Man dies in police custody in Barguna

A man died in police custody on Thursday morning, three days after he was detained at Amtali in Barguna.

The victim’s family alleged that the deceased Shanu Hawlader was killed in police brutality for failing to bribe Amtali police officer-in-charge Abul Bashar and inspector Manoranjan Mistri with Tk 3 lakh.

Both Bashar and Manoranjan rejected the allegation.

Shanu was picked up for questioning from his home on Monday, over the murder of one Ibrahim back in 2019, as Shanu’s step-brother was one of the accused in the case, said police.

A three-member probe committee has been formed to investigate the mysterious death inside the Amtali police station headed by Barguna additional superintendent of police (administration and crime) Tofail Ahmed.

Shanu’s brother-in-law Rakib Hossain told New Age that Shanu was picked up for interrogating over a murder case on Monday night, although he was not accused in the case.

‘We met with Shanu on the following morning and he complained of police torture during quizzing. Officer-in-charge Abdul Bashar and inspector Manoranjan demanded Tk 3 lakh for his release. We offered them Tk 10,000 on Tuesday night and Manoranjan took the money,’ said Rakib.

They were denied of meeting Shanu on Wednesday and ion the following morning police informed the family that Shanu committed suicide.

Amtali police officer-in-charge Abul Bashar said that Shanu hanged himself from the ceiling fan inside the lockup. But when journalists pointed out that there was no such ceiling fans inside lockup, Bashar changed his statement and said that Shanu hanged himself from the ceiling fan in Manoranjan’s room.

Amtali’s Gulishakhali union parishad chairman Nurul Islam said that Shanu was killed during custodial torture and police were trying to cover up the incident by manipulating it as a suicide case.

Shanu’s family members said that police did not produce him before court even after three days of detention and beaten him to death for failing to give them demanded money.

Additional superintendent of police Tofail Ahmed told New Age that they had suspended inspector Manoranjan Mistri and duty officer Arifur Rahman over negligence of duty after primary investigation and the officer-in-charge would also be withdrawn.

Human rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra in a statement on Friday demanded proper investigation into the death. It said that police had violated laws and regulations regarding detainees’ safety and even did not produce the detainee before any court.

It said that suspension was not enough rather proper probe and strict legal actions must be taken against the accused police personnel. (Source: New Age)

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