RAB didn't torture cartoonist Kishore, who picked him up unknown: PBI

Ahmed Kabir Kishore
File photo

The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) did not find any specific information and evidence about those who tortured cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore after picking up him from his residence on 2 May last year.

2021Also, it had not been possible to trace any accused who are involved with the incident either.

The PBI, however, found information that Kishore was arrested from his residence on 5 May that year in a case under the Digital Security Case. The PBI also confirmed there was no evidence of torturing Kishore physically and mentally in police custody after arresting him.

The PIB said this in its probe report in the case filed by Kishore under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act-2013. PIB superintendent Mohamamd Mizanur Rahman submitted the probe report to the branch concerned of the Dhaka metropolitan magistrate court recently.

Court sources said the next hearing on accepting the probe report is set to be held on 24 November.

Cartoonist Kishore on 14 March 2021 filed a case against unidentified persons for torturing him in an unknown place after picking him up from his house before showing him arrested. The lawsuit was filed under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act.

The PBI probe report said the plaintiff could not provide any information about the people who picked cartoonist Kishore, took him in which vehicle and kept him at which damp house and on which road.

In fact, RAB arrested cartoonist Kishore from his residence. The PBI quizzed RAB-3 official Abu Bakar Siddique, who is the plaintiff of the case filed against Kishore.

The RAB officials said Kishore was arrested from his residence on specific allegations. He was never tortured physically and mentally. Four investigating officers of the case were quizzed. They, too, could not provide any information on torturing Kishore.

The probe report further said cartoonist Kishore’s brother Ahsan Habib was also interrogated. He also could not say who picked up Kishore on 2 May. But Ahsan Habib said everything was vandalised at Kishore’s residence on that day. Kishore’s mobile phone was taken away. He was masked with a special cap that covered his face up to his nose and dragged him to a vehicle. Then they drowned out Kishore’s shouting with loud music. The PBI interrogated 19 people in this case.

However, cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore in his case said he was shown arrested in another case filed with Ramna police station on 5 May last year under the Digital Security Act. But 16-17 plainclothes people forcefully picked him up from his residence at 6:45am on 2 May. They handcuffed and masked Kishore and took him to an unknown place and he was tortured at a damp room until 4 May.

At that time, he was showed various cartoons painted by him and interrogated. At one stage, one of them slapped his ear very hard and he fell from the chair. He became numb for a few minutes and was bleeding in his ear. Those people started beating him again. On 5 May, Kishore found himself at the RAB headquarters where he also saw writer Mushtaq Ahmed.

Eleven people including Kishore and Mushtaq Ahmed were made accused in the case filed by RAB with Ramna police station under the Digital Security Act. Mushtaq Ahmed died in prison on 25 February this year. After staying in prison for 10 months, Kishore received a bail for six months from the High Court. He was released on 4 March.

The case filed against cartoonist Kishore under the Digital Security Act is now pending for trial at the Cyber Tribunal of Dhaka.