The High Court on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned to withdraw Gaibandha SP Ashraful Islam and other policemen involved in setting fire to the houses of the Santal community during an eviction drive in Gobindaganj upazila of the district.
An HC bench comprising Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Krishna Debnath passed the order after hearing the judicial probe report on the incident.
The HC also directed police to submit a progress report within four weeks on the action taken against the policemen.
Advocate Abu Obaidur Rahman, Samiul Alam and Mahzabin Rabbani stood for the petitioners while deputy attorney general Motahar Hossain Saju represented the state.
Earlier on January 30, Chief Judicial Magistrate of Gaibandha M Shahidullah submitted the judicial probe report to the High Court where it is found that some locals and on-duty law-enforcement agency members were involved in setting fire to the houses of the Santal community during an eviction drive in Gobindaganj upazila.
In the report, the probe body said it was seen after analysing the video footage of Al Jazeera TV that some policemen and two civilians actively took part in torching the houses of Santal people.
There were some other policemen standing in a short distance playing the role of spectators and they did not try to douse the fire, the report said.
The probe body said witnesses could not identify those involved in the arson attack.
On December 14 last, the High Court directed the chief judicial magistrate of Gaibandha to investigate to dig out whether the police had any involvement in setting fire to the houses of the Santal community.
Three Santal men were killed and 30 people, including nine policemen, injured following a clash with law enforcers and workers of Rangpur Sugar Mills in Gobindaganj upazila on November 6, 2016.
The clash broke out when workers of Rangpur Sugar Mills along with police went to Bagda Farm area to reclaim land of the sugar mill allegedly occupied by the Santal community.