UP member, nephew’s legs amputated after torture in police custody

Faruk Hossain and Ashraful Islam undergoing treatment at NITOR after losing their legs in police custody on Saturday. Photo: Prothom Alo
Faruk Hossain and Ashraful Islam undergoing treatment at NITOR after losing their legs in police custody on Saturday. Photo: Prothom Alo

A union council member and his nephew had to have their legs amputated after suffering torture in police custody.

The member Faruk Hossain, 40, and his nephew Ashraful Islam, 35, are from Matikumra village of Hajirpara union in Jashore's Jhikargachha.

Both of them are now undergoing treatment in the city's National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR).

"I've lost my left leg. Police, first, broke the leg and later shot there. Still I feel pain in the remaining part of the leg," said Faruk on Saturday.

Faruk and Ashraful told Prothom Alo that they were tortured brutally in police custody.

Narrating the incident that took place on 8 November, some of the Matikumra villagers said that a young man, Jahurul, has been running drug trade in the village for past few years with the help of some law enforcers.

Jahurul sells drugs to the villagers and later helps policemen of the Detective Branch (DB) to catch the drug addicts in exchange of money, they added.

Recently, an incident of robbery took place in the house of an Aynal Mistri and since then the villagers started guarding the village by turns. Around 8:00pm on 8 November, the villagers intercepted a car in which Jahurul was sitting with three persons who introduced them as DB police but could not show their identity cards to the villagers, they also said.

Suspecting the people as robbers, the villagers then searched the car and found bottles of phensidyl, yaba and sharp weapons in the car. Jahurul managed to flee but the three others could not escape a mob beating there, the villagers added.

Being informed, around two hundred cops conducted a raid in the village around 11:00pm and detained some 46 people including Faruk and Ashraful from Matikumra village, they continued.

"I do politics of ruling Awami League. I gave my identity of a union parishad (UP) member to the policemen but they picked me up in their vehicle," Faruk told Prothom Alo at the NITOR.

"Both of us, Ashraful and I, were first taken to the Chanchra police outpost. We were then blindfolded and taken to an unknown place. Some four to five people started beating us after that. At one stage, they broke my leg with the help of two iron rods and they also shot in my left leg," he described.

Faruk also said that when he regained his consciousness he came to know that he and Ashraful were arrested on charges of obstructing police from discharging their duties and sabotage.

Both the victims were taken to Jessore Sadar Hospital first and shifted to the NITOR on 12 November.

Police, however, claimed that Faruk and Ashraful received injuries while fleeing from a police raid in which DB police constables Murad Hossain, Shimul Hossain and driver Shaon were injured.

Jhikargachha police station officer-in-charge, Abdur Razzak, told Prothom Alo over phone that the DB policemen were beaten by the villagers despite showing their identity cards.

Later, district police conducted another raid in the village. Faruk and Ashraful broke their legs as they jumped down from the rooftop of a building while escaping the raid, the OC added.

The OC, however, does not know that both Faruk and Ashraful had to have their legs amputated in the NITOR.

* This piece, published in Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain.