Chunk of false ceiling collapses; ICT-1 at risk

International Crimes Tribunl-1 on Wednesday hastily suspended the proceedings after a chunk of the false ceiling collapsed close to the investigation officer during cross-examinations by the defence counsel for war crimes accused Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

The chunk of the false ceiling crashed on the floor around 12:35 pm with a bang, creating a jumpy atmosphere in the courtroom.

Apparently worried, tribunal chairman Justice M Nizamul Huq without any hesitation suspended the proceedings for an hour and asked its officials to look into the matter immediately.

As the tribunal rose, IO ASP M Helal Uddin, who luckily escaped unhurt in the incident, heaved a sigh of relief, told UNB, “Allah saved me this time.”

Later, briefing reporters, deputy registrar Mesbahuddin Ahmed admitted that the incident took place due to infrastructural weakness of the century-old building.

“There could have been a fatal accident, but we’re lucky enough,” Mesbah said, adding that the PWD that looks after the building had renovated the old High Court building last year, leaving the rainwater leakage problem of the roof unresolved.

He said the chunk of the false ceiling collapsed as it could not carry the wait of the soaked rainwater.

Meanwhile, the PWD engineers rushed to the tribunal room and started repairing works.

The sittings of the tribunal remained uncertain till 3 pm. “The tribunal will hold proceedings subject to PWD clearance,” said an ICT official in the afternoon.

Earlier, in the morning, the tribunal turned down two petitions filed by war crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, now in custody -- one for reviewing the charges framed against him and the other for transferring his case to the ICT-2 from the ICT-1 apprehending partiality.

Besides, the tribunal upon a plea allowed a round-the-clock attendant in hospital subject to condition for detained war crimes accused Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer Delawar Hossain Sayedee who underwent heart surgery recently.

In the order, the tribunal said any deviation of the attendant in abiding by the jail code or hospital rule, its order stands cancelled.

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