A case has been filed against Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman for negligence over the death of Dhaka Residential Model College student Nayeemul Abrar Rahat.
A ninth-grader at Dhaka Residential Model School and College, Rahat died of electrocution during an anniversary event of Kishor Alo, a supplement of the Prothom Alo for young readers, on November 1 this year.
Rahat's father Mujibur Rahman filed a case on Wednesday at a Dhaka court under Section 304A of the Penal Code, accusing Matiur Rahman, also the publisher of Kishor Alo, and other unidentified people.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Aminul Haque recorded Mujibur Rahman's deposition and ordered police to exhume Rahat's body.
The magistrate also asked police to submit a report on December 1 after investigating two cases – one filed earlier by Mohammad Police Station over Rahat's unnatural death, and the other filed on Wednesday at a Dhaka court by Mujibur Rahman.
Advocate Mohammad Omar Faruq Asif, Rahat's family lawyer, told The Business Standard they asked for the arrest of the accused, but the court denied it.
"Now, we are waiting for an impartial investigation report from the law enforcing agency," he said.
What the case statement says
According to the case statement, Nayeemul Abrar Rahat attended the anniversary programme of the monthly Kishor Alo at his college premises on November 1.
Around 3:30pm, Rahat was electrocuted and became senseless behind the stage. There was a lapse in the management of the electric cable connection, the petitioner wrote in the statement.
The management did not take proper precautions for a programme that was attended by so many students.
Even though Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital was close by, Kishor Alo personnel took the electrocuted boy to Universal Medical College Hospital in Mohakhali.
The death certificate issued by the hospital said that Rahat was admitted to the hospital at 4:15pm, and the doctor declared him dead at 4:51pm.
Rahat's father Mujibur Rahman claims that Kishor Alo and the college did not pay any heed to the news of Rahat's death, and continued the cultural programme till 7pm. After the cultural show, they informed Rahat's family about his death through his classmates.
The accused put pressure on Rahat's father to accept it as a tragic accidental death, wrote Mujibur Rahman.
They also forced Mujibur Rahman to receive Rahat's dead body and say that he was not willing to have an autopsy performed on the body, claimed the petitioner.
Consequently, Rahat's death was registered as an unnatural death case at the Mohammadpur Police Station, and the family decided to bury the body.
After Rahat's death, students of the college started protesting the mismanagement and negligence over Rahat's treatment and subsequent death.
On November 2, they staged a demonstration and placed four demands, including disclosing the CCTV footage of the incident, and a written explanation from Kishor Alo and the hospital about the death of the student.
The case statement also said Rahat's death was not tragic or unnatural. Rather, mismanagement, negligence of treatment, carelessness and extreme negligence by the people accused caused his death.