Torture in Police Custody

Posted 12.11.10


Mohammad. Idris Ali of Chittagong metropolitan, killed allegedly as a result of torture inflicted upon him at Baizid Bostami police station lockup and in the central jail. Idris Ali (35) of Burma Colony, Baizid Bostami , Chittagong metropolitan, died at 6:10 am on the morning of 26h September, 2010, while receiving treatment in ward number- 13 of Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

He was the son of Noor-Jahan Begum and deceased Nazrul Islam. As per the allegations of his family, it is thought that his death was caused due to the torture inflicted upon him at the Baizid Bostami police station lockup and at the central jail. At 8:00pm on the evening of 13th September, 2010, Sub-inspector (SI) Priton Sharkar arrested Mohammad.Idris Ali and Dipok Kumar Dash (45), on a charge of stealing an energy bulb. They were presented at the Court the next day, 14th September, 2010, at 4:00pm and were sent to jail.

On investigation it was further found that, on 17th September, 2010, SI Priton Sharkar brought both the arrestees to court and requested permission to take them into remand for 7 days. The court dismissed the request and ordered them to be brought back again on the 19th. On 19th September, 2010, the prisoners submitted request for bail at the High Court Division of the Supreme Court and their bail was granted. However, as the bail papers had not arrived at the central jail, they had not been released. Currently Dipok is out on bail.

Human rights organisation Odhikar, has conducted a fact-finding investigation into the matter. During the investigation Odhikar has interviewed-

• Relatives of the deceased.
• Eye- witnesses.
• Individuals working at the central jail.
• Doctors at Chittagong Medical College Hospital and Morgue assistants.
• Members of the police force.

NoorJahan Begum (58), Mother of the deceased
Noor Jahan Begum told Odhikar that, Idris lived with his wife Baby Akhter and his two daughters. He was a rickshaw puller. At around 8:00pm on 13th September, 2010, like every other day, Idris was returning home on foot through Kunjuchaia bazaar (also known as Ananda Bazaar). There, he saw a group of people gathered in front of Noor Alam’s shop and he approached there to see what was going on. When he got closer, he could see that a group of people were trying to take, Dipok Kumar Dash, a previous acquaintance of his, to the police station. On seeing Idris, Dipok called out to him asking for help. At that time, officer-in-charge (OC) of Baizid Bostami police station, Abdus Sabur, was passing by them on the road. When the OC stopped his pickup van, a group of men from the bazaar approached him and complained that Dipok Kumar Dash was an alcoholic, drug abuser and a thief, and asked him to arrest the man.

On the complaint of the public, the OC ordered Sub-Inspector (SI) Priton Sharkar to arrest the accused. Later, NoorJahan came to know from the locals that Idris had been taken away by the police. At 9:00pm that evening NoorJahan went to the police station and saw Idris and Dipok at the lockup. She then contacted SI Prtion to discuss Idris’s release. However, SI Priton and the OC’s body guard, constable Billal Hussein, demaded BDT 5000 from her. When she conveyed to him that she was poor and could not afford such an amount, she was informed that Idris would be sent to court on a charge of theft. On 14th September, SI Priton sent Idris and Dipok to the court as suspects on a pending case of motor cycle theft. Noor-Jahan Begum, said that she then appointed a lawyer in an attempt to get Idris out on bail. The case was heard at the court on the 17th and 18th of September, 2010.

On 19th September, 2010, Idris was granted bail. Noor-Jahan asked the appointed lawyer to collect the bail granting order papers from court and get Idris released from the central jail. However, being poor she had been unable to pay the lawyer his proper fees, and as a result he did not do as she requested. Consequently, Idris still remained in prison.

Noor-Jahan then said that, at 1:00 am on the morning of 26th September, 2010, she received a call from a man who identified himself as a member of the jail police, and asked her to come to ward number -13 of Chittagong Medical College Hospital to visit her son, Idris. When she arrived at the hospital, she could see Idris lying on a bed which was guarded by three jail police men. She could see wounds and bruises all over her son’s ankles, knees, back, chest, elbows, fingers and face. Idris then gave her a descriptive account of the torture inflicted upon him at the Baizid Bostami police station and central jail. Idris said that at various times between the two locations, he had been tortured. He also told her that the policemen stood on his chest while wearing heavy boots and stomped on him. Noor-Jahan said that idris, then wanted to drink some tea. She brought tea to him and also dipped some bread in the tea and tried to feed him. Idris was unable to eat and vomited when he tried to. There was blood in his vomit and cough with his spit. Noor-Jahan said that she tried to get Idris on his feet but saw that he was unable to straighten his legs. She placed her hand under Idrisis’s head and sat by him all night. At 6:10 am that morning, 26th September, 2010, Idris died. At 4:00pm the next evening, Idris’s elder brother, Yunus, collected his body from the hospital morgue. At 6:00pm the same evening, 27th September,2010, Idris was buried at the Hamzabad graveyard. She alleges that her son was killed due to torture inflicted upon him at the station lockup and central jail.

Doctor of forensic medicine department, who wanted to remain unnamed, told Odhikar that, he carried out the postmortem investigation on the body of a prisoner named Idris on the 27th of September, 2010, in Chittagong Medical College Hospital. He said that, as it was forbidden by the government to disclose such information, he could not say anything. The postmortem report mentioned that abuse of drugs and alcohol had contributed to the prisoner’s death. He also said that the viscera of the body had been sent for examination and that the report would give the conclusive reason for the death.

Odhikar demands that the government take necessary steps to ensure that a fair and proper investigation be carried out into the matter.

Dhaka – 1212,

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