Tuesday, August 16

26 years on the run to avoid 2 years jail



What would you do if you were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment?

Fight back or serve the sentence and start life anew? For one such man in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi, neither seemed like the answers.

Md Shamsul Huq, 70, managed to evade the law enforcers for 26 years before he was arrested from Shah Sikander Ali shrine in Jhinaigati upazila of Sherpur on Wednesday.

In May 1990, Shamsul was arrested from Godagari for his alleged involvement in smuggling. A case was filed against him.

Later, he received bail and vanished quickly from the scene.

Thanks to disguises and luck, he stayed beyond the reach of law for long years. Dressed up as a devotee, he roamed around the country for ”pilgrimage” at different shrines. About four months ago, he arrived at Sekandar Ali shrine.

But for some reasons, his presence aroused suspicion among the locals.

They informed Jhinaigati police about him. After watching him closely for a few days, police found he was indeed a fugitive. They arrested him after their Godagari counterparts confirmed his identity.

Back in September 1994, a special tribunal of Rajshahi sentenced Shamsul to two years’ imprisonment along with a fine of Tk 1000 or a month more in prison on charges of smuggling, officer-in-charge of Godagari Police Station SM Abu Farhad told The Daily Star.

“Now that he has been caught, the sentence will take effect,” the OC said.

Yesterday, the court of Magistrate Mominur Islam in Sherpur sent Shamsul to jail after Jhinaigati police produced him before it.

On the court premises, Shamsul told this correspondent, “I left my home in Farhadpur village of Godagari and since then I haven’t had any communication with my family.

“I don’t know where my family is and how they are.

“I love to be at shrines; after leaving home, I stayed at Maizbhandar Darbar Sharif in Chittagong for a long time.”

“I came here just four months ago. But I did not know I am a fugitive and police were looking for me.”

Asked, Shamsul said he will not appeal against the court order.