September 25, 2020, 11:41 pm

Abu Taher Bappa

2020-09-09 18:37:16 BdST

First verdict under new lawCustodial death: 3 ex-cops jailed for life

A Dhaka court has sentenced three former policemen to life imprisonment over the death of Ishtiaque Ahmed Jony in police custody, which took place in 2014.

This is the first verdict in such case that has been delivered in line with the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act of 2013.

Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kayes handed down the judgment in the presence of the accused amid tight security around 2:40 pm  on Wednesday.

The convicts, former Pallabi police station SI Zahidur Rahman, assistant sub-inspectors Kamruzzaman Mintu and Rashedul Islam, were also fined Tk1 lakh each, in default of which they will serve an additional six months in prison.

Two others, police informants Sumon and Russell were given seven years of imprisonment and also were fined Tk20 thousand each, in default of which they will serve three months’ imprisonment.

According to the case statement, an altercation took place between police informants Sumon and Jony over girls being harassed at a wedding at Irani Camp under Pallabi police station in the early hours of February 9, 2014.

When Jony slapped Sumon, the latter threatened the former with dire consequences. Half an hour later, a team of 25 to 26 policemen, including SI Zahidur swooped in on the ceremony and vandalized the stage.

At the time, they picked up Jony, Rocky, and a few other people from the wedding ceremony, and took them to the police station.

The detainees were tortured under police custody. SI Zahid jumped on Jony’s chest and spat on his mouth when Jony asked for water. Later, Jony was taken to the National Heart Foundation in a critical condition where doctors declared him dead.

The case details also mentioned that police had cooked up a false story to hide the facts, claiming that Jony was killed in a clash between residents of Irani Camp and Rahmat Camp.

On August 7, 2014, the court ordered a judicial inquiry into the custodial death of Jony, a member of the local Bihari community, after his brother Imtiaz Hossain Rocky filed a murder case.

Following a judicial inquiry, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Maruf Hossain submitted a probe report before the court against the five accused in the case on February 17, 2015.

On April 17, 2016, the court framed charges against the five accused.

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