The High Court yesterday formed a judicial committee, led by the chief judicial magistrate of Panchagarh, to inquire into the death of Advocate Palash Kumar Roy.
Palash, 38, a lawyer of Dhaka Bar Association, who was in Panchagarh jail in connection with a defamation case, allegedly set himself on fire on April 26 at the prison hospital. He died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s burn unit on April 30.
Yesterday, in response to a writ petition, the High Court said the Panchagarh chief judicial magistrate and another judicial magistrate of the same district will conduct the probe. The deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and jail superintendent of Panchagarh will assist the committee.
The court asked the committee to submit the report before it in 30 days, writ petitioner Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman told The Daily Star. The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order.
The court also issued a rule asking authorities concerned of the government to explain in four weeks why their failure to give protection to Palash inside the jail should not be declared illegal.
Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman represented the state.
Mushfiqur Rahman, jailer of Panchagarh, told reporters yesterday that Palash tried to die by suicide on April 26 morning by setting himself on fire with a lighter, reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.
He was admitted to Panchagarh Hospital and later shifted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital. As his condition worsened, he was brought to DMCH the same night.
Jailer Mushfiqur said Palash was in jail from March 26 in a defamation case filed over making derogatory remarks against the prime minister on March 25. He was staying in the jail’s hospital as he had been suffering from arthritis and could not move properly, he added.
Mentionable, Palash was supposed to be brought to Dhaka on April 26 for appearing before Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court on April 28, in a money misappropriation case filed against him by a chemical company.
According to the jailer and locals, Palash and his family members started a hunger strike in front of Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner’s office on March 25, demanding withdrawal of said case, filed over misappropriating Tk 31 lakh.
Later they formed a human chain on Panchagarh-Dhaka highway in Panchagarh town where Palash allegedly made the derogatory remarks through a loudspeaker. He along with his family members also threatened to die by suicide in front of the DC’s office if their demand was not met, added locals.
At one stage, locals handed him over to police, the jailor added. Md Razib Rana, a local, filed the defamation case. On March 26, a Panchagarh court sent Palash to jail.
Palash’s family is yet to file a case.