One of the three leaders of Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL) who were beaten by police in the capital's Shahbagh police station has described the episode of police torture to the journalists at the hospital bed in the capital on Sunday.
Anower Hossain, the organising secretary of the BCL central committee, claimed not only police members, the additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) Ramna division, Harun-Ar-Rashid himself beat him and others.
Anower Hossain said the assistant personal secretary to president, Azizul Haque is a senior brother from his area in Gazipur. Azizul Haque called him over mobile phone on Saturday evening and asked him to come in front of the InterContinental Dhaka hotel and he went there at around 8:00 pm.
ADC Harun removed from DMP
“As I learned that the senior brother is in the BIRDEM hospital, I went there. When I arrived on the 3rd floor of the hospital I saw Azizul Haque and Harun-Ar-Rashid exchanging heated arguments. Two other BCL leaders and I tried to deter them there,” Anower Hossain added.
This BCL leader further said at one stage, ADC Harun-Ar-Rashid called the Shahbagh police station inspector (investigation) to the hospital over mobile phone. After that, police went to the hospital and beat Azizul Haque, BCL central science affairs secretary and DU’s Shahidullah Hall unit general secretary Sharif Ahmed and DU’s Bangabandhu Hall unit president Mahbubur Rahman. Later, police dragged 3-4 people including Azizul Haque to a vehicle and took them to the police station.
Anower Hossain stated, “I informed the ADC of Raman division, Muhammad Ashraf Husain, over mobile phone and went to Shahbagh police station where I saw everyone is being beaten at the room of the officer-in-charge (investigation), and ADC Harun and the OC were also beating them.”
“As I entered the OC’s room, 10-15 people swooped one me and punched on my face. At one stage, they shoved me on the floor and kicked me,” he added.
What did ADC Harun say?
After the incident, ADC Harun was transferred from Ramna Division to DMP’s public order management division in the afternoon. He was later transferred to the Armed Police Battalion (APBn).
Police, victim and BCL leaders said the wife of president’s APS Azizul Haque was hanging out with ADC Harun at BIRDEM Hospital in Shahbagh. Knowing that, Azizul called the BCL leaders at the spot.
Asked what happened there at that time, ADC Harun told Prothom Alo this evening, “You should investigate what happened there.”
Azizul Haque’s wife is also an ADC of DMP. She told Prothom Alo that she went to BIRDEM Hospital for treatment. ADC Harun went there as her colleague since the hospital falls under his area of jurisdiction.
Asked about the incident, the wife of Azizul said, “Why are you asking me as you are well informed.”
President’s APS’ version of the incident could not be known as he did not respond to calls and text messages.
What OC says
The incident of torture has infuriated BCL men. Chhatra League expressed concern over the incident. Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said ADC Harun would get as much punishment as his offence.
Asked about assaulting the BCL men, Shahbagh police station’s officer-in-charge (OC) Nur Mohammad told Prothom Alo that none was taken to his room and the incident took place at the room of inspector (investigation).
The OC also said he was not present at the police station during the incident.
'I want their punishment'
Former and current leaders of BCL went to see Anower Hossain at the hospital. They termed the incident of confining and torturing BCL leaders at a police station over a personal matter as unprecedented.
Anower’s mother Nazmun Nahar was weeping beside the hospital bed.
She told Prothom Alo, “ADC Harun and the OC beat my son mercilessly. I demand their punishment for this.”