Left legs of Hazipara union Parishad member Faruque Hossain and his nephew Ashraful Islam were amputated below their knees at the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedic Rehabilitation in the capital on Thursday, 14 days after their legs were broken by the police on the night of November 8.
The victims said that on the ill-fated night the police had picked them up from their village Matikumra, Jhikargachha, Jashore and beat them mercilessly and broke their legs and shot at the smashed legs fixing guns on them.
They narrated their nightmarish experiences to New Age at NITOR where they are receiving treatment under police custody since November 12.
They are among 45 people who were arrested at their village Matikumra during a joint raid by Jhikargachha police and the Jashore district police after three constables of Jashore Detective Branch and their car driver were injured in mass beating by villagers, according to the Jhikargachha police station.
According to Matikumra inhabitants, Jahurul a youth from their village with backing from some DB men used to sell drugs in the village and inform the police about the buyer and following their arrest he would demand money from the buyers’ families to secure their release from the police.
They said that following robbery of at least two houses in the village began to guard the village from the dacoits.
On November 8 night, they said, some people, along with Jahurul came to the village in a private car when the villagers surrounded them, searched the car, found drugs and sharp weapons when Jahurul fled.
At this time, the four others came out from the car and introduced themselves as DB men but could not show their identity cards as demanded by the villagers.
Therefore, the villagers took them to be dacoits and gave them good beating when the local police following tip off rushed to the spot and rescued the four men, they said.
Later, on the same night, a huge police contingent raided the village, arrested at least 45 people, including Faruque and Ashraful, beat them mercilessly and damaged several houses.
‘Police caught me from my village and took me to the Chanchra police outpost where I was blindfolded and taken to an unknown place where I was mercilessly beaten up and at one stage they broke my left leg below the knee by keeping the leg between two rods used as pincers,’ said Faruque.
‘Police gagged me by shoving cloth into my mouth. I was groaning in pain after they smashed my leg when they fired on the broken leg by fixing a gun on it and I became senseless,’ he said.
He said that when he regained his senses, he was told by the tormentors that he was accused in a case for obstructing the police from discharging their duties and also an accused saboteur.
He said that his pleas to set him free fell on the deaf ears of the police though ‘I told them that I am a leader of ruling Awami League in the locality and elected UP member.’
‘I committed no crime. My only fault was that I could not refrain the villagers from beating the cops,’ he said in emotion choked voice.
‘How could I do that? Hundreds of villagers were angry over the repressive acts and robberies, ’ he said in grief.
He said that he still felt severe pain all over him after his left leg was amputated below the knee.
Ashraf also narrated a similar experience.
Faruque’s wife Panna Begum said that her husband had been made crippled only because he could not control the angry mob. ‘He is the lone bread earner of my family. How will he support the family now?’ she demanded to know.
Both Faruque and Panna were frightened to speak in the presence of police men guarding them.
Jhikargachha police station officer-in-charge Abdur Razzak denied the allegation of torture and firing on legs and claimed that the left legs of Faruque and Ashraf were broken after they jumped from the first floor of a building when the police raided the village on the night of November 8.
They were admitted to Jashore General Hospital and later sent to NITOR in police custody.
He claimed that the DB men went to the village in connection with anti-drug drive and the villagers beat them up even after they gave their identities.
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