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On the verdicts of Dhaka University violence January 25, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Dhaka University, EDUCATION, GOVERNANCE, JUDICIARY, POLITICS, University.
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Court has ultimately given verdicts on the 3 cases in relation to the violence of Dhaka University in August 2007.

The first case was against 4 teachers and 15 students for instigating violent protests breaking the emergency rule. The case registered with Shahbag police on 23 August, 2007. Court acquitted 4 teachers and 11 students in the case on 21/1/08. The court has given 4 absconding students to 2 years imprisonment for the same case. The 4 students were given presidential mercy along with the 10 convicted students of RU in the evening of 21/1/08.

Different political leaders, organizations and individuals hailed the verdict and opined that the teachers were absolutely innocent. They also added that 4 teachers and the students who were under arrest had to endure inhuman suffering inappropriately in the last few months.

Welcoming the verdict, some legal experts and civil society members urged the government to take immediate step to settle the remaining issues.

All were expecting that the teachers and students will be acquitted in same manner from other cases.

The second case was about the violence in the Nilkhet and surrounding area which turned into extreme destruction of the vehicles and shops where the 4 teachers and 7 students were accused for instigating. Some legal experts were saying that if a person is acquitted from one case he may be acquitted from other cases. But this may not be always true, which was seen in the verdict of the second case where 3 teachers were convicted for 2 years and one teacher and all the students were acquitted from the case.

The relatives, political leaders and students were shocked at the verdict. The students vowed to continue their agitation program till all the teachers are freed. But hours after, President of Bangladesh Government pardoned them and they came out of the jail. Hundreds of people welcome them at the jail gate; they marched to the Shahid Minar premises and thanked the people, students and their colleagues for their relentless support for release.

The 3rd case was about the torching of the Army vehicle in front of the Aziz Market in the Shahbag area for which 7 students were accused. No verdict was given in the case. But the students are released on bail.

Few jurists told that the verdicts were given on poor evidence and made a permanent dent in the legal system.

2 more cases have been withdrawn which were charged against the teachers and students

DU teachers and students demanded to withdrawn all the cases against the students.

The students and teachers started classes from 24/1/08 and the campus become vibrant with the signs of life.

The accused teachers and students were not released unconditionally as was demanded by the teachers and students of DU and some political parties. The government, though made compromise, tried to maintain a bottom line- to try the cases in the court and then to pardon, if found guilty. Though many could not accept the verdict of the second case where the teachers and students were convicted by the court, but none challenged the verdict and appealed in the high court rather all accepted the presidential mercy and sighed relief.

Government likely made the compromise to avoid the growing unrest in the campuses and to concentrate more on the upcoming election to be held by this year.

So who win or who loose. Or is it a win-win situation?

Could government establish that ‘none is above the law’?[….]

An ordinary citizen

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