A judicial inquiry has found that the accused of a rape and murder case were forced, through torture, threats, and promises of bail,to make confessional statementsin police custody.
The 28-page probe report of Narayanganj Chief Judicial Magistrate Farhana Ferdous was presented on Tuesdaybefore the High Court (HC) bench, comprised of Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman.
The court set 13 January for the next order.
The alleged rape and murder victim – a Narayanganj fifth grader -- went missing on 4 July. Her father filed a case,and police subsequently arrested three persons.All three of the accused later made confessional statementssaying they gang-raped the student,murdered her and dumped the body in the river.But the student was found alive on 23 August.
Then the HC ordered the judicial inquiry, which sayspolice brutally tortured the accused, forcing confessions out of them.
According to the probe report, the accused were put on police remand after the arrest. After the interrogation, police produced them before the court to file confessional statements under section 164.
The two judicial magistrates who recorded the statements told the probe body thatthe accused werepanicked andwere completely distraught during their confessions.
In the opinion portion of the report, it was said that, "While the accused were in police custody (police remand), the investigating police officer Md Shamim Al-Mamun, Sub-Inspector of Narayanganj Sadar Model Police Station, was found guilty of beating, intimidation and threats to force them to confess."
Prior to completion of theinquiry, The Business Standard published a report on 13 November titled "I raped and killed her: Story of forced confession".
The inquiry report was submitted to the relevant branch of the HC on 4 January.
On 25 August, five lawyers filed a petition with the HC to verify the accuracy, validity, rationality of the case documents filed with Narayanganj Sadar Model Police Station, and the subsequent proceedings.
On Tuesday, lawyer Mohammad Shishir Monir spoke on behalf of the petitioners in the HC while Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain represented the state.
On 27 August, the HC summoned the current and former investigating officer with the case documents over the return of the murdered student. Accordingly, they appeared before the court and provided explanationson 17 September. The court then set 24 September as the date for the order.
On 24 September, the HC ordered the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Narayanganj to conduct a judicial inquiry. On 18 November, the magistrate received another month for further investigation, and accordingly the court fixed 5 January for the order.
The five lawyers who applied to the HC are -- Md Asad Uddin, Md Jobaidur Rahman, Md Ashraful Islam, Md Al Reza Amir, and Md Misbah Uddin.
On 24 August, a national daily reported that a schoolgirl who had been dumped in a river after being raped and murdered had returned alive after 49 days.