Investigation failures that speak of police criminality

Published: 00:00, Oct 03,2020


THE incident in which a young man returned home six years after his disappearance, with the police having already submitted a charge sheet against six people on charges of poisoning him to death and dumping the body in the River Sitalakhya comes with concern about investigations that the police carry out. This so does more against the backdrop of another such incident in which a girl returned home 51 days after she had left home with a boy and married him but the police officer investigating the case showed the girl as ‘murdered’ and said that the arrested had admitted to raping and killing the victim and dumping the body into the River Sitalakhya. The incidents, both having taken place in Narayanganj, suggest a glaring negligence and failures in investigation and the use of coercive force by the police in extracting statements from the accused or the arrested. In the latest incident, in which the young man, presumed to have disappeared until he returned home on September 30, the six accused in the case, filed two years after the boy disappeared, had been in police custody more than once and were reportedly forced to give statements. The Criminal Investigation Department submitted the charge sheet in a court in Narayanganj on December 18, 2019. The accused are now remanded on bail.

In the earlier incident in which the girl returned home on August 23 after she had left the house with a boy, the Narayanganj police said that the accused in their statement on September 1 said that they had kidnapped the girl on July 4, killed her after rape and dumped the body in the river. On her return, the victim in a statement before a magistrate said that she had left home and married the boy she left the house with. The High Court, however on September 24, asked the chief judicial magistrate of Narayanganj to carry out a judicial investigation of the incident of the girl having been showed ‘murdered’ by the police. The High Court ordered the judicial investigation during the hearing of a writ petition which sought guidelines for the police on the interrogation of the arrested and the magistrates on recording the statements in the presence of lawyers for transparency. The officer investigating the case, however, told the court that he had on August 31 prayed for taking a fresh statement of the three accused after the victim’s return. There are other incidents having similar strains that have taken place and triggered furore in the past. What once was, perhaps, rare negligence or failure of the police has come to weave a pattern, tending to recur at short intervals.

Such investigations that the law enforcement agencies carry out do not only undermine the rule of law, harm justice dispensation and inflict further injustice on a group of people, they also erode the trust that people would like to repose in law enforcement agencies and their investigation. While the government must make law enforcers behave, the court of law is hoped to come down heavily on the law enforcement agencies for such criminality.

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