Judicial probes find two people tortured to death in custody

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Judicial investigations have found that the police have tortured two people in custody to death — one at Mirpur police station in July 2014 and the other at Pallabi police station in February 2014. Metropolitan sessions judge Kamrul Islam Mollah is scheduled for today for hearing on acceptability of the investigation report in the death of human hauler driver Mohammad Jonny and torture on three others at Pallabi police station. Earlier on March 16, acting metropolitan sessions judge KM Imrul Kayes accepted the investigation report in the custodial death of garment waste trader Mahabubur Rahman Sujan and torture of his wife at Mirpur police station and posted for April 15 the indictment hearing. The court had ordered the judicial inquiries following two complaints – one filed in July by Sujan’s wife Mamtaz Sultana Luchi against 10 people, including Mirpur police station officer-in-charge Salauddin, and the other by Jonny’s brother Imtiaz Hossain Raki against nine people, including Pallabi police station officer-in-charge Ziaur Rahman in August. The report of metropolitan magistrate SM Ashiqur Rahman found former Mirpur police station sub-inspector Jahidur Rahman Khan, assistant sub-inspector Raj Kumar, constables Asad and Rashidul Haque and police informer Md Mithu guilty of Sujan’s custodial death and recommended acquittal of five others, including officer-in-charge Salauddin. Metropolitan magistrate Maruf Hossain found Pallabi police station sub inspector Jahidur Rahman Khan, who was also accused of custodial death of Sujan at Mirpur police station, assistant sub-inspectors Rashedul Hasan and Md Kamruzzaman Minto and police informers Sumon and Rassel guilty of custodial death of Jonny, and arrests and tortures of his brother Raki and three others. The report, however, recommended acquittal of four others, including officer-in-charge Ziaur Rahman. Jahidur, now in jail, was named as prime accused in the cases filed under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act 2013 by victim families with legal assistance of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association. The report in Jonny’s case submitted to the court in November 2014 pressed charges against Jahidur, assistant sub-inspectors Rashedul Hasan and Md Kamruzzaman Minto for torturing Jonny, his brother Raki and three others and for torturing Jonny to death. The report said that Jonny, Raki and three others were arrested by a police team led by Jahidur on early February 9, 2014 when they were celebrating a pre-wedding programme of Jonny’s friend Billal Hossain at Irani camp of Pallabi. Police informer Sumon and his friends Rassel and Nasim called police in after Jonny slapped Sumon for stalking ladies dancing at the programme, said the report. The police diary, however, according to the report, claimed that the five people were arrested for their suspicious roaming in the DOHS area while the police forwarding sent to court stated that they were arrested for hampering public safety creating chaos in Mirpur bus stop area. The report said that the police case and a general diary lodged over the incident claimed that five police teams were sent to Irani camp and Rahmat camp on one Milon’s information that 90-100 people were rioting, and five people including Jonny, who were injured in the clashes, were given treatment at local Mirpur Adhunik Hospital before they were taken to Pallabi police station at about 3:30am. Video footages captured by closed circuit cameras at the hospital, however, showed that a white microbus went to the emergency gate at about 4:42am carrying Jonny, Raki, Sharif Ahmed Titu and Faisal, said the report. The investigation report in Sujan’s death, submitted to the court in October 2014, found that a police team led by Jahidur and informer Nasim stormed into Sujan’s house at Shankar of Dhanmondi on early July 13, 2014 and assaulted and tortured him in front his wife and his minor son for money. Later, Sujan, his wife and their child were taken to Mirpur police station on a police van and tortured them. Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association president Fawzia Karim Firoze told New Age in the past week that such torture in custody continued ‘but few incidents are being reported’ in newspapers. ‘We receive many complaints of police harassment and tortures in custody but can’t move the cases in court as victims do not dare to lodge cases for police reprisal,’ she added.

Source: New Age