal. Even he was damaged to Islam. He was taken four young women in his torture camp from Shoriya village in Raninagor of Naogaon. Later he was tortured them. Then the womens where to went we don’t know.
This was the first torture camp of the Islamic militant (JMB) at Bagmara of Rajshahi. The house owner Ramzan Koya is a great Rajaker. He wasn’t agreed to talk in front of the CSB News camera’s. The militant was declared that ‚we would killed to Abdul Qaiyum Badsha in the Abadpukur Bazar.‘ They told to the general people come to see the consequence of Badsha. But, they weren’t fulfill their commitment. Later they killed to Badsha and hung his deadbody at Adamdighi of Bogura. At the village Shimla they were tortured to a good man.
I was asked to the speakers of the villagers that who were tortured by JMB/Bangla bhai they were good or bad men? He told, good and bad both were tortured. But, most of the tortured victim are good. They wouldn’t catch to bad men.
The picture was the first operation of Bangla bhai. He went to SP office and talked with SP Masud Mia of Rajshahi with closed door. Three leaders of militant Dr. Galib who is the theoritical and intelectual leader, Abdur Rahman who was the Cheif of JMB and Siddiqul Islam was the operational cheif of JMB.
The rural area of Rajshahi and Naogaon.
Again a villager told, Bangla bhai done many bad activities by this way. All were in panic and afraid for them. Nobody couldn’t say anything. Even police also were afraid for them. If we were say something against their work then trhey would be killed us. He was the SP of Rajshahi in that time. SP Masud Mia was a very discussed for the petronazed to militant. Bangla bhai and his associates were damaged to the houses of rich people. They were taken cows and goats from the people by forced and then slautered and eat. I was taken and brought four young women from Shoriya and Moshipur village with my rickshaw van for Bangla bhai at Veti torture camp. They were tortured and were bleeding from their bodies. The people were bound to called him (Bangla bhai) sir sir. They were tortured to people and they were taken huge money from tortured victim.
Abdur Razzaq who is the night guard of Veti Maddrasha. He was also tortured by Bangla bhai. He told, I was tortured without any cause by Bangla bhai and his associates. In this camp (Veti) many people who was taken from diferrent places were tortured by the militant. Under this tree they were tortured to the people then took them to a room of this torture came.
This is Bagmara area which was dominated by militant. Now I went to the house of Sushanto and Sufal who were kidnapped and killed by JMB. But their family still haven’t get deadbody. Abdul Kuddus Rajon who is a post master of Shafiqpur post office and he is the brother of killed Badsha. This is the house of them. It was damaged by JMB. Rajon was also tortured by them. And the leaders of JMB were met with DC of Rajshahi. And they were giving a memorandum against the leaders and journalists those who were working against the killings and torturings of JMB to the DC of Rajshahi Mr. Aziz Hasan. This is my picture which was served by RAB-5 Rajshahi. They were arrested me and tortured brutally. They were blindfolded me hung me with the ceiling and they gave me electric schoked. Because I was made investigative report on Islamic militancy, extra judicial killings, corruption and minority oppression. I was worked also for the DW (Radio German) as a freelancer from Rajshahi region. The activities with armed of JMB, DC and SP of Rajshahi were taking memorandum from them and the procession against killings-torturing led by Tajul Islam Mohammad Faruque, he was the general secretary of Rajshahi district Awami League (at present he is the president of Awami League of Rajshahi district unit).
It’s a sample of RAB atrocity. This cruel and inhuman pictures of the victims of JMB. Syed Kawsar Hossain Siddique who is the cheif of Shahadot-E-Al Hikma Party (banned). The leaders of Ahale Hidiths Andolon Bangladesh and the JMB cadres. It’s a sample of the atrocities of militant JMB. Abdul Quiyum Badsha and Idrees Ali Alias Khejur Ali both of them were killed by JMB. The militant killers were cutted with four piece of the deadbody of Khejur Ali. And they were hung to Badsha’s deadbody with a tree inside of a road. Bangla bhai’s picture before his hung to death. And this is an army operation during the BNP-Jammat government in 2002 while they were started ‚Clean heart Operation‘ led by Army.
And on 23rd May, 2004 the militant cadres were demonstration with armed in Rajshahi city against the journalists and political leaders who were working against the militancy. That programme was organized by the direct helped of BNP-Jammat government.
This man is the Fazlur Rahman who was tortured inhumanly by the JMB. And it’s a picture of Mohima who was raped by a gang of Islami Chattra Shibir and Bangladesh Jatiyotabadi Chattra Dal on February 15, 2002. This deadbody was Milon is a BNP supporter. He was killed by Army during the Operation Clean Heart. This pictures of my professional activities. And some newspaper report cliping on threats to me from different sector. This are my books cover which was published (four books) after my persecution. Syed Hasan Imam, Golam Mohammad Edu, Muzahidul Islam Selim and Altaf Mahmud who were present of my book cover opening programme on April, 2009 at DRU.
And my last PTC on the reporting of militancy for CSB News. I am telling, it’s a torture camp at Veti Maddrasha of Raninagor in Naogaon of Islamic militant led by Bangla bhai. The militant were torturing to the people in here by various ways. Not only the torture victim even the general people also wants to see the punishment of the associates and Godfathers of Bangla bhai.