Custodial Killing of Jonny: Verdict delivered, compensation not
A judge’s court on September 9 made history by delivering the first verdict punishing three police officials under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act, 2013.
Imtiaz Hossain Rocky had been fighting a legal battle seeking justice for the custodial killing of his brother Ishtiaque Hossain Jonny in Pallabi.
While the fight is seemingly over, in actuality it is not.
The judge had sentenced three ex-policemen of the capital’s Pallabi Police Station to life imprisonment and directed them to pay Tk 2 lakh each to the complainant as compensation.
But even after two months, Rocky was now beginning to learn that the compensation money would not be paid until the case is cleared by the higher levels of courts, where the accused party will be filing appeals to overturn the verdict.
“Two of the convicted policemen have submitted money to the court, while the other is on the run. However, Rocky will not get this money until he has won in High Court and perhaps even the Appellate Division,” said Additional Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Tapash Kumar Pal, who represented Rocky in his case against the law enforcers.
The convicted party is preparing to file an appeal to the High Court, informed their lawyer Advocate Faruque Ahmed. “We are waiting for the certified copy of the verdict, following which we will file an appeal.” The compensation has been paid by some of the accused already because they cannot file an appeal without paying it.
“We hope the courts will dispose of the case fast but we do not know how long it might take,” said Pal, as it took the Metropolitan Sessions Judges’ Court six years to deliver the conviction.
This came as a disappointment to 29-year-old Rocky, who had relentlessly pursued this case.
“After my brother was killed, I married my brother’s wife and adopted his two children in order to take all their financial responsibilities. His son is now 11-years old and his daughter is seven. That money would have been great help,” said Rocky.
“I run a car workshop in Pallabi, but over the years, as I was at the court premises several days out of the week, I lost many clients. The workshop is mostly empty now. I barely earn Tk 15,000 a month,” said Rocky, who has four dependants on him, including his mother.
In this scenario, it seems all that awaits Rocky and his family is an endless number of years of running to and from courts.
On February 7, 2014, a police team led by sub-inspector Jahidur picked up Rocky and Jonny from the capital’s Pallabi Irani Camp area, along with some others, from a pre-wedding programme.
They were tortured inside Pallabi Police Station for around two and half hours after which Jonny lost consciousness. He was taken to a local clinic, where he died of his injuries.