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Death in RAB custody

HC wants autopsy report of Naogaon woman

Published : 27 Mar 2023 10:45 PM | Updated : 28 Mar 2023 02:07 PM

The High Court has wanted the autopsy report and a list of the members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) who arrested and interrogated Sultana Jasmin, a woman of Naogaon, who died in RAB custody recently.

The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel asked the authorities concerned to submit relevant documents before the court on Tuesday morning (today). 

The court asked Assistant Attorney General AbulKalam Khan Daud to inform the HC bench whether a law has been violated in taking her into custody and whether any case has been filed in connection with the death in RAB custody.

The AAG informed the court that no cases were filed in this connection so far and the body of Sultana Jasmine was handed over to the family after autopsy.

The bench passed the orders on a Suo Motu (voluntary) move after Supreme Court lawyer Manoj Kumar Bhowmik placed a report published in a national daily over the death of Sultana Jasmin.

Sultana Jesmin, an office assistant at Chandipur Union Land Office under NaogaonSadar upazila,reportedly died under the custody of RAB in Naogaon town. She was arrested from the Muktir Crossing area in Naogaon town and died at about 9:00 am on Friday.

Family members alleged that 45-year-old Jesmine was arrested on the basis of a previous complaint.

RAB said there was a complaint against her of her involvement in fraudulent practices. She was arrested on the basis of the complaint. Jesmine fell sick immediately after her arrest.

However, the family members alleged that Jesmin died of torture under the RAB custody.

Jesmin’s maternal uncle Naogaon Municipality's former councilor NazmulHuqMontu said, “My niece came out of home on Wednesday morning to go to her office. When she reached Muktir crossing at about 10:30 am, a group of RAB personnel picked her up on board a white microbus. Then we  tried to know which RAB camp she was taken to. After 12 noon, we learnt that Jesmin was undergoing treatment at Naogaon Hospital. We rushed to the hospital and found RAB personnel there. My niece couldn't tell anything else.” 

After some time, she was taken to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital where she succumbed at about 9:00 am on Friday while undergoing treatment there. Her body was handed over early Saturday afternoon. 

Jesmin was buried on Saturday evening.

NazmulHuqMontu said that Jesmin had divorced her husband some 17 years ago. Since then she had been rearing her only son through acute financial constraints. She lived in a rented house at Janakalyan area in Naogaon town and bore educational expenses for her son who is studying at Chattogram University.

“Jesmin was nothing but a low-ranked employee at the local land office. None could make any allegation of irregularities against her,” he said.

Shahed Hossain Saikat, son of Jesmin, said, “My mother is a victim of conspiracy. We have learnt that inhuman and brutal tortures were inflicted upon her under RAB custody. She died due to torture on her.”

RAB-5 company commander Major MdNazmusSakib said that there were allegations that she was involved in financial irregularities. A fraudulent case was also filed against her recently. She was arrested on the basis of an old case. But, she fell sick at one stage of interrogation. Then she was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.

Naogaon General Hospital's resident physician DrMoumitaJalil said that some RAB personnel brought a sick woman to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. She was given primary treatment at the emergency department. After examining her, doctors anticipated that she suffered a heart attack. Then she was referred to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) for better treatment.

Dr M Shamim Ahmed, Director of the RMCH, said, “As far as I know that the woman received head injuries after falling on the ground during the interrogation by RAB. Then she was taken to Naogaon Hospital and admitted there. As her condition deteriorated, she was brought here at the RMCH. After a CT scan, it was learnt that the woman died due to internal haemorrhage in her brain.”

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