Almost 18 years have passed since that day, but justice is yet to be delivered for the police officer
Md Nuruzzaman, the main eyewitness of traffic sergeant Rajeshwar murder case, is passing his post-retirement period residing in Baherchar, Barishal. Ten years ago, he made his testimony before a court. He mentioned the heinous incident which he had faced on that day.
Rajeshwar Chandra Bepari was murdered on June 1, 2001. Almost 18 years have passed since that day, but justice is yet to be delivered for the police officer – on the contrary, his murderer is out on bail.
Sergeant Rajeshwar was on duty in Dhaka's Uttara area, in front of the Rajuk crossing zone, on that fateful day, according to Nuruzzaman's description.
When he saw a truck speeding away, he signalled the truck to stop. The truck driver and prime accused in the case, Md Kajol, was in no mood to stop though. As the constable accompanying Rajeshwar tried to stop the truck by trying to climb in, the truck sped away.
In order to rescue his fellow officer, Sergeant Rajeshwar got on his motorcycle and pursued the truck.
"At one point, Rajeshwar overtook the vehicle and tried to block his path. Driver Kajol then rammed his truck into Rajeshwar's motorcycle against the road divider that resulted in splitting the sergeant's body into two parts," said Nuruzzaman.
"His upper body lay on one side of the road, while his lower body lay on the other. The policeman died on the spot," said Nuruzzaman, going down the memory lane.
A case was filed on the same day with the Uttara police station for manslaughter due to reckless driving. Accused Kajol was produced before the court the next day. He secured bail a month later and has been roaming free ever since.
Later on September 21 that year, police submitted the charge sheet against Kajol, accusing him of murder.
Md Kajol, who lives in Cumilla, is currently out on bail. He is now almost 70 years old, and requires the help of a crutch to walk, as seen during the court hearings on October 9 this year.
No justice yet
Speaking to The Business Standard, Romana Haque, assistant deputy commissioner of North Division (Traffic), Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: "As far as I know, her family was neither compensated, nor given any sort of help from the police. Since the matter is now in the hands of the court, we [police] cannot do anything to speed up the justice process."
Assistant Inspector General of police (Welfare) Rebecca Sultana said the police department did not take any measure in this regard.
"As it occurred many years ago, we have no specific information about it," she said.
Road accidents killed 1,212 between January and March this year
At least 1,212 people, including 157 women and 215 children, were killed and 2,429 others injured in road accidents across the country in the first three months of this year.
A total of 1,168 fatal accidents took place on various highways, national, inter-district and regional roads between January 1 and March 31.
The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR), a non-government organisation, revealed the information in its regular monthly survey and observation report.
The report was prepared on the basis of 22 national dailies, 10 regional newspapers and eight online news portals and agencies.
The NGO identifies 10 major reasons for the spike in the number of road accidents.
According to the report, 411 people, including 53 women and 71 children, were killed and 725 others received injuries in 383 accidents in January.
Some 401 accidents occurred in February where 415 people died while 884 others injured. Among the deceased, 58 were women and 62 children.
In March, 386 people, including 46 women and 82 children, were killed and 820 others were injured in 384 road crashes.
NCPSRR General Secretary Ashis Kumar Dey said they identified 10 major reasons for increasing road accidents.
In 2018, despite the nationwide road safety movement, the country had seen 4,317 road accidents that killed at least 4,580 people, including 591 women and 679 children, and injured 10,828, according to NCPSRR.
The Road Transport Act 2018 officially came into effect on Friday throughout Bangladesh, more than a year after it was passed into a law.
The Traffic Division spent Friday creating awareness about the Road Transport Act 2018 instead of implementing the new law due to a lack of further details from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.