Judicial probe ordered
12:00 AM, April 12, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:06 AM, April 12, 2018

Teen's Death in Custody

Judicial probe ordered

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered judicial enquiry into the death of teenage boy Rakib Halwader allegedly in the custody of Wari police.

The move came after Rita Akter, mother of the 15-year-old boy, filed a murder case with the court against Wari Police Station Officer-in-Charge Rafiqul Islam, Inspector (investigation) Mohammad Selim, Sub-inspector Jyotish Chandra, and police source Mosarraf.

The law enforcers had claimed that Rakib was a suspect in at least three cases -- one for mugging and two for murders -- and that he was killed in a “gunfight” during a police drive in Wari's Joy Kali Mandir area in the early hours of April 6.

They also said Rakib had “stabbed” Daffodil University student Talha on October 8 last year, leaving him dead.

Rita, in her case filed with the Court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge in Dhaka under the Torture and Custodial Death (Protection) Act-2013, also mentioned two to three unnamed policemen as accused, said court sources. 

The case statement said without any arrest warrant, SI Jyotish picked up Rakib as he went to the capital's Kaptan Bazar area to buy betel leaves for his mother around 10:30pm on April 4.

Hearing about the incident, Rita went to Wari Police Station immediately, met the SI and asked him why her son was picked up. In reply, the SI said Rakib was in jail custody and that they were verifying some information, according to the case statement.

During that time, Rita said, she heard Rakib's screams coming from the OC's room. As Rita enquired about it, the SI allegedly ran towards the room and informed the OC about her presence.

Later, OC Rafiqul, Inspector Selim and SI Jyotish forced Rita out of the police station, saying that her son was not there, says the case statement.

Later around 1:30am, Rita went to the police station again but this time in a veil. There, she saw two to three policemen kicking her son. She also tried to send some food to Rakib through Constable Md Ali in vain, it says.

Around 11:00am on April 6, OC Rafiqul called Rakib's grandfather Abdul Latif over phone and informed him that Rakib was killed in a gunfight. The body was kept at Dhaka Medical College Morgue for autopsy.

Rita, in her case, also alleged that she found the right hand of her son broken. Also, there were injury marks on the head and legs.

She also alleged that police had been threatening her not to file any complaint over the incident.

Contacted, the OC termed all the allegations baseless.

“Rakib was wanted in three cases, including two for murders. He was killed in a gunfight when police went to arrest muggers,” he added.

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