Journalist Faridul Mostafa has been languishing in Cox’s Bazar jail in poor health for the last 11 months after he was arrested in September past year by the then Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradeep Kumar Das.
The former OC Pradeep, who is now in jail custody over the killing of retired army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan, and his associates filed the cases for reporting on their misdeeds in Teknaf, Faridul’s family members alleged.
Faridul, 34, is the editor of Cox’s Bazar based daily Cox’s Bazar Bani and an on-line portal Janatar Bani, in which he published a series of reports throughout May and June in 2019 on extorting money from people in the name of drug recovery, besides threatening people to kill them in ‘crossfire’.
In this backdrop, three people including Md Zahirul Islam of Phulerdil under Teknaf, all allegedly Pradeep’s sources in Teknaf, lodged three cases of extortion with Teknaf Police Station on June 30, 2019, said Hasina Akter, Faridul’s wife.
Parideep was suspended after his arrest on August 6 in the case of killing former army Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan in police firing in Teknaf on July 31.
Hasina said that her husband on July 28, 2019, wrote an application to the prime minister, home minister and inspector general of police seeking help to save him as OC Pradeep had been threatening to kill him, but got no response.
She alleged that her husband was arrested on September 21, 2019 from capital’s Mirpur in false extortion cases, taken to Teknaf and tortured indiscriminately in police custody before producing him before a Cox’s Bazar court after three days.
She alleged that her husband’s hands and legs were fractured and nails of hands and legs uprooted during the torture in custody by OC Pradeep and his associates and that her husband’s eyesight was seriously affected as the OC rubbed red chili powder in his eyes.
She further alleged that a police team led by Pradeep raided their residence at Samity para of Cox’s Bazar town on September 23, 2019, and prepared a fake seizure list showing that two illegal firearms, 400 Yaba tablets and foreign liquor were seized from the house.
SI Kumruzzaman of Teknaf police station on the same day filed three cases against Faridul with Cox’s Bazar police in this connection only for publishing reports on Pradeep’s misdeeds.
Teknaf OC said that the charge sheets in two of the cases were submitted as the allegations were primarily found to be true, and the other case was still under investigation.
Hasina alleged that Faridul was languishing in jail without proper treatment and her family had been providing medicine for him since he had landed in jail.
In a report submitted to a Cox’s Bazar court by the jail hospital’s assistant surgeon on November 6, 2019 said that Faridul was suffering from problems in his waist, right elbow and knee and in his eyes.
‘The prisoner often suffers from pains in his waist, right knee and all over the body,’ the report said and added that the jail authorities were providing the necessary treatment for him.
Hasina alleged that her husband was still suffering from pain in the entire body and he is almost blind in the right eye.
Cox’s Bazar district jail super Md Mokammel Hossain said that Faridul was now doing well.
Faridul’s lawyer Abdul Mannan told New Age that his client was granted bail in two cases — one in the case of preserving foreign liquor and the other in a case of extortion.
He said that he would file a petition to the court seeking bail for his client in other cases soon.
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