Sub-inspector Debashish Sutradhar of Shantiganj police station was transferred to Derai police station for his alleged involvement in the incident. Two separate teams of district administration and police are working to probe the incident.

The village’s resident Azad Mia said Uzir Mia was a person who would always take a stance against oppression. He was vocal against theft but unfortunately, he himself was victimised. Uzir Mia lost his life for taking a stance against wrongdoing.

Family members said a team of police from Shantiganj police station was beating Uzir Mia severely while taking him away on 9 February night. They asked police repeatedly about the reason for beating Uzir but did not get any reply. Shamim Mia, ‘a known thief’ from the neighbouring Rosulpur village was accompanying the police at that time.

Later, Uzir Mia was beaten mercilessly in the police station. He and three others were shown arrested in a theft case and produced before the court on the following day.

Uzir Mia and two others were granted bail on the same day. The case in which Uzir was shown arrested was filed by some Nur Uddin, a resident of Amria village on 14 January. Uzir’s name was not in the case statement. Police claim that Uzir was detained since the arrestees disclosed his name during their confessions.

Family members found torture marks on entire body of Uzir Mia after bringing him home. He could even not stand. As he fell sick severely, Uzir Mia was admitted to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital. Since his condition improved a bit, he was brought home after two days. Uzir Mia became ill again on Monday. He was taken to the local Kaitak Hospital where on-duty physicians pronounced him dead.

Dalim Mia, younger brother of Uzir Mia, said they could not understand why police tortured his brother in such a way, why police had so much vengeance against him. “Now it seems everything is premeditated. We want a fair investigation and punishment to the perpetrators,” Dalim Mia added.

Old enmity in limelight

On 17 May 2017, Ranjit Sutradhar, member of local union parishad’s ward six and also from the same village, was attacked over a Facebook post containing photos of low quality construction of a bridge in the area. The attack left the UP member severely injured.

Uzir Mia along with others carried out the attack. Later, he was sent to the jail too. At last, the matter was settled. Now, it has come to limelight following the death of Uzir Mia.

Locals said SI Debashish Sutradhar is a relative of Ranjit Sutradhar. Debashish Sutradhar built a good relation with Ranjit Sutradhar after the former transferred to Shantiganj police station. The old enmity might work from behind the latest incident.

Ranjit Sutradhar told Prothom Alo, “Debashish Sutradhar is a distant relative of my elder brother. The enmity with Uzir Mia’s family was settled long ago. Both families had a good relationship. I myself also protested burglary along with Uzir Mia. I also signed the written complaint.”

Golam Mostafa, cousin of Uzir Mia, said, “We lost a brother. I can say he is innocent. He protested against injustice all the time and that has been a misfortune for him.”

“If there is any other motive behind his death, we hope those who are responsible to find out they would carry out their responsibility properly,” he added.

Sunamganj’s superintendent of police Md Mizanur Rahman said the matter has been taken seriously. Investigation is on and they are doing everything transparently in accordance with the law, he added.

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