Barguna court set to deliver Refat murder verdict on Sept 30

  • Barguna Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-09-16 14:29:59 BdST

The fate of Aysha Siddika Minny and nine other suspects in the daylight murder of her husband Refat Shorif in Barguna is set to be decided on Sept 30.

Barguna's District and Sessions Judge Md Asaduzzaman set the date for the verdict in the closely-watched case on Wednesday after hearing the arguments of both sides.

Of the 24 people formally charged over the grisly murder that sent shockwaves across the country in 2019, 10 were tried as adults in a regular court.

The 14 other suspects are facing trial in the children's court in Barguna.

Refat was hacked to death on a Barguna road on Jun 26. A video of Minny's desperate attempts to save her husband went viral on social media.

The following day, Refat’s father Dulal Shorif accused 12 people in the case over the murder.

The case subsequently took a new turn after Dulal accused Minny of playing a role in the killing.

Barguna Sadar Police Inspector Md Humayun Kabir later submitted the chargesheet to the court against 24 people, including Minny, on Sep 2, 2019.

Minny, who had been the No. 1 witness in the case started by Refat’s father Dulal, is mentioned as the 7th accused in the charge-sheet while 23-year-old Rakibul Hasan alias Rifat Forazi, a relative of Barguna District Council Chairman Delwar Hossain, is the main suspect.

The eight other adult accused are Al Qayum alias Rabbi Akon, 21, Mohaiminul Islam Sifat, 19, Rezwan Ali Khan Hridoy alias Tiktok Hridoy, 22, Md Hasan, 19, Md Musa, 22, Rafiul Islam Rabbi, 20, Md Sagar, 19, and Kamrul Hasan Saimun, 21.

All the accused are currently behind bars, except Minny, who was released on bail, and Musa who is on the run.

Lawyers Mahbubul Bari Aslam and Faruk Ahmed asserted Minny’s innocence in the cases while presenting their arguments in court.

They claimed the probe report that stated Refat went to the hospital alone after the incident was not true. Instead, it was Minny who took Refat to the hospital, according to her lawyers.

She was desperate to save Refat and tried her best to stop Noyon from killing her husband. Each of the 13 witnesses in the case also gave similar statements, Minny’s lawyers said.

“The report showed that Minny was present while the assailants plotted the attack at Barguna Govt College playground a day before the murder, but police didn’t provide any such evidence even though the entire area is under CCTV surveillance.“

The lawyers also claimed that Minny was tortured by the police to give a false statement.

However, the plaintiff's lawyer Mujibul Haque Kislu opposed the arguments and demanded the ‘highest punishment’ for Minny.

Police had not kept the name of Sabbir Ahmed alias Nayon Bond, the key Refat murder suspect, in the charge-sheet as he was killed in a so-called gunfight with police on July 2.

A Barguna court subsequently granted police a five-day remand to quiz her. She then gave a confessional statement after being produced in court on the third day of the remand, police said.

Later, she appealed to the Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court for withdrawal of the statement.

Her father alleged police tortured her and compelled her to give the statement. He also accused local politicians of playing a role in inclusion of Minny in the police investigation as a suspect.

After her father-in-law expressed his suspicion over her alleged involvement in the murder, Minny said he was making “imaginary claims on being influenced by conspirators”.

She also said the “Bond 007” group led by Nayon is “very powerful” and “trying to change the course of investigation to save themselves”.

A first-year student of Barguna Government Degree College, Minny said she could identify Nayon, Rifat and Rifat’s brother Rishan Forazi among the lead assailants.

She alleged Nayon sexually harassed her before she married Refat two months before the murder.

Refat’s father Dulal, however, said she had been married to Nayon as well but had been hiding it.

Minny protested Dulal’s statement and denied having married Nayon, but said she was forced into signing a marriage document.