Bangladesh Cyber Tribunal has sent former Sonagazi OC Moazzem to jail, turning down his bail appeal in a case that involves the murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, a madrasa student in Feni.
Cyber Tribunal Judge Mohammed Ash Shams Jaglul Hossain issued the order on Monday and set the next charge hearing for Jun 30.
Police arrested Moazzem, who made headlines following the murder of madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi, on Sunday, 20 days after a warrant was issued against him. He went to the court to seek advance bail after absconding for three weeks.
A team of Sonagazi Police Station came to Dhaka and took over Moazzem’s custody on Monday. He was taken to the court in the afternoon.
Donning a T-shirt and black sunglasses, Moazzem arrived in the courtroom shortly after 2.15pm. As he stood in the dock, some lawyers and the bench clerk complained that he was not handcuffed.
Advocate Salma Sultana appealed for Moazzem’s bail and Md Faroque Ahmed moved the bail hearing.
Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman, complainant of the case, was present in the court during the hearing.
The judge denied Moazzem’s bail plea and sent him to jail setting Jun 30 as the date for charge hearing following the report from the Police Bureau of Investigation.
Former Inspector Moazzem may face five years behind bars if he is found guilty as charged under the Digital Security Act.
Moazzem was the chief of the Sonagazi Police Station when Nusrat pressed charges of sexual harassment against her madrasa principal Siraj-ud-Daula in March, recording her statement on his mobile phone.
The video was later posted on social media amid widespread protests over a deadly arson attack on Nusrat by the followers of Siraj, who had already landed in jail on the sexual abuse charges, in April.
A case was subsequently started against Moazzem in Dhaka under the Digital Security Act on Apr 15, after Nusrat died in hospital.
The Bangladesh Cyber Tribunal in Dhaka issued the arrest warrant for Moazzem on May 27 after the PBI submitted the report on an investigation that found evidence of the allegations brought against Moazzem.
Following Nusrat’s death, Moazzem was initially transferred to the Rangpur range of police and later temporarily suspended from the force.
The Feni police and Rangpur police were at a loggerheads over the arrest of Moazzem. The media then reported Moazzem absconding.
There was an advance bail petition submitted to the High Court prior to the Eid day but the hearing on it did not take place. Therefore, Moazzem was not seen in the court premises.
The former police inspector made a fresh bail appeal to a regular bench of the High Court, as it opened on Sunday after the vacation. The police arrested him on his return from the court.