Imrul Kayes, a councilor of Narail municipality, had gone missing since Thursday, the 15th of January, leaving his family deeply worried as to his sudden disappearance. As time began to go by without any news of his whereabouts, the family began to fear the worst. Days later, after an agonizing wait, they were finally contacted by police with the news that Imrul had been found. But by that time, he had become a denizen of the hereafter, his body left cold and lifeless on the floor of the morgue at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). It was a Monday, three days after his disappearance.
His lifeless body was discovered lying at Motijheel AGB Colony Kitchen Market area at around 3:30 am Monday night, and was subsequently brought to DMCH as another nameless victim of ‘crossfire’ at the hands of a team of the Detective Branch (DB) of police. His chest was found riddled with not one, nor two, but with 10 bullets. Bright red blood, seeping from the numerous bullet impact wounds all over his chest, was seen splattered all over his lifeless body.
At 11 am on Monday, the 19th of January, his family was called via his mobile phone and notified that the owner of the phone had met with an ‘accident’ followed by the news that he had been admitted in Dhaka Medical. His family quickly rushed to DMCH, where they were rendered speechless and horrified at the unbelievable sight that met their eyes. The once handsome, lively and always smiling father of a three year old was now but a cold, mangled and lifeless corpse lying at the morgue.
Amid scenes of horrified silence and tears followed by cries of grief, his family members reiterated that this was a pre planned instance of extrajudicial murder by the national intelligence agencies. The wife of the deceased, Jannatul Ferdous, informed that her husband Imrul had come to Dhaka a week prior. The family had lost contact with him after he had gone missing since Thursday night. It was her firm conviction that her husband had been taken away by the intelligence agencies that very night. While demanding justice for the murder of her husband, she said that her husband was a popular representative of the people. This was the sole reason for which he had been killed by the state intelligence agencies. If her husband had committed any crime, then he should have faced punishment via the process of law. Why was a representative of the people in free and democratic society subject to extra judicial murder in this barbaric manner? With tear filled eyes, she demanded that those who had rendered her three year old daughter an orphan be tried and brought to justice.
After he had heard news of Imrul been killed in a road accident, the brother in law of the deceased, Zahidur Rahman, a lawyer by profession, had rushed to the hospital. He informed that Imrul Kayes was well known for his involvement with social welfare for the less privileged as a councilor. He was not involved in any subversive acts, and did not even have any responsibility or post with any political party in his hometown. Whenever Imrul came to Dhaka, he used to reside at a house beside South Munshidi government primary school in the Wari locality of the capital. Last week he had come to Dhaka and had gone missing from Thursday night.
Abduction or gunfight?
Police and Imrul’s family had given conflicting statements about his death. While his family claimed that DB had abducted him, DB said they did not know who he was until he was identified by relatives. Although DB claimed that he was killed in a “gunfight,” a source from the Dhaka Medical College morgue said Imrul was shot from a close range.
The Dhaka Tribune caught up with Imrul’s brother Abdur Razzak over phone on Monday evening.
Razzak said: “A group of people, who said they were from DB, came to Imrul’s mess in the early hours of Saturday and picked him up. At first they wanted to see his national ID card. After they confirmed his identity, they took him with them. On Saturday morning, Imrul’s roommate called up his wife’s mobile phone and told her that he had been taken away. Then we sent an acquaintance to the DB office in Dhaka. But DB denied knowing anything about the matter. Around 11am yesterday, someone called up Jannatul [Imrul’s wife] from Imrul’s mobile phone and told her that he was severely injured in an ‘accident’ and that he was being taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The caller did not say who he was.”
However, DB claimed that they did not even know who Imrul was until his family members identified his body at the morgue.
“We had information that a group of people were planning subversive activities from there [the mess] and a team of detectives went there,” and official said.
DC Jahangir Hossain Matubbar said the incident took place around 3am at AGB Colony kitchen market area in the capital’s Motijheel.
Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the group that had gathered there opened fire and detectives retaliated. At one stage, the criminals fled the spot leaving back injured Imrul. Police recovered one pistol, two bullets and five crude bombs from the spot, Jahangir said.
According to sources, Imrul was taken to the DMCH around 3:45am with several bullet wounds on his chest. On-duty doctors then declared him dead. A Motijheel police station Sub-Inspector Sheikh Feroz Alam is said to have taken the body to the hospital.
In the afternoon, an autopsy was conducted on Imrul’s body in the presence of Executive Magistrate Nusrat Jahan Nipu.
A morgue source said a total of ten bullets pierced the right side of the victim’s chest and went out through his back.
“I think the shots were fired from a close range. That was why the bullets pierced his chest and went out through the back,” the source said. The body of the deceased was delivered to his family in the evening after fulfillment of the requisite autopsy examination.
It was gathered from interviewing local sources that the deceased Imrul Kayes, although known in his locality as a supporter of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was not involved in any manner with its politics and did not carry any responsibility or position within its ranks. Last year, after an incident of clashes between Jamaat supporters and the police on the 20th of September, 2014, Imrul Kayes was named as one of the accused (39th number accused) in a case filed over the incident. He had been in hiding since. And it was in this state of hiding that he had been subject to abduction and subsequently extrajudicial killing by the government intelligence forces three days after he had gone missing. The deceased Imrul Kayes was presently the councilor of ward number 1 of Narail municipality. Son of Anowar Molla, Imrul hailed from a village in the Durgapur sub-district of Narail. The deceased had obtained the LLB degree from a private university in the capital. Besides his wife and extended family, Imrul Kayes leaves behind him a three year old daughter by the name of Anarkoli.
We demand justice for the family of Imrul Kayes; his wife who was widowed at such an early stage in her marriage; his daughter Anarkoli who lost her father at the tender age of three. We pray that Allah (S.W.T) grants the deceased the status of a shaheed. Ameen.