False case and arrest warrant against HRCBM activist!

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On Feb 13, 2007 The Combined Armed forces of Bangladesh demolished Temple structure of "Sree Sree Ma Bhabani Temple" at Bhabanipur, Sherpur-Bogra District. While Destroying the Temple The Armed forces said that the temple was a unauthorized structure. Due to the destruction, the Sanctity of historic temple is now desecrated. After the incident Advocate Rabindra Ghosh, The Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM) local President took the matter for Investigation. Immediately, a arrest warrant was issued by local Magistrate in a false case against Advocate Rabindra Ghosh. It has been said that a group of officers within armed forces, local administration and police in Bangladesh are misusing emergency power to confiscate land and indulge in rein of terror against minorities in the country.

This is just another example of the grand design to annihilate minorities of Bangladesh.

The HRCBM has given some More details on the incident and also the Case Details which has Been reproduced Below.

Also the Suggested Action in this regard has been given below.

Urgent & Earnest appeal in this regards

False case, Arrest Warrant against Human Rights activist

Dear friends,

The Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), a Human Rights and humanitarian organization and an NGO in special consultative status with UN has received a report from it’s Dhaka chapter, in Bangladesh, regarding the alleged arrest warrant against it’s president of local chapter advocate Rabindra Ghosh. It is reported that annoyed by the investigation of Advocate Rabindra Ghosh for the recovery of historic Bhabani Temple at Bogora, Upazilla Nirbahi Officer filed the case against our renowned human rights activist alleging that advocate Rabindra Ghosh is involved in malicious activities against the state. Police has given 24 hours notice based on the warrant and requested advocated Rabindra Ghosh to comply.

A group of officers within armed forces, local administrations and police in Bangladesh are misusing emergency power to confiscate land and indulge in rein of terror against minorities in the country.

The arrest warrant issued by local Magistrate in a false case against our renowned human rights activist Advocate Rabindra Ghosh is just another example of the grand design to annihilate minorities of Bangladesh and prevent rights advocacy for the marginalized people of Bangladesh.

Case details:

Combined Armed forces of Bangladesh demolished Mandir structure of "Sree Sree Ma Bhabani Temple " at Bhabanipur Sherpur-Bogra District on Feb 13, 2007 in the name of unauthorized structure. Decree and order of the high court was violated. Pujari (worshippers) and Office bearer manhandled. Sanctity of historic temple desecrated.

Detailed Report available at -
http://hrcbmdfw.org/blogs/rajshahi_division_news/archive/2007/02/22/617.aspx

HRCBM-Dhaka has received an appeal dated 20th February,07 from historic Bhabanipur Mandir Committee to-day that their Temple structure situated at Bhabanipur within Sherpur P.S. of Bogra District of Bangladesh has been demolished in the name of unauthorized structure on the government property on 13th February,07 without any lawful authority and most illegally. One Dulal Talukder- Treasurer of Bhabanipur Mandir Committee has been manhandled by Major – Shafique of Armed forces while Dulal objected not to demolish the rest houses built for Foreign Guests. The Pujaris and victims are now staying under the open sky.

On receipt of information HRCBM-Dhaka led by advocate Rabindra Ghosh communicated with Mr.Abdul Gani – Deputy Commissioner-Bogra, ( 01713202455) Mr.Zamil Ahmed – Superintendent of Police, Bogra, (01713202455) Mr. Ferdous – Upazila Nirbahi Officer (01715041951) Major -Shafique (01717600501) and the Officer-in-Charge Mr.Shafiqul Islam (01713374069) over their Cell telephones. All the executives admitted that they have demolished unauthorized structure occupied by the occupants. But on careful scrutiny of the documents available with the Committee members it has been found that all the documents are genuine and the demolished property is a "Debottor Property" deity’s property as per judgment and decree of the Civil court vide Other Suit No. 39 of 2002 pronounced by Md. Atiqur Rahman, Joint District Judge, Court No.1 Bogra dated 31.08.05.

The Judgment of court is as follows: -

"that the suit be decreed on contest against the contesting defendants and exparte against the rests without cost. It is hereby declared that the land of shecule "ka" to the plaint measuring 17.31 acres is the Debottor property of the Deity Sree Sree Ma Bhabani and it is not the khas land of the government. It also declared that if any document is executed and registered by the government-defendants in respect of the said suit-land in favor of any third party will be treated as void, inoperative, illegal and of no legal effect."

The above court’s order has been communicated to the administrative authority in time for necessary records and action. But it is unfortunate that the local administration most illegally land without any legal authority with active collusion with government officials demolished the structure of Mandir premises which caused a serious tension amongst the Minority Hindu communities of Bhabanipur-Sherpur P.S. Bogra.

HRCBM-Dhaka talked with O.C. Sherpur Police station and apprised him the situation, but the O.C. only noted down HRCBM’s concern in his general diary entry No.662 dated 20-02.2007, but he did not take any remedial measures till writing of the report.

