Police claim he committed suicide, while family members and local upazila and union parishad chairmen say he was murdered
A man has died under mysterious circumstances under police custody in Barguna.
The deceased Shanu Hawlader was killed in police brutality for failing to bribe OC Abul Bashar and OC Monoranjan Mistri with Tk3 lakh, say family members.
The incident took place in Amtali police station Thursday morning.
A three-member probe committee has been formed to investigate the mysterious death inside the Amtali police station, said Barguna Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration & Crime) Tofael Ahmed.
Meanwhile, Amtali police station OC (Investigation) Manoranjan Mistri and Duty Officer Arifur Rahman have been suspended over negligence of duty, said Barguna Superintendent of Police Maruf Hossain. “No matter who it is, the guilty shall face legal repercussions,” he said.
The accused police officers dismissed the matter as suicide.
Amtali police station OC Abdul Bashar claimed Shanu hanged himself from the ceiling fan inside the jail cell. However, when journalists pointed out the lack of such ceiling fans inside the jail cell, OC Abul changed his statement and said Shanu hanged himself from the ceiling fan in OC Manoranjan’s office.
When asked about the Tk3 lakh that they allegedly asked for Shanu's release, he avoided the question.
Shanu was picked up for questioning from his home on Monday, over the murder of one Ibrahim back in 2019, as his step-brother was one the accused in the case, say police.
However, Shanu Hawlader’s son Sakib Hossain said, his father was picked up so police could extort money out of him for his release.
“OC Abdul Bashar and OC Manoranjan demanded Tk3 lakh for my father’s release. When I refused, they began torturing my father. Unable to stand this, I offered them Tk10,000 on Tuesday. They didn’t accept and started torturing my father even more.
"On Wednesday, when I went to the police station to drop off food for my father, I wasn’t allowed to see him. Instead, the OCs became hostile and sent me home."
"Today [Thursday] we received news of my father's death inside the jail cell," said Sakib and broke into tears.
Meanwhile, Amtali Upazila Vice Chairman Md Mojibur Rahman and Gulishakhali UP Chairman Nurul Islam said Shanu was indeed killed in police brutality and police were trying to cover up the incident citing it was a suicide.