Torture and custodial death
Plaintiff on the run after filing case against police
A man is on the run as he feels insecure after filing a case against three policemen under Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act with Kotwali police station in the capital. Victim Rajib Kar recently filed a written complaint at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in this regard.
Following the complaint, the NHRC sent a letter to the police headquarters asking whether any action has been taken against the accused policemen. The commission first requested the police headquarters to respond by 19 May and then extended the time until 25 May. But the NHRC has not received any answer as of now, confirmed the commission’s full-time member Kamal Uddin Ahmed to Prothom Alo.
Rajib Kar filed the case on 3 March. The accused are – former sub-inspector at the Kotwali police station Mizanur Rahman, 40, assistant sub-inspector Farid Bhuiyan, 35, and sub-inspector Jali, 35.
Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has been investigating the case at the order of Metropolitan Session Judge Court.
Rajib Kar worked at a jewelry shop. Speaking to Prothom Alo he said that SI Mizanur Rahman and ASI Farid Bhuiyan picked him up from his Goalnagar residence in the capital on 10 February 2019. He lost consciousness three times in one night while being tortured. The police beat him with a bat first, then stomped on his face with a boot and extracted his nails with a pliers. At the end, they stripped him and gave his penis electric shocks.
Rajib Kar alleged while picking him up from the residence, the police took away 28-bhori gold ornaments of his mother and wife, Tk 41,300 kept separately for his mother’s eye operation, mobile phone, laptop and some other essentials. On the next day the family members gave Tk 200,000 to the policemen to get him released.
Following this incident, Rajib stayed in Cumilla for nearly a year at his village home due to illness. Upon recovery, he sent letters to the prime minister and home minister seeking justice, but he could not return to Dhaka. He has not got back the gold ornaments and money.
Rajib Kar said when the information of his torture was published, some policemen tried to spread a rumour that he snatched gold from an Indian citizen
Elaborating the nature of the threat police issuing to him, Rajib told Prothom Alo, the police headquarters, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, intelligence department of police, police’s Wari Division and Rangamati district police had conducted the investigation about his allegations. Now PBI is conducting the investigation. During this investigation, SI Mizanur once told him he would not have left him alive if he knew he would face so much hassle. When the PBI team went to visit the spot, Rajib Kar was also with them. That time local people said policemen went to Rajib’s house in search of him.
Rajib Kar further said he has been receiving calls from two phone numbers where the callers have been insisting that he compromise. The callers are even warning him the police can do many things if they want.
One of the numbers is of DMP’s Lalbagh division and the other is the government number of Lalbagh division additional deputy commissioner Muhit Kabir.
Declining the allegation about putting pressure to compromise, Muhit Kabir told Prothom Alo that Rajib Kar complained about getting threats. He (Rajib Kar) was asked to come to say in detail who is issuing the threats and how. A letter was also sent to him. But no one has responded.
Prothom Alo sent SMS to the three of the accused but none except SI Jalil responded. He said he did not know whether any case was filed against him. PBI did not talk to him as yet.
PBI special super Kutubur Rahman Chowdhury did not pick up the phone call from Prothom Alo.
Rajib Kar further told Prothom Alo when the information of his torture was published, some policemen tried to spread a rumour that he snatched gold from an Indian citizen. But police could not produce the Indian citizen. Not even the law enforcement filed any case against him. He has no clue why he was picked up, Rajib added.
So far, 28 cases have been filed against policemen under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act, 2013. Among them, the trial court gave verdict in one case only. In most of the cases, the victims either compromise or keep mum.
Rajib Kar, however, said he would not withdraw the case.
* The report has been rewritten into English by Shameem Reza