Handcuffed to hospital bed
Jahangirnagar University student Nazmul Hossain became sick on Saturday while protesting the deaths of two JU students in a road crash the day before.
His friends took him to the university medical centre. But police allegedly forced him to get admitted to Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar so that they could arrest him there.
Things did not end there. Nazmul was treated at the hospital with one of his hands cuffed to the hospital bed. When he requested removal of the cuffs so he could eat, police refused to do so, witnesses and his fellows alleged.
Two photos of a handcuffed Nazmul, a master's student of government and politics department and general secretary of Jahangirnagar Cultural Alliance (JCA), went viral, triggering a firestorm of protests on Facebook.
A Supreme Court lawyer, who works with human rights issues, said police violated Section 330 (a) of Police Regulations, Bengal, by handcuffing a sick person.
Seeking anonymity, a JU student said Nazmul was one of the protesters who was at the forefront, and suffered minor injuries when police chased them around 5:30pm Saturday. Yet, he continued to protest and went to the vice-chancellor's residence with others. He became sick, due to dehydration, around 7:00pm and was taken to the university medical centre. Later, police forced him to get admitted to the hospital around midnight.
Zobair Tipu, an ex-president of JCA, said Nazmul was unable to eat as his hand was cuffed.
Contacted, Mohsinul Quader, officer-in-charge of Ashulia Police Station, said he was not present at the hospital but heard that an accused under treatment was handcuffed.
He said police could cuff any “criminal” if they suspect that the accused might flee.
The OC said they would take action against any policemen if found guilty of wrongdoing by a probe.
SC lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua said handcuffing a sick man was a complete violation of Section 330 (a) of Police Regulations, Bengal, which prohibits using strict measures by saying the use of handcuffs or ropes is often an unnecessary indignity.
He said following a writ petition filed by him in November last year, the High Court ordered the authorities concerned to remove handcuffs from three Santals of Gaibandha while they were undergoing treatment.
It was “frustrating” that even after the HC order, police handcuffed another sick person, he said.
42 JU STUDENTS GET BAIL
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to 42 JU students, including Nazmul, who were arrested in connection with a vandalism case filed on Saturday night, OC Mohsinul said.
Twelve of the students who got bail were females.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after they were produced before the court.
Law enforcers picked them up in front of the VC's house late Saturday night when they were demanding punishment for the Bangladesh Chhatra League men who earlier attacked them while they were protesting the deaths of the two students.
JU Registrar Abu Bakr Siddique filed the case with the police station accusing 30 named and more than 20 unnamed people for vandalism on campus during the agitation.
The university authorities formed a six-member probe body, led by Prof Asit Baron Paul, over the incident and asked it to submit reports within 10 days.
JU VC Prof Farzana Islam at a press conference yesterday at her residence said the university authorities would consider students' demand for withdrawal of the case and that they would take necessary steps after consulting with the university lawyer.
Over 100 JU teachers and students under the banner of “Teachers-Students Unity Platform” met the JU VC at her residence around noon. They submitted a three-point demand, including ensuring punishment of BCL attackers and withdrawal of the order asking students to vacate their dorms.
Prof Naseem Akhter Hossain, convener of the platform, criticised the syndicate body's decision of filing the case against the agitating students.
Rights body Ain O Salish Kendra yesterday in a statement expressed its concerns over detention of the JU students.
A group of former and current students under the banner of “Nipironer Biruddhe Jahangirnagar” held a protest rally in the capital's Shahbagh yesterday. They made a five-point demand, including withdrawal of the case against the students.
They also called upon the authorities concerned to compensate the families of the two students killed in the road accident.
JU Teachers' Association (JUTA) alleged that at least seven teachers were injured during vandalism of the JU VC's residence. They demanded punishment of the agitating students.
Two executive members of JUTA, however, claimed that they were not aware of JUTA'S demands.
On Friday, Nazmul Hasan Rana, 24, of marketing department, and Arafat, 24, of microbiology were killed when a bus rammed a human-haulier they were travelling in on Dhaka-Aricha highway in C&B bus stand area of Savar around 5:00am.
Rana died on the spot while Arafat died of his injuries at Savar Enam Medical College Hospital. Following the incident, hundreds of students blocked the highway in front of the main entrance and Joy Bangla Gate separately around Friday noon.