On that day, a Colonel Mostafizur Rahaman from Bogra made a telephone call to Advocate Rabindra Ghosh and he wanted to know as to why advocate Ghosh is so much interested with the matter relating to demolition of Mandir premises. Advocate Ghosh politely told him that, as there is court’s order, no administrative authority have got right to intervene with the Debottor Property. Henceforth, the act committed by the Armed forces is illegal and without any lawful authority. Mr. Mostafizur became angry with Advocate Ghosh and warned him not to instruct any officers in future during their course of official works.

As the case developed and recovery of the historic temple progressed, annoyed local official along with the help from joint armed forces filed the case against Advocate Rabindra Ghosh alleging his work anti state. Today (7 th August, 07), police knocked the door of Advocate Rabindra Ghosh giving him 24 hours to comply with arrest warrant.

Malicious Intention of Bangladesh Law Enforcement Agency

With sheer disappointment we have to assert that despite interim Government’s good intention to uphold rule of law, a group of officers within armed forces, local administrations and police in Bangladesh are misusing emergency power to confiscate land and indulge in rein of terror against minorities in the country.

The arrest warrant issued by local Magistrate in a false case against our renowned human rights activist Advocate Rabindra Ghosh is just another example of the grand design to annihilate minorities of Bangladesh and prevent rights advocacy for the marginalized people of Bangladesh.

Suggested Action:

Please immediately write to the relevant authorities listed below demanding an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into this case. Please urge them to arrest the alleged perpetrators and bring them to justice as soon as possible.

Sample letter:

Dear _________,

BANGLADESH: False case and arrest warrant against Human Rights activist Advocate Rabindra Ghosh

Name of victim: Advocate Rabindra Ghosh, President HRCBM-Dhaka Chapter, Bangladesh

Alleged perpetrators: Upazilla Nirbahi Officer, District Commissioner and Colonel Mostafizur Rahaman, Joint Armed Forces.

Date of incident: Reportedly arrest warrant was issued today dated 7th August, 07.

I am deeply concerned by the false case and alleged arrest warrant against President of HRCBM-Dhaka,

Bangladesh and well known human rights activist advocate Rabindra Ghosh. According to the information I have received, the victim was given 24 hours to comply by Bogra police personnel who visited advocate Ghosh’s house this morning. In light of the above, I strongly urge you to:

  1. Immediately order an impartial and thorough investigation into this case and bring the alleged perpetrators before Justice.
  2. Provide appropriate compensation and legal remedies to the victim’s family as well remove all cases against advocate Rabindra Ghosh.
  3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee physical and psychological integrity of advocate Rabindra Ghosh.
  4. Order immediate removal of all charges in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards.
  5. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Lastly, I urge the Government of Bangladesh, as a state party to the Convention Against Torture (CAT), to strictly implement the convention into local level and criminalize torture committed by its law enforcement officers without further delay.

Yours sincerely,
Your Name

Send to : Bangladesh Embassy in India

High Commission of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, New Delhi
Chancery Address : 56, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar-III, New Delhi-110024, India
Telephone : 683-4668, 683-9209, 683-4065, 683-8405
Fax : 91-11-683-9237, 91-11-684-0596

Deputy High Commission of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Calcutta
Chancery Address : 9 Circus Avenue, Calcutta-700017, India
Telephone: 247-5208, 247-0341,  247-5209
Fax: 91-33-247-0941

Other contact details

1. Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Office of the Chief Advisor Tejgaon
Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Tel: +880 2 8828160-79, 9888677
Fax: +880 2 8113244 or 3243 or 1015 or 1490
2. Barrister Moinul Hossain, Adviser
Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs
Bangladesh Secretariat
Dhaka-1000
BANGLADESH
Tel: +88-02-7160627 (O)
Fax: +88-02-7168557 (O)
3. General Moeen U Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff
Bangladesh Army
Army Headquarters
Dhaka Cantonment
Dhaka
BANGLADESH
Tel: +880 2 9870011
Fax: +880 2 8754455
4. Barrister Fida M Kamal, Attorney General of Bangladesh
Office of the Attorney General
Supreme Court Building
Ramna, Dhaka-1000
BANGLADESH
Tel: +880 2 9562868
Fax: +880 2 9561568
5. Mr. Nur Mohammad, Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Bangladesh Police
Police Headquarters’
Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000
BANGLADESH
Tel: +880 2 9562054 or 7176451 or 7176677
Fax: +880 2 9563362 or 9563363
6. M. Humayun Kabir, Ambassador
Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC
 3510, International Drive NW
Washington, DC 20008, USA
Telephone: (202) – 244 – 0183
Fax :(202) – 244 – 2771/7830
7. Prof. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
Attn: Mr. Safir Syed
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
1211 Geneva 10
SWITZERLAND
Tel: +41 22 917 9230
Fax: +41 22 9179016 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR TORTURE)

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