Samar Krishna Chowdhury, who has been implicated in two “false” cases, has said two sub-inspectors with consent from the OC of Boalkhali Police Station, tried to kill him in "shootout".
Talking to The Daily Star on Monday, Samar said a team of seven policemen in plainclothes picked him up from Chittagong city's Court Building area around 7:10pm on May 27 and took him to the police station. The team of Boalkhali police was led by Sub-Inspector Arifur Rahman.
After reaching the police station around 8:00pm, policemen took away two rings, a mobile phone, Tk 12,000 from him and confined him to a lock-up.
According to Samar, four others were in the lock-up. OC Himangshu Das came there around 10:30pm.
“Grabbing his legs from inside the lock-up, I pleaded for my release. But the OC kicked me in my hands,” said Samar, an assistant to a lawyer in Chittagong city.
Before midnight, the three people were taken away from the lock-up.
Around 1:30am, cops blindfolded and handcuffed Samar. They got him into a police van. As he was screaming, policemen beat him up to hush his voice.
SI Atik Ullah asked the driver to go to Boalkhali upazila's Charandwip union.
“As I cried seeking release, they wrapped a gamcha round my throat and chocked me in the running van,” said Samar.
The vehicle reached a lonely place in Charandwip in around half an hour.
As Samar refused to get off the van, SI Atik hit him with a heavy object and told him that he need not to worry as he would go to heaven soon.
“Getting me out of the van, the policemen removed my handcuffs, opened my blindfold and asked me to run for life,” said Samar.
He was thinking what could happen to him if he started running.
All of a sudden, SI Arif received a phone call and talked to the caller for about 10 minutes, said Samar, a lawyer's assistant in the port city.
“Arif then asked policemen to blindfold and handcuff me again. The cops forced me into the police van and took me to my ancestral home in Saroatali area,” he added.
After staying there for about 10 minutes, the law enforcers again took him to the police station around 3:30am.
He alleged that cops had tortured him brutally at the police station with consent from OC Himangshu before attempting to kill him in the “shootout”.
Samar's family members on May 28 contacted senior lawyers of Chittagong District Bar Association seeking help to know about his whereabouts. Lawyers called the Boalkhali OC and asked him to produce Samar before the court.
Within a short time, police took Samar in front of a table at Boalkhali Police Station, with yaba pills and a firearm placed on it.
“As I approached towards the table, a youth introducing himself as a journalist gave his mobile phone to a cop to take my photo. He asked the cop to have a photo of mine holding the firearm in my hands,” said Samar, also a vice president of Saroatali union Awami League.
As Samar refused to hold the firearm, two police constables kicked in his legs.
Police drew criticism from different quarters after a photo of Samar holding the firearm at the police station was published on some news portals.
Police then produced Samar before a Chittagong court showing him arrested in two cases over the recovery of yaba pills and the firearm. The court sent him to jail.
After walking out of jail on bail on July 12, Samar lodged a verbal complaint with Noor E Alam, Chittagong superintendent of police.
Samar's family members alleged that a land-related dispute between their distant relative Swapan Das and Sanjoy Das, a Bangladesh-born British citizen, from Saroatali might have led police to plan the “shootout”.
They suspected that Sanjoy might have influenced police to frame Samar.
Denying the allegation, Sanjoy said he didn't even know Samar.
Talking to this correspondent yesterday, SI Atik said they had picked up Samar from Chittagong city's Laldighi area to interrogate him in two cases filed earlier.
He said they recovered the firearm from Samar's village home in Saroatali area. He denied the allegation of torturing the arrestee in custody.
OC Himangshu and SI Arif also dismissed the allegations against them.
AKM Emran Bhuiyan, additional SP (South) of Chittagong police, said they launched an investigation into the incident.
Jasim Uddin, SP (Patiya Circle) of Chittagong police, a member of the three-member probe committee, said they would submit the probe report to the Chittagong SP soon.
SI Arif was attached to Chittagong Police Lines yesterday, said the Chittagong SP.