Limon's Case: Home ministry ignored NHRC request for probe report

Bangladesh on 01 July 2013
Location : Bangladesh | Source : The Daily Star. Image Source: The Asia Pacific Forum

The home ministry has remained quiet despite the National Human Rights Commission’s repeated request for the probe report on Limon’s shootout case filed by Rab, and withdrawal of the case filed against him.  Clarifying his position on the case through a letter yesterday, NHRC Chairman Mizanur Rahman claimed that the commission had asked for the probe report through a letter on April 6, 2011 on a suo moto move.

Mizanur’s statement was sent to the press after different media ran news he had proposed that Limon withdraw the case his mother had filed against officials of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).  He also made requests to the ministry through three letters dated April 4, 2012, July 11, 2012 and May 30, 2013 to withdraw the cases filed against Limon before completion of his first term as chairman of the commission, the letter read.

The NHRC chief also said he had reminded the ministry to send the probe report on a number of occasions, and requested the minister in person to submit reports on such issues of human rights violation.  

After Limon was shot in his left leg by a Rab team on March 23, 2011, the home ministry assigned a one-member probe committee of Mohammad Shawkat Akbar, additional divisional commissioner of Barisal, to investigate the matter.

The probe report, submitted to the home ministry on June 6, 2011, said Limon became a victim of a shootout between Rab personnel and a local notorious criminal gang leader Morshed Jamadar on March 23.  However, the report never reached the NHRC, Mizanur Rahman told The Daily Star over the phone.  CQK Mustaq Ahmed, senior secretary of the home ministry, said “We have always cooperated with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). If they had sent such letters, there is no reason why we would not respond to those.”

Ahmed told this correspondent to contact Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, additional secretary of the home ministry, regarding the NHRC letter.
Contacted over the phone, Dr Kamal said, “I cannot recall anything regarding this issue. Since the letter was sent sometime ago, I have to go to the office and check (whether the ministry had received the letter).”
He also said, “Without going through the content of the (probe) report, the NHRC cannot decide its next course of action (regarding Limon’s case).”

Based on the findings of the probe report published in different newspapers, he sent DO letters to the ministry to withdraw cases against Limon, he claimed.  “His [Limon] innocence was proved through a number of different sources,” he added.

Following the “shootout” on March 23, 2011, Rab had filed false cases against Limon on charges of possessing firearms and obstructing law enforcers in discharging their duties.  In April that year, Limon’s mother Henowara Begum sued six Rab officials on the charge of an attempt to murder.

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