New York, April 14, 2016: The Hindu community in Bangladesh has again found itself on the backfoot. As if forced conversions, land grabbings and other atrocities done by politicians were not enough, now even High Court judges are threatening advocates who appear for Hindu victims.
Here is what advocate Rabindra Ghosh said in a statement when he was threatened by judges when he appeared on behalf of a Hindu victim:
Bangladesh High Court Judges in a Division Bench consisting Justice Md. Ruhul Quddus threatened Advocate Rabindra Ghosh of Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar in the open court on 11.04.2016 when Ghosh moved an application before the bench on behalf of a Hindu victim – Narayan Chandra Paul -Accountant of Judge’s Court – Gopalgonj District for stay of impugned proceeding (whose fundamental right has been racially infringed and he had been sent to jail custody on the basis of false allegation of fraudulent activities (under section 409/109 of Penal code and Section 5(2) of Anti-Corruption Act,1947 on the basis of a General diary No.135 dated 03.05.2011 made by Gopalgonj Sadar police station.
Sheikh Mesbahuddin -Assistant Director -Durnity Damon Commission, Dhaka on the basis of F.I.R, lodged by S.M. Nasir Ahmed on 09.05.2011 submitted charge sheet Number 177 dated 03.06.2012 against four alleged perpetrators namely:
(1) Narayan Chandra Paul-Accountant of Judge’s court Gopalgonj
(2) A.K.M. Salauddin, Senior officer, Sonali Bank Ltd,
(3) Mohammad Abedur Rahman-Junior Offricer -Sonali Bank &
( 4) Mohammad Masud Alam -retired Sonali Bank officer of Gopalgonj district as prima-facie case had been established.
Accordingly, Senior Special Judge Gopalgonj, in Special case No.02 of 2012, by his order dated -06.02.2013 framed charges against four accused perpetrators including Narayan Chandra Paul.
But it is unfortunate that the High Court Division consisting Mr. Justice Md. Ruhul Quddus and Mr. Justice Mahamudul Hoque by their judgment and order dated 20th January, 2016 set aside the order of framing the charge by Special Judge without any scope of trial which raises question on the integrity of the judicial system rendering three accused 1) A.K.M. Salauddin,Senior officer, Sonali Bank Ltd, 2) Mohammad Abedur Rahman-Junior Offricer -Sonali Bank & 4) Mohammad Masud Alam free from any trial.
It was not an equitable judgement and order of the High Court Division.
Yesterday on 11th April,2016, I, on behalf of Narayan Chandra Paul, moved an application before the said Bench consisting Mr.Justice Md. Ruhul Quddus and Mr. Justice Mahamudul Hoque praying for similar order as was passed on 20.01.2016 in case of the three other Muslim charge-sheeted accused, as it was most discriminatory order and also because those perpetrators got impunity without any trial.
But Mr.Justice Md.Ruhul Quddus got angry with me as I uttered the word “discriminatory” and Mr. Justice Md. Ruhul Quddus threatened me that he would refer my name in the Bar Council for my alleged misconduct.
He also started to insult me in presence of my Advocate friends who were present at the time of passing order. Thereafter I did not press the rule on behalf of Hindu victim-Narayan Chandra Paul because of intimidation. I did never used any words contemptuous and derogatory within the court rather I politely given my submission on behalf of my client.
The discretionary power exercised by Division Bench without assigning any reason whatsoever is nothing but infringement of fundamental rights of minority victim as per Article of the Constitution of Bangladesh. And the oath taken during appointment as Judge of the High Court has been violated.
So, the High Court Judges are not immune from discriminatory judgements and attitude towards Minority victims in Bangladesh. The fate of Narayan Chandra Paul and also others have been seriously undermined.”
The statement of the Hindu human rights activist has been presented here without any editing except for punctuation marks. Earlier, we had reported several cases from Bangladesh where Hindu victims were asked to run to India or were forcefully converted. Ghosh himself is a very big name in activism and in the field of law and even he appears to fight for Hindu victims, he has to face discrimination.