Friday, July 3, 2020 | ePaper

Journo torture

Complaint lodged against ex-DC, 3 magistrates among 40 in Kurigram

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Staff reporter  :
A complaint has been lodged against ex-Deputy Commissioner Sultana Parveen, RDC Nazim Uddin, ADC Rintu Biswas Chakma and ADC SM Rahatul Islam, who have recently been withdrawn from Kurigram district for the questionable arrest, incarceration, and torture of Dhaka Tribune journalist Ariful Islam.
The case was filed against the DC and others with Kurigram Sadar Police Station on Thursday, said Kurigram Sadar Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mahafuzzur Rahman.   On behalf of tortured journalist Ariful Islam Regan, Bangla Tribune's Senior Reporter Nuruzzaman Labu lodged the complaint, he said.
The next steps would be taken regarding the complaint, the OC said.
According to the case statement, in order to silence Ariful and stop him from writing reports on the irregularities of Kurigram district administration, the then Kurigram DC Sultana Pervin sanctioned an illegal mobile court drive against Ariful early Saturday.
Accordingly, Kurigram RDC Nazim Uddin, ADC Rintu Biswas Chakma, and ADC SM Rahatul Islam among 35 to 40 others broke into Ariful's home and picked him up.
Ariful was then taken to the DC office, where he was tortured blindfolded and threatened with "an encounter". He was then sent to jail for one year on charges of "possessing alcohol and marijuana".
After making bail the next day, Ariful was taken to Kurigram Sadar Hospital, where doctors confirmed the signs of physical assault. Sultana Pervin was served a similar notice the night before.
Nuruzzaman Labu said Regan himself couldn't come to the police station as he has been undergoing treatment at a hospital. Even, he had to sign the complaint with his left hand as he felt pain in his right hand.
The arrested, Ariful Islam Regan, is the district correspondent of online news portal Bangla Tribune.
"A taskforce of police, Ansar and Department of Narcotics Control arrested Ariful with 450ml local liquor and 100g hemp at midnight," said Rintu Bikash Chakma, executive magistrate of the taskforce.
"The mobile court sentenced him to one year imprisonment and fined him Tk 50,000 after he confessed to his part," he added.
But Ariful's wife Mostarima Sardar Nitu claimed that a group of law enforcers entered their home at Charuapara around midnight and took her husband away forcefully.
"They didn't say anything why they were arresting him," she added.
On Monday, the government withdrew Kurigram DC Sultana Perveen and three executive magistrates following an internal inquiry into arrest, torture and jailing of journalist midnight past Friday on the pretext of anti-drug mobile court.
Later, Regan was given bail by a court in Kurigram district. It was learnt that the DC herself secretly arranged the bail for the journalist.

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