A Sylhet court on Thursday sentenced industrialist Ragib Ali and his son Abdul Hye to 14 years’ rigorous imprisonment in a case filed for grabbing the endowment property of Tarapur Tea Estate through forgery.
Public prosecutor Misbah Uddin Siraj said the court also fined them Tk 10,000 each and they will have to serve three more months jail term in case of failure to pay the fine.
The court recorded the testimony of 11 witnesses out of 14 in the case which ended on 14 December, 2016.
On 25 August, 1999, the then parliamentary watchdog on land affairs found that the Tarapur Tea Estate grabbed a vast area of an endowment property and set up several establishments on the land illegally.
Later, the subcommittee of the parliamentary watchdog recommended taking legal action against the illegal occupants.
SM Abdul Hye, the land commissioner of Sylhet Sadar, filed two cases against six people, including Ragib Ali, with Sylhet Kotwali Police Station on 27 September, 2005.
The cases were filed one for grabbing endowment property of Tarapur Tea Estate after fabricating document of the Ministry of Land against Ragib and his son Hye and another for misappropriating Tk 1,000 crore of the government.
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.
On 19 January last, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court asked the authorities concerned to reclaim Tarapur Tea Estate. The SC also ordered reinvestigation into the cases although police submitted a final report disposing of the case.
Following the SC order, Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate court ordered the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate the cases again. On 10 July, the PBI submitted a report accusing Ragib Ali and his son Hye.
Ragib Ali and his family members fled to India hours after the arrest warrants were issued against them after police submitted the chargesheets in the two cases to Sylhet Metropolitan Magistrate Court on 10 July last.
On 10 August last, a court here issued warrants for the arrest of six people in the two cases.
Indian immigration police arrested him from Karimganj district of Assam for illegal stay on 24 November last and a court sent him to jail while Abdu Hye was arrested from Jakiganj on 12 November.