A healthy woman was picked up by RAB members on charges of cheating and then she fell ill in their custody. After taking her to two hospitals for treatment, it was found that she already died. Her name is Sultana Jasmin, an office assistant at a union land office in Naogaon. The person who made the complaint against her is the director of local government department of Rajshahi divisional commissioner's office, Enamul Haque.
RAB members arrested Sultana Jasmine before Enamul Haque had filed a case against her at the police station. He filed the case the following day, when Sultana Jasmin was unconscious in the ICU of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital under RAB custody. There is no provision to take anyone into custody before registering a case. That is why the arrest and death of Sultana Jasmine has raised many questions.
According to media reports, Enamul Haque was going to Naogaon from Rajshahi on Wednesday for official work. He met a RAB patrol team on his way and told the team in-charge about his problem. Following this the RAB team immediately arrested Sultana Jasmin.
The next day, on Thursday, Jasmin was made accused of cheating in the case registered at the Rajpara police station in Rajshahi. According to the case statement, several persons including Jasmin opened fake Facebook IDs using the identity and surname of Enamul Haque and took money from people promising them of giving jobs.
However, Jasmin's uncle Nazmul Haque said that her niece could not even use mobile and computer properly. She often asked her colleagues about technical matters. In her lifestyle it is impossible for her to cheat anyone by opening a Facebook ID in the name of someone else.
Alongwith Jasmin, another person named Al Amin, 32, has been made an accused in the case. He is from Haimchar of Chandpur. Relatives of Sultana Jasmin said they had no idea if Sultana knew anyone named Al Amin. Two or three other unidentified people have also been made accused in the case.
Since RAB detained Jasmin before filing the case, in no way it can be said a legal process. RAB’s explanation regarding this is hard to believe as after being detained like this Jasmin had to be taken to the hospital where she eventually died.
RAB said Jasmin confessed to cheating during interrogation and fell ill at one stage of the interrogation. The question is what was the procedure of RAB’s interrogation that Jasmin fell ill. Even if as per RAB’s claim Jasmine was a fraud, her death in their custody is never justified.
Several human rights organisations have expressed concern and anger over Jasmin's death. They said pre-trial detention, illegal interrogation and not informing the police about arrest are violation of the Constitution, principles of human rights, High Court directives and existing laws. This is the worst instance of abuse of power. According to those organisations, the same incidents are taking place over and over due to lack of legal remedy for previous incidents.
Before this incident a number of people have died in the custody of police and RAB. But the situation is not improving. Not only human rights are being violated continuously, but the image of the country is also being maligned.
The law enforcement officials often say that they should not be held responsible for one official’s misdeed. If so, a fair and impartial investigation committee should be formed to reveal the real facts. And that should be a judicial investigation. Investigating by someone from the very force will never bring forth the actual truth.