A woman who has been accused in her husband's murder case has accused Barishal Metropolitan Police members of torture and molestation in custody, and forcing her to confess as an accomplice to the murder.
She submitted this accusation against BMP personnel to the district police commissioner, and demanded withdrawal of her confessional statement.
She also sought punishment for the police officers who tortured her.
On the morning of April 19, 2019, deed writer Riaj Hawlader was killed using a sharp weapon at his home in Bukhainagar village. His wife Amina Akhtar Liza was arrested after the deceased's brother Ripon filed a case against unknown miscreants at Kotwali police station.
Liza confessed the next day at metropolitan court that she had an affair with Riaj's assistant Masum and they had planned to loot her husband's money after murdering him.
Meanwhile, a man named Jalil Shikder of Raghunathpur village in Bakerganj Upazila of Barishal was arrested in August 14 this year in Riaj's murder case.
Following his confession, two others named Raihan Chowkidar (20) and Sakil Hawlader (20) were arrested in the same upazila on charges of theft and murder.
The duo gave confessional statement in the Barisal Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on August 28, said Sagir Hossain, investigative officer (IO) and inspector of the Kawnia Police Station.
Inspector Sagir mentioned that Liza had said that she had mixed sleeping pills in her husband's glass of milk, and later Masum killed Riaj with a sharp weapon. However, a forensic report by the CID found no traces of sleeping pills in the milk.
Upon finding this discrepancy, senior police officers assigned Kotwali police station's sub-inspector Firoz Al Mamun to investigate the matter, but he could not find any clues.
"The case was finally handed over to me on February 23 [this year]," said Sagir Hossain, "
Nayem Hossain Babu, another person who was arrested in the case soon after Liza, was also released on bail alongside Liza in February.
"I spoke with them and began tracking the case. I was eventually able to arrest Jalil and his accomplices. The deceased Riaj's mobile phone was recovered from Jalil's sister. Other information also became available through these developments," said Inspector Sagir.
"A charge sheet will be submitted soon. This is a sensitive case. However, the motive of the murder was to grab Riaj's money," he added.
Amina Akhtar Liza told The Daily Star, "I was in the next room when my husband was killed. But the police did not listen to any reason. I was arrested and beaten mercilessly by a police officer called Bashir and some other members of the force."
"They threw water in my face, squeezed and hurt my limbs, and at one point, Bashir molested me. I was forced to sign a confession after this torture as they threatened to also go after my mother and brother. SI Bashir and Firoz took money from them. I was two weeks pregnant when I was tortured," said Liza.
"I was granted bail by High Court in February and I lodged a written complaint to the police commissioner. I will appeal to the court on September 8 to withdraw my confession. I want punishment for those who tortured me inhumanly," she said.
Md Bashiruddin, sub-inspector of Kotwali police station and first IO said to this newspaper, "This is a matter of court and the arrested woman confessed."
He, however, denied allegations on torturing her.
Meanwhile, plaintiff Ripon thinks this was all a blueprint to save the real murderers.
Police Commissioner of BMP Md Shahabuddin Khan said the case has been handed over to a competent officer for further investigation.
"It will be clear whether there was any torture after the report is filed and action will be taken if the accusation is found true," he said.