Ex state minister for Home affairs and expelled BNP leader Lutfuzzaman Babar has been taken into remand under a directive of Supreme Court chamber judge Mozammel Hossain. Earlier a two judge high court bench directed the government to interrogate Mr Babar in Dhaka Central Jail where Mr Babar is in custody now. This supreme court verdict, indirectly, marks a demarcation line between interrogation and remand. The Attorney General asked for something more than simple interrogation and the appellate divn chamber judge M Mozammel Hossain used his constitutional power to allow the state to do ‘something more’ on Mr Babar. Even Attorney General Mahbubey Alam stated that “…the investigators are empowered to decide the place and mode of the interrogation,..”.
It is an open secret that remand means torture. Every single person who have been through remand in recent past have termed their remand time as living in hell. A senior BNP leader today described remand as killing someone, by stripping him of his self esteem, hope and physical well being. Senior national leaders including current PM, deputy leader of the house, leader of the opposition, senior ministers, parliamentary standing committee chiefs have said, on numerous occassions and on record, that rermand equals torture.
We used to see a lot of remands during the immediate past military regime. People from both sides of political dichotomy in Bangladesh were tortured in the name of remand. And during that time, on many occasions, high court came to reprieve by blocking remand petitions. Many current ruling party leader benefited from such directives of high court. And that time the military government arm twisted Appellate division to overturn many of the high court blocked remand petitions. It is very unfortunate that a democratically elected government run by a party which claims to carry a liberal ideology will resort to the tactics of a cruel military regime. Today, two persons, Justice M Muzammel Hossain and Attorney general Mahbubey Alam paved way for the state to torture a person. This report in a mainstream vernacular newspaper describes the cirmstances that led to the unprecedented verdict of the supreme court. It must be taken into heart that a supreme court judge and an attorney general are not merely persons. They are institutions. They represent the state and the constitution. Personal political bias, grudge and political calculations must not guide these sort of institutions to resort to unconstitutional activities like torture. Torture does not bring any good for anybody. Torture can not be a tool of a civilized society. Torture can only take the nation back into the dark middle ages.