TANGAIL KILLING : 2 OCs, inspector withdrawn

NHRC chair wants withdrawal of cases against villagers

Muktadir Rashid . Kalihati, Tangail

Panic gripped people at Kalihati and Ghatail demanded justice for the killing of four youths in police firing on protesters on Friday as National Human Rights Commission chairman Mizanur Rahman on Monday called for judicial inquiry into the killing raising question about professionalism of police.
Separate authorities continued their inquiries into the incident, while Kalihati police station officer-in-charge Shahidul Islam and inspector (investigation) SM Obaydul Haque, and Ghatail police station officer-in-charge Mokhlesur Rahman were withdrawn from their duties and attached to Rangpur, Sylhet and Khulna range respectively on Monday.
The human rights boos visited the spots and met victim families and local people on Monday, when many victims and the villagers demanded justice and complained against police’s ‘unprofessional’ shooting on September 18 at protesters against sexual harassment of a woman in front of her son on September 15.
A female primary school teacher told the commission chair that police fired live bullets killing youths without any provocation.
Mizanur said many villagers were still frightened for the sequel of brutalities – one happened to the woman and her son and another to the four youths.
‘The policemen opened fire without any reasonable ground,’ he said, ‘It was neither any political agitation nor any anti-state demonstration, rather a democratic protests for justice…The act of a section of police was
similar to that of terrorists.’
Mentioning that the people in the areas were still frightened, Mizanur urged the government to immediately withdraw two ‘false’ cases filed by police on Saturday against 1,000 unnamed villagers of Kalihati and Ghatail.
‘The situation will deteriorate if the cases are not withdrawn…And anger will spread otherwise,’ Mizanur warned.
Additional police kept deployed in the area.
The Tangail deputy commissioner, Mahbub Hossain, said that since the situation in the area was a ‘little bit worrisome’ the local administration would organise rally today to maintain harmony.
Preliminary inquiry by the local administration found the police had neither informed upazila nirbahi officers of Kalihati and Ghatail nor the district magistrate before opening fire on the protesters at Kalihati and Hamidpur.
‘They keep us unaware until 9:00pm on Friday,’ said a district administration official.
The official said that the officer-in-charge of both the police stations and other senior police officers in Tangail ‘misguided’ the officers concerned in both upazilas and even the district magistrate.
The officials said that police also violated the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Police Act and the Police Regulation of Bengal.
Tangail acting superintendent of police Sanjay Sarker declined to comment.
The deputy commissioner declined to comment when asked whether he had permitted the police firing.
Kalihati police inspector SM Obaydul Haque, who filed one of the two cases, said that he led the operation on September 18, but five cops, who were asked to transport seven demonstrators from the spot to the police station, opened fire without taking any permission from the senior official.
All the five cops were withdrawn from their duties along with five other officials from the two police stations, he said.
Preliminary inquiry found that of the five policemen, sub-inspector Abul Bashar, already attached to district police lines, was leading the team while sub-inspector Salimuddin, used one bullet from his pistol, one each bullet from Chinese rifles used by constable Zia and Aminul. Five rubber bullets were also fired by constable Tamal.
The police headquarters-instituted inquiry team recorded the statements of the witnesses, locals said.
The administrative probe committee led by additional district magistrate Sanwar Hossain recorded depositions of four witnesses and collected relevant documents, district officials said.
The body of Rubel Hossain, who succumbed to the injuries on Sunday, was handed over to his family after post mortem examination at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
The authorities deployed police with the victims of the sexual harassment and the woman was kept at the One Stop Crisis Centre in Tangail.

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