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Mirsarai tragedy

Driver responsible for deaths of 43 students freed from jail

29 July 2015 bdnews24.com

The driver of a truck that had overturned five years ago and killed 45 people, including 43 school children, in Chittagong has been released at the end of his jail term.Mofiz Uddin was released from the Chittagong Central Jail on Tuesday morning, Deputy Jailor Monirul Islam said. Chittagong Senior Judicial Magistrate Farida Yasmin had sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment in two cases filed over the deaths and fined him Tk 20,000 on Dec 8, 2011.The teachers and parents of the students who died in the accident as well as the plaintiff said the punishment was "too little" given the magnitude of the crime.Thirty-nine students had been killed on the spot when a truck carrying them tipped over and fell into a roadside ditch in Mirsarai on July 11, 2011.Six others had died at the hospital. The students of three schools in Abu Torab locality were returning home after watching a game at the Mirsarai stadium.It turned out that Mofiz, who was driving the truck, was, in fact, the driver's assistant, and the survivors had alleged he was speaking over the phone when the accident occurred.Local Union Parishad Chairman Kabir Nizami filed a case accusing Mofiz, who was arrested in Barisal on July 21 that year.Police pressed charges against him on Sept 25, 2011 and the court indicted him on Oct 30. The Chittagong court sentenced him to three years' rigorous imprisonment and fined Tk 10,000 for deaths caused by his rash driving.He was given another two years of rigorous imprisonment and fined Tk 10,000 for causing injuries to passengers.The court had ordered six months of additional imprisonment if the convict failed to settle the fine. Jail official Monirul said a fourth of the convict's sentence had been reduced as per the jail code. He was serving time after his rigorous imprisonment for not settling the fine. "We released him in the morning after receiving the court documents," the official said.

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