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  <%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 116 <%-- End Page Title--%>  

November 16, 2003 

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Shumon murder by police torture at Khilgaon Thana


On 23 October, Shumon went to his uncle's house in the evening to attend an invitation. While he was coming back home at 10 p.m., Police arrested him along with four other persons. His family members, on getting the information, went to the Thana. They found Shumon handcuffed in the Thana custody. As claimed by father of Shumon, he was quite normal then. He went to the Second Officer, Sub-Inspector (SI) Mahbub and asked him the reason for the arrest. SI Mahbub told him that Shumon was arrested while he attempted to commit a robbery.

Shumon's father told him that he was never involved in any illegal activity. There was no general diary (GD) or suit filed against him in the Thana. He was arrested as part of a conspiracy. The Second Officer demanded Tk. 30 thousand from Shuomon's father to release Shumon. He demanded the money to be paid to him by 3.30 a.m. that night. It was not possible for Shumon's father to arrange Tk. 30 thousand within so short period of time. He could arrange Tk. 10 thousand from his home. He sought help form the Ward Commissioner (Ward no.24) Mr. Kazol. Mr. Kazol told him to go to his home the next morning. Going there, Shumon's father did not find him at home. So he could not arrange the rest of the money.
In the morning of 24 October, Shumon's mother Nurjahan Begum went to Khilgaon Thana and meet her son after giving bribe of Tk. 100. She found Shumon very exhausted. Shumon told her that he was beaten by SI Mahbub up at 4.30 am at night. He was not given any food either. Shumon's mother wanted to give him some food but police did not allow her. Shumon told his mother to give police the money demanded by the police or else he would be killed. Shumon's mother went back to home and again came back to Thana at 10.30 a.m. with her husband. They found Shumon lying on the floor of Thana custody. He was so severely beaten that he could not stand on his own feet. His hands, legs and leaps bore the signs of torture.

Shumon again told his parents to pay police the money that they demanded. He told again that he was beaten up for money. Second Officer Mahbub beat him up twice at night. When Shumon's father went to Second Officer, he (second officer) used abusive language with him. He told Shumon's father to contact the officer-in-charge to get his son released. When Shumon's father contacted the officer-in-charge, he told that illegal arms were found in Shumon's possession. He also claimed that Shumon was involved in a robbery incident. He demanded Tk. one lakh from Shumon's father. On getting money, police would produce Shumon before court showing him arrested under section 54 of the Cr.P.C. (freeing him from robbery case) and he would be released from court on bail.

That was a Friday and the banks were closed. So it was not possible for Shumon's father to arrange Tk. one lakh. He could arrange Tk. 10 thousand in cash and he offered a cheque of Tk. 40 thousand to the officer-in-charge. The officer-in-charge got angry with this. He got Shumon's parents out of Thana and started beating Shumon in custody. Shumon's parents saw the incident from outside the custody. At one stage, the officer-in-charge pushed Shumon under his boot on the floor and he became unconscious. Blood was coming out from his nose. Police immediately transferred him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

At 3 p.m. in the afternoon, Shumon's elder brother Hira went to hospital to see Shumon. They found police surrounding the hospital. Shumon was kept on the floor with saline pushed in his hands at ward no.33. After half an hour, his body was covered with a white cloth.

On 25 October in the morning, Shumon's father went to the hospital. At 4.30 p.m. Magistrate Abdur Rouf came to hospital to make autopsy report. Shumon's family members feared that shumon died before and police transferred his dead body to hospital to evade the responsibility of his death in police custody. Shumon's father alleged that the Magistrate did not prepare the autopsy report properly. According to Magistrate's description, a police officer Sobhan prepared the autopsy report. They forced Shumon's father to sign the autopsy report. He alleged that police had influenced the Magistrate to prepare the report. There were signs of torture on various parts of Shumon's body but it was not mentioned in the autopsy report. On 26 October at 12.30 p.m., the post-mortem of the dead body of Shumon was done.

On 26 October at 3 p.m., hundreds of people surrounded the Khilgaon Thana. They chanted slogans against the Officer-in-charge Entezar Rahman. Odhikar investigators were not allowed to enter into the Thana by police. The officer-in-charge did not talk to Odhikar investigators and went out of Thana. The Duty Officer SI Aziz informed that two cases were filed against Shumon; one for attempted robbery (case # 57, section 448/323/379 under Penal Code) and another for possessing illegal arms (case # 58 under section 19(a) of Arms Act along with section 399/402 of Penal Code).

He denied that Shumon was beaten for money in Thana custody. He claimed that Shumon was beaten by people when he attempted to commit robbery and he died of injury in the hospital. Police themselves gave contradictory information on Shumon's death. Once police told that Shumon became injured while he tried to jump from the roof of a house while he went there to commit robbery. People in the locality denied any incident of Shumon being beaten up by the general public.

The owner of the house where police claimed the robbery attempt took place, Nurul Islam Munshi claimed that there was no attempt of robbery in his house. He was forced by police to implicate Shumon in the attempt of robbery case.

It was revealed from the hospital sources that Shumon died due to excessive internal hemorrhage. The Head of the Forensic Department of Dhaka Medical College Dr. Habibur Rahman informed that signs of beating were found on hands and legs of Shumon. His leg mussels were smashed by beating. His forehead skin bore sign of beating.

The Officer -in- charge of Khilgaon Thana Entezar Rahman was closed on 27 October . on 28 October , Shumon's mother filed a case against the Officer- in- charge and the Second Officer. The OC was suspended after the case filed. A three-member probe committee headed by DIG Abdul Mannan was formed to investigate the incident. On 4th November the robe committee gave its report where it was claimed that Shumon did not die at police custody, rather he died by mob-beating when he had gone to commit robbery. The report also claimed that the parents of Shumon could not prove that police demanded money from them. The report commented that the OC failed to protect Shumon from mob beating.

Odhikar is a human rights organisation, prepared the report after talking with Shumon's parents, medical expert and the local people.

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