The hearing of witnesses' testimonies in the cases filed in connection with the mayhem in Bogura following rumours of sighting Delwar Hossain Sayeedi's face on the moon has not made much progress. Authorities concerned cite many reasons including two vacant posts of judges for a long time for the delay.
Fifty cases were filed against 1.5 lakh people following the atrocity in different areas in Bogura centring rumours that Sayeedi had been hanged by the government and his face was seen on the moon.
Acknowledging the delay, Public Prosecutor Abdul Matin said, "The judges will join in the vacant posts at Additional District and Sessions Judges Court 1 and Additional District and Sessions Judges Court 3 in March."
However, final reports were submitted in five cases. Bogura district police and court sources said final reports of those cases were submitted to the court within a few months of the incident due to lack of adequate evidence and witnesses.
Besides, charge sheets were submitted to the court in 45 cases where 854 persons were made witnesses. In the 45 cases, charge sheets were submitted against 3,128 out of 81,136 suspected persons.
The court has heard only 99 of the 854 witnesses, according to a source in the court.
As the District and Session Judge Naresh Chandra Sarker asked to complete the trial quickly, the prosecutors has started working on presenting the witnesses in the court, said Abdul Matin.
Among all these ongoing cases, the attack on Nandigram Upazila Parishad premises and setting fire to 17 government offices are the most discussed ones.
Police submitted charge sheet against 268 persons more than six years ago. Of the 85 witnesses, statements of only three were taken in the last seven years.
The then Bogura Superintendent of Police Mozammel Haque told The Business Standard the miscreants attacked nine police outposts, four police stations and more than 100 government and private establishments.
"The attackers aimed to loot and make the administration dysfunctional. They also attacked Karatoa Courier Service, SA Paribahan offices and some shops at Bagura New Market. They also launched an attack on police members at Shahjahanpur Police Station," he added.
After 2 am on March 3, 2013, the miscreants spread misinformation using mosque loudspeakers and mobile phones that the government had secretly hanged Sayeedi and image of his face could be seen on the moon.
Followers of Sayeedi poured out on the streets. After Fajr prayer, the mob carrying sticks and sharp weapons attacked and set on fire the Muktijoddha Sangsad, railway station, police stations and different government establishments.
At least 11 persons including women and children were killed in the mayhem unleashed by Jamaat-Shibir leaders, workers and supporters.