Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | ePaper

Horrific tale of police brutality

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Staff Reporter :
The horrific disclosure of a blind trader in Khulna about "brutality of police" has sent chills down spine of the countrymen.  
Trader Md Shahjalal, who was forcibly sent to jail on charge of false mugging, after getting bail on Sunday disclosed that police had gauged out his eyes with a screwdriver on July 18, as he failed to manage Tk 1, 50,000 to give them as bribe.
Only the driver of the police van was wearing uniform while the others 12 cops were in plainclothes during the occurrence.
Shahjalal shared the horrifying experience with journalists at the Khulna Press Club. "I'm going to lose my eyesight permanently without proper treatment. I demand immediate punishment of the 13 law enforcers who were involved in this heinous crime. I know, I'll never get back my eyes again but I want justice," the victim said.
 "Now they [cops] are again flexing muscle and threatening my family," he added.   
As Shahjalal's family members failed to arrange the money, OC of Khalispur   Police Station Nasim Khan along with 12 other cops later at night [July 18] had tortured him severely and at one stage gouged out his both eyes.
Shahjalal, however, is now freed in bail in connection with the fake mugging case. On the other hand, Shahjalal filed a case with Khulna Metropolitan Session Court against the policemen on September 7.
At first, Khulna police tried to suppress the incident with the help of some local newsmen. As per the plan, a report ran on July 19 in different media said a mob in Khulna has gouged out the eyes of a suspected mugger [Shahjalal].
Although after the incident Shahjalal had alleged that policemen from Khulna's Khalishpur police station gouged out his eyes after he refused to bribe them, nobody paid heed to his claim.
Even while he was undergoing treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said, "I went out to buy milk for my daughter in the evening, on July 18, when policemen arriving on three motorcycles picked me up saying that there were many complaints against me. They beat me up mercilessly at the police station and demanded Tk1.5 lakh for my release."
 "When I said that I did not have the money, they took me out of the station saying that I would be admitted to the hospital. Then they took me to Bishwa Road area and gouged out my eyes after tying up my hands, feet and mouth."
OC Nasir Khan had claimed that some angry people gouged out Shahjalal's eyes after he was caught red handed while snatching a bag from one Suma Aktar near Khalishpur's Golakhali rail line.
"Shahjalal is also accused in six to seven cases filed in different police stations," the OC further claimed.
Refuting the police claim, Shahjalal's wife Rahela Begum said: "Hearing the news that my husband was picked up by Inspector Rasel and Mamun, I rushed to the police station. I was allowed to see my husband for Tk100. His eyes were fine at the time. Then a police officer said they would release my husband if we give them Tk1.5 lakh. Then they asked me to leave."
 "I stayed in front of the police station that night and saw that the policemen took Shahjalal out of the station around 11:30pm. I kept waiting, but my husband was not brought back to the station that night. Police later asked me to go to the hospital. I rushed there and found him lying on the floor," she said.
Human Right activist and victim's lawyer Mominul Islam said the OC and their men several time demanded money from the victim for withdrawal of the case.

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