HC asks why BNP's Mirza Fakhrul shouldn't get bail in vandalism case

The court refuses to grant him bail in a case over the vandalism of the chief justice's residence in Dhaka

Senior Correspondent
Published : 7 Dec 2023, 06:49 AM
Updated : 7 Dec 2023, 06:49 AM

The High Court has turned down BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's bail plea in a case over the vandalism of the chief justice's residence during the party's antigovernment rally on Oct 28.

The court, however, asked why the BNP leader should not be granted bail, giving the state seven days to respond.

On Thursday, the panel of Justice Md Saleem and Justice Shahed Nooruddin issued the rule after a hearing on Mirza Fakhrul's bail petition.

Lawyer Zainul Abedin argued for the BNP leader's bail. He was accompanied by Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Ruhul Quddus Kajal and Kaiser Kamal.

They moved the High Court after two lower courts previously denied Mirza Fakhrul bail in the case.

On Oct 28, the BNP called a rally to press home its demand for the institution of a neutral caretaker government ahead of the upcoming national elections. The police allowed them to gather under 20 conditions.

But the BNP's programme took a tumultuous turn as deadly clashes between party loyalists and the police erupted in Kakrail. The opposition group subsequently suspended their rally and called a nationwide shutdown to protest the police crackdown.

Several vehicles were vandalised and torched during the clashes, while mobs also attacked journalists. A police constable was beaten to death at the Dainik Bangla intersection during the clashes.

The home of the chief justice was also vandalised during the clashes.

Mirza Fakhrul called for a nationwide shutdown in the wake of the violence. He was subsequently arrested by detective police from his home in Gulshan on the morning of the hartal on Oct 29.

The following day, he was refused bail and sent to jail. The case filed at the Ramna Police Station revolves around the violence surrounding the BNP's antigovernment rally on Oct 28.

It says that top BNP leaders and activists, along with affiliated groups, arrived from different parts of Bangladesh for the rally. Armed with an array of weapons, including sticks, iron rods, bricks, and Molotov cocktails, they congregated in front of the chief justice's residence.

The protesters, allegedly acting on instructions from the BNP's top brass, chanted anti-state slogans, and vandalised several vehicles, including buses, leading to damages worth around Tk 2 million.

They are accused of obstructing police work, attempting assault with intent to kill law enforcement personnel, and detonating Molotov cocktails, causing injuries to policemen.

The BNP activists illegally entered the chief justice's residence after breaking the gate on the building's eastern side, the case documents claim. There, they allegedly pelted bricks and caused damage to various parts of the building, including the nameplate.

After being denied bail by the Magistrate's Court, Fakhrul's lawyers petitioned the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court for his release. But on Nov 22, Acting Judge Faisal Atik Bin Quader rejected the bail plea.