Dhanmondi police have allegedly tortured a college student in their custody so brutally that he may not walk again.
When cops arrested him in a murder case on June 9, Inzamamul Islam Jisan, 17, was perfectly fine, according to the very police officer who allegedly tortured him.
The barbarity caused serious infection in the youth's left leg.
A second-year student of Dhaka City College, Jisan was taken on nine days' remand from June 10 to 19 in two phases.
During the remand, Sub-inspector of Dhanmondi Police Station Sahidul Biswas and several other cops beat him up, gave electric shocks and repeatedly pierced his left leg with syringes. They also demanded Tk 10 lakh from his family to spare him the torture, the victim and his family alleged.
Jisan's father Jahidul Islam said they gave Tk 4 lakh in two parts to a plainclothes man who demanded the money in the presence of Sahidul inside the police station.
"But they tortured my son even after that," he said.
SI Sahidul, however, denied torturing Jisan or taking any money. He claimed Jisan walked to the courtroom on the third floor to give a confessional statement on June 19.
"How could he walk if he had leg injuries?" he asked.
The incident came to light yesterday as National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman visited Jisan at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where he is under treatment since July 1.
It comes hot on the heels of the custodial death of Mirpur trader Mahbubur Rahman Sujan. He was allegedly tortured to death by Mirpur police on July 13. Police later arrested Sub-inspector Jahidur Rahman Khan in this connection.
Talking to journalists, the NHRC chairman said a section of law enforcers was abusing powers and torturing citizens. "They are crossing their limits," he said, condemning custodial torture for taking confessional statements.
Mizanur called upon the home ministry to investigate the incident and bring to book those responsible.
According to Jisan's father, police falsely implicated his son in the murder of Ayaz Haq, brother of another Dhaka City College Student, on June 9.
Ayaz was stabbed at Jigatola bus stop in Dhanmondi following a clash between students of the college. He later died at the DMCH, police said.
Describing the incident, Jisan said some students were locked in an altercation at the bus stop over arranging a football tournament.
"Sensing trouble, I walked several yards away. I was waiting for my mother to pick me up. But some policemen came out of the blue and arrested me," he said.
During the first five days of the remand, Sahidul and several other cops beat him twice a day, he alleged.
"In the second phase, they gave me electric shocks and pierced my leg with needles of syringes. They threatened me with death and forced me to give the confessional statement," he said.
After he was sent to jail, he underwent treatment at the prison hospital for several days. He was then admitted to the DMCH surgery department on July 1 and later shifted to the burn unit on July 13 for plastic surgery.
Contacted, Farman Ali, senior jail superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail, said Jisan was brought to the prison with injuries in his left leg. Asked about the cause of the wounds, he said police could explain that.
At the burn unit, this correspondent found Jisan's left leg bandaged from knee down. Though he was lying on a bed in the corridor, he was handcuffed, with four policemen guarding him. One of them was holding the rope tied with the handcuff.
Partha Shankar Paul, resident surgeon at the burn unit, said the condition of Jisan's leg was not good. "Even if it heals, he may not be able to walk normally again. His leg might have to be amputated, but we are not sure yet."