Jubo Dal leader arrested for sabotage, dies in hospital after 20 days 

Abul Kalam Azad

Jubo Dal leader Abul Kalam Azad was arrested by the police on 18 November on charges of sabotage from his house in Hatiandah of Singra upazila in Natore. He had been in police custody since then. Abul Kalam Azad died in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital on Thursday, reportedly due to a cerebral stroke. 

"The police arrested my husband even though he was not named in the statement in the case. He had a stroke while in jail, was sent to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, but we were not informed. After securing his bail, I discovered that my husband was in the ICU of the hospital. Eight days later, on Thursday, he died there. I became a widow, and our only child became an orphan. Is this the law of the country?" asked Azad’s wife, Romi Begum. 

Sources from Singra Police Station, Natore Jail, and the victim's family stated that Singra Police arrested Abul Kalam Azad in connection with a sabotage case registered on the night of 28 October with Singra Police Station.

The next day, when he was produced in court, the court ordered him to be sent to Natore jail. On November 30, the court granted his bail plea. 

Romi Begum went to Natore jail to inform her husband about the bail and discovered that her husband had suffered a stroke on the evening of 29 November in jail. He was taken from the jail to Natore Sadar Hospital at 7:33 pm in an ill condition.

When his condition worsened, the prison authorities shifted him to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. Romi rushed to Natore Sadar Hospital to see her husband, but by then, he had been taken to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital by the prison authorities. She went to the hospital that night and found Abul Kalam Azad lying unconscious on the hospital floor. 

Although his bail order through Natore Jail reached Rajshahi Central Jail on the night of 30 November, he was not released due to errors in the documents. When the release paperwork finally arrived at the hospital the next day, he was admitted to the ICU. He passed away on Thursday afternoon after eight days of unconsciousness in the ICU. 

Romi Begum shared with Prothom Alo, "My husband works as a demonstrator in a college. He was the president of Hatiandah Union Jubo Dal. He also contested for the post of chairman in the union parishad elections. He was never involved in any subversive activities. His name was not mentioned in the Singra police case for which he was arrested. He was arrested as a suspect. The court also granted him bail, but he could not return home on bail." Their only daughter, Megha Khatun, has passed HSC this year. 

Mushfiqur Rahman of Natore Jail District explained the lack of family notification about the illness, stating that there is no provision for such communication according to the jail code. However, in the case of serious illness, it is usually reported for humanitarian reasons. Unfortunately, this was not reported for the accused as they did not consider his condition to be serious. 

Moshiur Rahman, civil surgeon of Natore and acting assistant director of Sadar Hospital, explained that the prisoner, Abul Kalam Azad, was brought to the emergency department of the hospital on the night of 29 November. As the patient's condition was critical, he was immediately recommended to be sent to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.