5 including 3 former policemen indicted over 2014 custodial death of scrap-cloth dealer

Metropolitan Sessions Court judge Kamrul Hossain Molla on Sunday fixed May 16 for the commencement of the trial, Additional Public Prosecutor Tapas Kumar Pal told reporters after the hearing.

The accused are Sub-Inspector (SI) Jahidur Rahman Khan, Assistant SIs Kamruzzaman Mintu and Rashidul Haque, along with police informers Md Sumon and Md Rasel.

Of them, Khan and Sumon were present at court. Mintu and Haque are out on bail, while Rasel is still on the run.

Imtiaz Hossain Rocky had filed the case in August 2014, accusing them of beating his brother, scrap-cloth dealer Ishtiaq Hossain Jony, to death after taking him into the police station.

Jony had been beaten to death in February that year. But Rocky lodged the case only after another case was filed in July against SI Khan over another custodial death.

At the time, Pallabi police OC Ziaur Rahman, SIs Abdul Baten, 'Rashed' and Shovon Kumar and Constable 'Nazrul' were also implicated in Rocky's case.

But a judicial probe dropped the charges against them.

SI Khan and four other accused had also sought to be cleared of the charges, but the court rejected their pleas and indicted them after 10 hearings, said APP Tapas Kumar Pal.

According to the case details, Jony had slapped informer Sumon for harassing women at a pre-wedding programme at Pallabi's Irani Camp on the night of Feb 7, 2014.

Half an hour later, Jony was detained by a police team, led by Khan, and taken to the police station, where he was allegedly tortured to death.

Rocky, in the case documents, said, "Khan and the other accused beat Jony with hockey sticks and wooden stumps. They also stomped on his chest. Khan spat on Jony's face when he sought water."

When Jony became unconscious, he was taken to Mirpur's National Heart Foundation Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

The case details alleged that the accused had fabricated an account of a fight between Irani Camp and Rahmat Camp at Pallabi and filed a false case to cover-up Jony's death in police custody.

Later, a judicial inquiry by the metropolitan magistrate following a court order revealed the involvement of SI Khan and four others in the murder.

The magistrate's probe report against the three policemen and two informers was submitted in February last year.

SI Jahidur Rahman Khan, currently behind bars, is also accused of being involved in the custodial death of another garment-waste trader named Mahbubur Rahman Sujon in July 2014.

Witness deposition in Sujon's case is going on at Metropolitan Sessions judge Kamrul Hossain Molla's court, State chief counsel Abdullah Abu told bdnews24.com.

Apart from Khan, seven others have been accused in the case.

Source: Bangladesh's First Internet Newspaper