A police investigation cleared him of the arson attack charges four years back, but the Jubo League leader is yet to get exempted from the charges
He was not involved in the incident, nor had he been named in the first information report of the case. Even then, he had to serve 18 days in jail as a chargesheeted suspect.
On November 12, 2013, Abdul Maleque Malu, a leader of the Demra unit of Jubo League, was charged in four cases filed over arson attacks on vehicles during a strike called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 2013.
A police investigation found that Malu was not involved in the cases, but the worst was yet to come.
The home ministry issued a letter on April 11, 2017 to the Police Headquarters asking for his name to be removed from the case. Malu had been going to court for the same purpose.
But the investigation officer – the then sub-inspector Shawkat Ali – has not faced any action for wrongly including Malu's name in the chargesheet.
During an investigation, The Business Standard learnt that the police arrested Malu after he had been named in the chargesheet in those cases filed at the Paltan Police Station in the capital.
After coming out of jail on bail on December 29, 2014, he filed a written complaint to the then inspector general of police, saying the investigation officer had conspiratorially included his name in the chargesheet.
The then commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) also received a copy of the complaint, and gave the responsibility of probing Malu's case to the then deputy commissioner of the DMP's Motijheel Zone.
The deputy commissioner then assigned the job to the then additional deputy commissioner of the same zone, Md Farid Uddin. On May 25, 2015, Farid Uddin submitted a probe report to the deputy commissioner.
In the report, he said four cases were filed at the Paltan Police Station over violence during a strike called by the BNP-Jamaat alliance in 2013.
The then sub-inspector of the police station, Shawkat Ali, was given the job of investigating the cases. In December the next year, he submitted a charge-sheet that included the name of Jubo League leader Malu.
But Malu, who was the vice-president of Demra's Sarulia union Jubo League, was an innocuous and modest person. Without investigating enough about him and his political identity, the sub-inspector brought charges against him for his own financial benefit.
Local lawmaker Habibur Rahman Molla and President of Sarulia union Jubo League Md Dulal Mia confirmed Malu's political identity.
The police investigation also found that the then officer-in-charge Morshed Alam and inspector (investigation) Tofayel Ahmed, along with the sub-inspector had been negligent in their duty.
The Business Standard has obtained a copy of both the investigation report and the lawmaker's certificate.
Regarding the conspiracy cases and harassment, Abdul Maleque Malu said, ''The police investigation found that I was not involved. Even then I have been charged in four cases. I am still moving from door to door to get acquitted in the cases.''
Two years have passed since the home ministry asked the police headquarters to remove Abdul Maleque Malu's name from the cases, but the order is yet to be implemented.
Sohel Rana, an assistant inspector general at the Police Headquarters, said the name of a person accused in conspiracy cases is usually removed from the chargesheet after the next investigation. But it has to be explained in the record.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua criticised the faulty and biased investigation by the police in the cases.
''An investigation is the first and foremost step of the judicial system. But justice gets threatened if it is not done correctly. It is frustrating,'' he said.
When asked why Malu's name was included in the chargesheet, the investigation officer, the then sub-inspector Shawkat Ali, said, ''I brought charges against him based on information I obtained from the witnesses.''
He however acknowledged that he did not know Abdul Maleque Malu's political identity.