A central leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had to take part in his mother’s janaza with handcuffs and leg irons in Shariatpur.

Earlier, on 20 December, a union BNP president was released on parole for three hours and was allowed to attend his mother's Namaz-e-janaza. However, he was handcuffed and shackled throughout the parole period that sparked criticism across the country. The National Human Rights Commission also termed the incident as “inhumane”.

This time, Selim Reza was released also on parole after his mother’s death but the handcuffs and the leg irons were not taken off when he was attending his mother’s janaza.

The janaza was held in the Sujandoyal village in Sadar upazila of Shariatpur. His mother was then buried at the graveyard adjacent to the local mosque. JCD leader Selim Reza, however, could not take part in the burial rituals freely as he was handcuffed and shackled with leg irons.

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Family members of Chhatra Dal’s central assistant general secretary Selim Reza, said he was arrested from the Naya Paltan area in the capital in front of the BNP central office on 7 December.

Selim works as the head teacher of a school in Dhaka. He is involved in politics. He was never involved in any sabotage
Shamim Munsi, brother of Selim Reza

They said he was shown arrested in a sabotage case lodged with Paltan police station and was sent to the prison on 10 December. He is currently imprisoned in the Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Selim’s family member said his mother Nasima Begum died in her home on Sunday. Therefore, his family members appealed for his release on parole to the Dhaka district magistrate through a lawyer.

Following that, Selim Reza was released on parole for 10 hours. Gazipur district police brought Selim Reza with handcuffs and leg irons to Sujandoyal village in Shariatpur. There his relatives were waiting for him with the body of his mother. He took part in the janaza at around 2.30 am in the field of the nearby mosque. His mother was buried at around 3.00am Monday.

However, the police never took off the handcuffs or the leg irons in the entire period.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo, Ishak Sardar, former general secretary of Jatir Pita Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Government College unit Chhatra Dal said, “What could be more unfortunate for a son to take part in his mother’s Namaz-e-janaza with handcuffs and leg irons. He wasn’t even allowed to bury her mother with his own hands.”

Speaking regarding this, officer-in-charge (OC) of Palong model police station, Akter Hossain told Prothom Alo that the accused was first taken under custody of police from the jail authority. He was taken to Shariatpur under the custody of Gazipur district police. Members of Palong police station only helped them. The accused was handcuffed due to security purposes.

Shamim Munsi, brother of Selim Reza, said, “Selim works as the head teacher of a school in Dhaka. He is involved in politics. He was never involved in any sabotage. The police arrested a number of activists of BNP and its associate bodies ahead of the party’s 10 December-rally.”

“We requested the police to take off his handcuffs and leg irons but they didn’t listen,” he added.