• Thursday, October 02, 2014

Torture in Custody

Mirpur cops face another complaint

Shaheen Mollah and Jamil Mahmud

The gruesome torture on garment-waste trader Mahbubur Rahman Sujan that led to his death was not the only such act perpetrated by Mirpur police.

Rakib Hossain, who owns a printing press, allegedly had to face similar wrath of unscrupulous policemen of Mirpur Police Station in November last year. He, however, managed to come out alive only after giving them what they wanted-- money.

Rakib alleged he was tortured on orders of Officer-in-Charge Salahuddin Khan of the police station. Sujan's family also raised similar allegation against the police official, who has a history of being exposed for negative jobs in the past.

 

According to Rakib, a team of Mirpur police in plainclothes, led by Sub-inspector Enamul Haq and Assistant Sub-inspector Rakibuzzaman, picked him up from Paltan area around noon on November 25 last year, cuffing his hands and blindfolding him.

They took him to the police station that evening and demanded Tk 20 lakh for his release or else he would be implicated in false cases.

As he initially refused to pay the money, the next day ASI Rakibuzzaman beat him severely in the police custody.

“They even called in my younger brother and tortured me in front of him. They also made my wife listen to my screaming over the phone,” Rakib said.

“They threatened to put me in crossfire if I don't pay them,” he added.

At one stage, Rakib paid them Tk 1.10 lakh and got released around 28 hours after his detention.

Rakib had to take treatment at a hospital for over a week.

Later, he lodged a case with a Dhaka court accusing five Mirpur policemen on December 5. The Criminal Investigation Department is now investigating the case.

He also filed complaints with the police headquarters and Dhaka Metropolitan Police the same month.

Contacted, Imtiaz Ahmed, deputy commissioner (Mirpur division) of the DMP, said he receives many complaints and it was not possible for him to recall any particular incident without checking papers.

Claiming his innocence, ASI Rakib, now posted at Shah Ali Police Station, said a divisional investigation into the incident was going on.

On July 13, Sub-inspector Jahidur Rahman Khan of Mirpur Police Station picked up Sujan, his wife Momtaz Sultana Lucy and their five-year-old son Rabbi from their Shankar home when Sujan refused to pay him extortion money. Sujan was tortured at his house, in the police van and at the police station and died the following morning.

On Sunday last, Lucy filed a murder case with a Dhaka court accusing OC Salahuddin and SI Jahid and eight others under the Torture and Custodial Death (Protection) Act-2013.

The High Court on May 30, 2012 summoned eight police officers including OC Salahuddin to appear before it to explain their roles in assaulting a minor girl. He was posted at the Kotwali Police Station at that time.

On September 17, 2008, staff of Dhaka deputy commissioner's office staged a sit-in to protest an assault on one of their colleagues by Salahuddin, who was posted at South Keraniganj Police Station back then. Later, he apologised to the DC and sought pardon for his action.

METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE TO PROBE SUJAN DEATH

Metropolitan Magistrate SM Ashikur Rahman has been assigned to conduct a judicial inquiry into Sujan's death in police custody and submit a report as early as possible.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Bikash Kumar Saha assigned Rahman following a Dhaka court order on Sunday.

Immediately after being assigned, Ashikur Rahman summoned Sujan's wife Lucy to appear before his court on August 5 for recording her statement.

SI Jahid was arrested on July 16 following an autopsy that revealed Sujan had died of torture. Law enforcers nabbed police source Nasim the same day after examining the CCTV footage of the police station.

They were placed on a fresh four-day remand each yesterday when investigators produced them before a Dhaka court, seeking a 10-day remand for each.

DB sources said Jahid admitted to torturing Sujan in police custody and the investigators were trying to find out whether he acted alone or was following orders from any superior officials.

Published: 12:01 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

Last modified: 10:15 pm Thursday, July 24, 2014

TAGS: Police Custody police torture Mirpur cops Torture in Custody garment-waste trader gruesome torture

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