A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader died in custody on Monday just six days after his arrest while he was returning from a
demonstration organised by Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the capital.
Family members found the body of JDC vice-president of Dhaka city unit (north) Zakir Hossain Milon, 38, at Dhaka Medical College morgue.
A prison official told New Age that the inmate complained of ‘health problem’ at the jail hospital in Keraniganj about 7:40am and was rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he died about 8:40am.
Shahbagh Police Station later on the day prepared his inquest report in the presence on an executive magistrate and his post-mortem examination would be held today.
But, sub-inspector Bacchu Miah, DMCH police camp in-charge, told the media that he was taken to the DMCH where doctors said he was ‘brought dead’ around 8:00am.
Family said Ramna police picked Zakir Hossain, also the acting president of Tejgaon unit of JCD, from somewhere between Press Club and Naya Paltan, and handed him over to Shahbagh Police Station.
His businessman uncle BM Waliullah said they came to know from different sources that Zakir fell ill and was taken to hospital. ‘We came to know that he was already dead when we arrived there.’
He said he met his nephew Sunday evening when he was sent to jail on completion of his three-day remand in a case filed
with Shahbagh Police Station on March 6 on allegation of creating obstruction to police duty, blocking road traffic and causing trouble.
‘“Uncle I am not well and may die”. It was his last sentence Sunday when I managed to talk to him when he was brought to jail from the court in a vehicle,’ said Waliullah.
Waliullah said, ‘After his arrest I tried to confirm his whereabouts but I could not make it. I met the case investigation officer [subinspector Amal Krishna Dey] to know his whereabouts but he said Zakir was taken to DB.’
‘I tried to know the whereabouts of my nephew at DB but failed, and finally I got him in a car when he was being taken to jail,’ said Waliullah.
The case investigation officer, sub-inspector Amal Krishna Dey, of Shahbagh Police Station said the case was transferred to Detective Branch immediately after he was remanded in custody for three days.
The family alleged that he was tortured in custody that caused his death.
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said he was tortured in police custody, and sent to jail in a critical condition. ‘He died for lack of treatment,’ said Rizvi.
DB’s south division deputy commissioner Jamil Hasan could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
Field-level police officials have kept on putting pressure on the government to make the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act 2013 more flexible as the law enforcers find it stringent for them.
Amnesty International on March 10, 2015 urged the government to reject the demand as human rights organisations in Bangladesh frequently documented cases of police torture as examples of the pervasive nature of human rights abuses in the country.
On May 24, 2016, a four-judge Appellate Division bench, chaired by chief justice SK Sinha, dismissed a government appeal against a High Court judgment delivered in 2003 detailing 15-point directives regarding arrests on suspicion, interrogations and detention and asked the government to amend the relevant provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
According to information gathered by Odhikar from January 2009 to December 2017, a total 120 people were allegedly tortured to death in the custody of different law enforcement agencies.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country