A Sylhet court has framed charges against industrialist Ragib Ali and his son Abdul Hye in a case filed for holding the posts of publisher and editor of a local newspaper while being fugitive in a land grabbing case.
Sylhet Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Saifuzzaman Hiro framed the charges against Ragib Ali and his son after hearing in the case on Wednesday.
On September 8, Giash Uddin Talukder, president of Chhatak Upazila Press Club, filed the case for using their names in the printer’s line of a local Bangla daily – Dainik Sylheter Dak while they remained absconding.
Later, the court took the allegation into cognisance on September 9 and ordered Ragib and his son to explain their positions in this regard.
As they did not appear before the court, the court issued the arrest warrant against them in the following day.
On August 10, the same court issued a warrant against Ragib and five members of his family, including his son, in two cases filed for grabbing the land of an endowment property of Tarapur Tea Estate through forgery and setting structures flouting rules.
The other accused are Pankaj Kumar Gupta, current caretaker of Tarapur Tea Estate, Ragib’s son Abdul Hye, his son-in-law Abdul Quadir and daughter Rozina Qaudir and Dewan Moshtaque Majid.
Ragib Ali and his family members fled to India hours after the arrest warrants were issued against them.
Indian immigration police arrested him from Karimganj district of Assam for illegal stay on November 24 and a court sent him to jail.
On February 2, a Sylhet court sentenced Ragib Ali and his son Abdul Hai to 14 years in jail each in a case filed for forging signature and grabbing the land of an endowment property of Tarapur Tea Estate.
The irregularities were first detected by a parliamentary standing committee in 1999, which recommended that the authorities take legal action against the grabbers.
Based on the suggestions, the then land commissioner of Sylhet filed two cases with Kotwali police on September 27, 2005. But proceedings remained stalled for 11 long years.
In its final verdict, the Appellate Division on January 19, 2016 ordered the government to reclaim the land of the tea garden and revive the cases. In April, the Police Bureau of Investigation started re-investigation of the case and filed a charge sheet on July 10.
Ragib Ali is the vice-chairman of South East Bank, chairman of the trustee board of Leading University and former chairman of North South University trustee board. He founded Ragib-Rabeya Medical College in Jalalabad in Sylhet and many other organisations including local newspaper Dainik Sylheter Dak.
He was widely known as Daanbir Ragib Ali for his financial contributions to many educational institutions.