Wrongful imprisonment of innocent instead of real accused ominous
Incidents of putting innocent people behind bars instead of the real accused has been reported in the country.
At least 26 people were arrested and imprisoned instead of the real accused in recent years by the police across the country.
A law firm prepared a list of victims based on newspaper reports showing that the victims had been languishing in prison as they were arrested on mistaken identity or otherwise.
Law Lab, a law firm, prepared the list when it played a key role in providing legal assistance to a woman named Minu of Chottogram, who has been languishing in jail since June 12 of 2018, in a murder case.
On November 30 in 2017, a Chattogram court sentenced the accused to rigorous life term imprisonment in the case. The case has been brought before a High Court bench and the case was heard on Monday.
Following an order of the High Court, the lower court has recorded Minu's confession where she stated that she is in jail instead of Kulsum Akter alias Kulsum.
In a dowry case, police arrested Chan Miah for his identical name when the case had actually been filed against another Chan Miah of Brahmanbari village at Madhupur Upazila in Tangail.
After he spent three days in jail, the court identified that he was arrested mistakenly and released him immediately on November 29 last year.
Complainant Jamila Begum said the arrested Chan Miah is not the one accused in her case.
Monwara Begum, the wife of the arrested Chan Miah, said no case had ever been filed against her husband and the police mistakenly arrested him.
Md Rajan Bhuiyan, 19, of Gopalnagar, Brammanpara, Cumilla, an innocent person, languished in Dhaka Central Jail for 25 days after the police wrongfully arrested him instead of the actual accused, Habibullah Rajan, 33 of the same village.
Previously, another resident of Tangail, Jahalam, had been in jail since February 2016 in place of the real accused in 33 cases, Abu Salek. The charges included embezzling Tk18 crore from the Sonali Bank.
Jahalam was eventually freed from jail on February 4 in 2019, after the High Court acquitted him in 26 cases in which charges had been pressed against him.
On January 2 last year, SM Rabiul Islam in Satkhira was wrongfully arrested because of mistaken identity and jailed.
Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir, head of Law Lab, told the Daily Observer that the lack of modern technology-based identification led to a recurrence of mistakes.
"In a few incidents, we have seen innocent people suffer in jail for a long time that should be stopped."
Only introducing fingerprint and eyeball identification system can stop mistaking identity, which is frequently happening, he said.