Although the police is denying the custodial deaths of Mizanur Rahman and Mujibur Hossain, The Daily Star investigation has found that the fact is quite the opposite to that of the police version of the incidents.

Police picked up businessman Mizanur Rahman from his Badda house early Tuesday while Mujibur Hossain from Melartek Ghat in Darussalam early Thursday, the investigation revealed.

According to Gulshan police, Mizanur and his five accomplices opened fire on a police team on road 42 of Gulshan early Thursday compelling the law enforcers to retaliate.

After the gunfight, Mizanur and one Manik were found bullet-hit and they were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Mizanur succumbed to his injuries, they added.

Meanwhile, Darussalam police denied Mujibur’s arrest and his death in custody.

His body was recovered floating on the Turag Friday morning, said Mujibur’s family members.

Morgue sources said Mujibur died drowning but his body bore several marks of injury.

Abdul Malek, officer-in-charge of Darussalam Police Station, however, identified Mujibur as a local drug peddler and said that Mujibur’s rivals killed him over a feud.

Mizanur’s story:

Mizanur’s 10-year-old daughter Liza said, “A thrashing sound on the door woke me up. Afraid, I took shelter on my father’s lap and he forbid me to make any sound. A few minutes later police broke open the door, threw me onto the ground and dragged my father out.”

Strong thrashing marks with bricks on the door and broken plaster over the doorframe are still evident at Mizanur’s house.

Mohammad Tazul Islam, 35, son of Mizanur’s house owner, said he was there when police broke inside the house and drag him away.

He said Sub-Inspector Anis of Gulshan Police Station who led the raid gave him Tk 500 to repair the door.

Kalam, a resident on the ground floor of the two-storey building, said when he came out hearing noise around 3:30am he found police personnel waiting in a white microbus in front of the building.

Police forced him to take them to the house owner and he took them to Tazul who lives in a near by building, Kalam added.

According to the neighbours, who knew Mizanur for over 20 years, they never saw Mizanur involved in any unlawful activities.

Mizanur’s elder sister Taslima alleged that she and Mizanur’s wife, who is also called Taslima, borrowed Tk 8,000 from the house owner’s wife to manage Tk 10,000 which SI Anisur demanded for not implicating Mizanur in any case and his safe bail out from court.

Taslima, the wife, claimed that the SI earlier demanded Tk 1 lakh, which finally came down to Tk 10,000.

Taslima, the sister, said they received a phone call around 4:00am on Thursday that informed that Mizanur was in a critical condition at the hospital and urgently needed blood.

When they reached the hospital they found him groaning and within a few minutes he breathed his last.

Meanwhile, Manik, who according to police was found bullet-hit with Mizanur and brought to the hospital, said SI Anis from the lock-up took them to an unknown place blindfolded around 1:00am. They were shot and brought to the hospital from there.

MUJIBUR’S STORY

Iqbal Hossain, minor son of deceased Mujibur, told The Daily Star that when he with his father reached Melartek Ghat, three policemen in civil dress and three of their informers intercepted them and put handcuff on his father’s hand and tied his neck with rope.

The police mercilessly beat him up with their rifles and drag him to a boat, on which they took off, added Iqbal.

Mujibur’s brother Zakir Hossain said Iqbal can identify the police personnel as the officers used to come to their house for bribe.

Replying to a query on how dependable was Iqbal’s claim of police taking his father in custody,

Zakir Hossain and his other brothers said right after Iqbal informed the family about the incident, they rushed to Melartek Ghat and Darussalam Police Station to verify it.

They said police and locals gave them the names of the officers who were on duty there that day. The names matched with the names that Iqbal gave.

Mujibur’s father Mohammad Ibrahim alias Yunus secretary said he went to Darusalam Police Station on Friday to lodge a complaint against Sub-inspector (SI) Masudur Rahman, ASI Sayeed and ASI Hekmat Ullah but police, instead, recorded the case against the three informers–Mohibul, Nayan and Kajal.He said police refused to incorporate the names of the policemen as accused saying that there was no evidence against the police personnel.

The Daily Star, however, could not be contacted over the last two days.

The OC of the police station told The Daily Star yesterday that he was not there when the case was filed but he came to know about it on his return. He said Yunus’ allegation against the police personnel was not true.

However, police have arrested two of the informers in the case and produced them before a Dhaka court seeking a five-day remand for each. The court placed each of them on two days’ remand, said Darussalam police.

Mujibur’s wife Shamsunnahar alleged that police killed her husband as he failed to pay the money police demanded from him as bribe.

Yunus secretary said, three days before the death, ASI Moshiur came to his son and demanded Tk 50,000 saying that all his problems will be solved. “Your son will be able to move freely. But if you don’t pay the amount your son will not see his parents faces any more,” added Yunus.

He said police caught Mujibur thrice in the last one month but did not take him to the police station. They released him after taking a total of Tk 24,000 in three instalments.

Mujibur used to take care of their family transport business.

Family members of Mizanur did not take the body from Dhaka Medical College morgue till yesterday, three days after autopsy, in protest of the police action.

Deputy commissioner (DC) of Mirpur Division Selim Mohammad Jahangir said, two separate three-member committees were formed yesterday.

The committee headed by DMP Joint Commissioner (headquarters) Manzur Kader Khan will investigate Mizanur death case while the other led by Mohammad Humayun Kabir, DMP joint commissioner (operation) the Mujibur case.

Chief Executive of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation Elina Khan said, “Under no circumstance we accept deaths in police custody. In such killing case police investigation is not acceptable, a judicial probe is required to ensure justice to the families of the victims. National Human Rights Commission may look into the matter and inform the people about it.”

Source: The Daily Star – 04.07.2010

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