Former OC Moazzem has been sentenced to eight-year rigorous imprisonment for filming the statement of Feni madrasa student Nusrat – a victim of sexual harassment – unlawfully and spreading the video clip through social media without her consent.
A Dhaka court on Thursday awarded former officer-in-charge of Feni's Sonagazi Police Station Moazzem Hossain the jail term and fined Tk10 lakh under the Digital Security Act. In default, he has to suffer six months more in jail.
The plaintiff of the case, lawyer Sayed Sayedul Haque Suman, said it was the first conviction under the Digital Security Act.
Dhaka Cyber Tribunal's Judge Md As-Shams Jaglul Hossain pronounced the verdict.
Earlier, 16 people had been sentenced to death for their involvement in killing Sonagazi Madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi by setting her on fire.
Moazzem's imprisonment came under two sections of the Digital Security Act – five years in prison under Section 26 for disclosing the victim's identity without any legal authority, and three years under Section 29 for publishing "defamatory information" of the victim.
Moazzem had summoned Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa's Principal Sirajuddoula and Nusrat after she accused the teacher of sexually harassing her.
The former OC interrogated Nusrat in the absence of her lawyer or any other woman and he also used inappropriate language.
Nusrat was later set on fire on April 6 at an exam centre, reportedly by people loyal to Sirajuddoula. She died on April 10 at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Moazzem was initially withdrawn and later suspended on May 10. A tribunal ordered his arrest on May 27 after investigators found allegations brought against him to be true.
Nusrat's brother Rashedul Hasan Rayhan, said, "The OC was punished as per the law, we are happy with this verdict. We expect that it will be implemented."
Nusrat's uncle Sayed Salim said, "Nusrat taught us how to stand against sexual harassment. We hope the implementation of this verdict will save the institution from this kind of offence."
Petitioner lawyer Sayed Sayedul Haque Suman said, "We got justice through the verdict. This judgment is a signal to all policemen that no one is above the law. Everybody must obey the law."
Earlier, a Feni court sentenced all 16 accused including Sonagazi Madrasa principal to death in the sensational Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder case.
The Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Mamunur Rashid passed the verdict on October 24.
The death convicts are: SM Siraj-ud-Doula, Nur Uddin, Shahadat Hossain Shamim, Councilor Maksud Alam, Saifur Rahman Mohammad Zubayer, Zabed Hossain, Hafez Abdul Kader, Afsar Uddin, Kamrun Nahar Moni, Umme Sultana, Abdur Rahim Sharif, Iftekhar Uddin Rana, Imran Hossain, Mohammad Shamim, Ruhul Amin and Mohiuddin Shakil. The court also fined each with Tk1 lakh.
Court's observation on OC Moazzem
The judge Md As-Shams Jaglul Hossain said records revealed that at the time of the commission of the alleged offences accused Moazzem Hossain was officer-in-charge of a police station.
He was holding a very responsible post.
On the other hand, a vulnerable young girl who was only 18 years old, had to be the victim of the offences committed by the OC.
And the offences were committed when the girl went to the accused's office and sought help from him against a sexual assault allegedly committed by her principal. Subsequently, she died at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
So, he should be given severe punishment.