Police Allegedly Gouged Out the Eyes of Suspected Mugger in Khalishpur, Khulna

Date of the Incident        18 July 2017 (probably between 8.30 pm to 3.30 am of 19 July, 2017)
Place of the Incident       Goalkhali Bus stand, Police Station: Khalishpur, Khulna
Date of the Fact Finding   22-27 July, 2017
Fact Finding Team            Anirban Saha and Hasibur Rahman 

Incident    

On 18 July, 2017 at around 8.00pm, Shah Jamal alias Shahjalal (31) stepped out from his in-laws house of Railbosti, Goalkhali under Khalishpur police station to buy baby food for her daughter. At around 9.00pm, an incident of mugging happened at Goalkhali bus stand. Mob caught one of the alleged and handed him over to police after beating up. At that time police detained Shahjalal from Goalkhali crossing and took him to the Khalishpur police station. Rahela Begum, the wife of Shahjalal along with her mother went to meet him at police station at around 10.30pm after being informed by locals.  But police did not allow them to meet with Shahjalal and they kept waiting in front of the police station. At one point they saw police were taking him away in police pick up. According to Rahela Begum, Shahjalal seemed fine except simple hurt in his body, mostly his eyes were normal. But on next morning in Khulna Medical, she found his eyes were gouged and bleeding. At present, Shahjalal is admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital under observation of jail police.

Findings

On 22 July, 2017 ASK representative team went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and met Rahela Khatun the wife of the victim. In her words, “My in-laws are from Pirojpur. I came to my father’s house before one week. My husband came 3/4 days later. On the day of the incident, 18 July, 2017 (Tuesday) my husband left house at the evening to buy milk for my 10 months old baby girl. After a while some local boys came and informed us that two police officers namely Rasel and Mamun have taken him (Shahjalal) away.” According to her statements, later on, she and her mother went to a local political leader. Hearing from her, the leader called to the Officer-in-charge of Khalishpur Thana.  The OC then demanded Taka One lakh over phone. When they expressed their helplessness and offered taka 10 /15 thousands then OC replied that they will release Shahjalal by night and won’t charge any money. Then according to the suggestion of that leader they went to the police station by 10.30pm. But they were not allowed to enter the police station and kept waiting before the Thana gate. At nearly 11.30pm they found Shahjalal along with three police who picked him up in a police van. They ran to him, Shahjal cried out that he was highly beaten up by the police and requested Rahela to inform his father Jakir Hossain. As per information of Rahela, though there were few visible sign of torture in Shahjalal’s body but his eyes were completely fine till then. When they bribed a police with Tk100 and asked about where they were taking Shahjalal, he informed that they were taking Shahjalal to Khulna Medical for treatment. Later on, they found Shahjalal in the floor of Khulna Medical with bandage in his eyes and it was bleeding. She added that, Shahjalal told her that police took him to the Khulna Biswaroad and gouged out his eyes. He further added that all of them were in plain clothes except the driver of the police van. While investigating the ASK investigating team went to the place of incident (in Khulna) on 24 July, 2017, as per their report the local residents who don’t want to disclose their names informed them that they heard the screaming of a lady voice at around 8.00pm to 9.00pm near Goalkhali Bus stand road. At that time, a motor cycle crossed that road carrying two men.  After a while, the person who was sitting behind fell on the road. Then the excited mob caught him and beat him lightly. After few minutes a police patrol team arrived and that person was handover to them. According to the Entry book of Khulna Medical Shahjalal was admitted there with physical assult at 3.28pm of 19 July, 2017 (Reg No. 5557/2). According to Dr. Mustaq, a intern doctor of Khulna Medical, who was in duty of the ward when Shahjalal was bring to the medical by police informed to ASK investigating team that  Shahjalal was grievously injured then and his eyes were gouged out. They referred him to the Dhaka Medical College for better treatment.  He also added that at that time a good number of members of LEA’s were present in the ward. He further clarified that though the victim’s eyes were gouged out but there were no other sign of bodily injury as supposed to be expected after mob beating.

Complainants Statement

ASK’s representatives went to the residence of the plaintiff of the case Shumi Akter. The siblings of Shumi Akter informed that their father is admitted to the hospital. On the day of occurrence Shumi Akter along with her sister in law and niece went to visit the hospital. On the way this incident took place. She was carrying around 12000tk for paying the test bills. Meanwhile Shumi Akter returned and said she has given her case statement and that is final.

COMPLAINANT’S ACCOUNT

According to Shumi Akter, on 18 July, 2017 she went to the Sheikh Abu Naser Hospital to see his father. She was alone. While crossing the Goalkhali Bus stand in rickshaw by vanity bag was snatched away from a motor cycle and two persons were riding the motor cycle. Then locals caught one of them and handed over him to the police after beating. He was taken to the Khalishpur Police Station.  

Role of Local Police

Nasim Khan, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Khalishpur Police Station denied the allegation of gouging out the eyes of Shahjalal to ASK representatives. According to him this allegation is baseless. He added that Shahjalal was attacked by the bystanders of Goalkhali bus stoppage as a snatcher and they rescued him. Shahjalal could be dead if Police reached after few minutes. He identified Shahjalal as a professional criminal and informed that Shahjalal was wanted in eight cases of Khulna, Khalishpur and Pirojpur.

Legal Action Taken

One case was filed at Khalishpur Police station on the incident.  On 19 July, 2017 a police case under section 4 and 5 of Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Act, 2014was filed by Shumi Akter against Md. Shahjalal alias Sahahjamal and Shuvo by name.

Latest Update

On 11 September, 2017 ASK representatives were informed by Jakir Hossain, father of Shahkal that Mst. Renu Begum, mother of Sahjalal filed a case against 13 members of LEA’s in Khulna Metropolitan Magistrate Court. Now they are under threat of harassment that they may be framed in any offence. He added that Police has taken Shahjalal to the hospital of Central Jail in Keraniganj before Eid though his wounds are not cured. Now, ASK is providing legal aid to Shahjalal.

Police Allegedly Gouged Out the Eyes of Suspected Mugger in Khalishpur, Khulna ASK Fact Finding Report