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Raihan murder: Court asks fugitive accused to surrender

Raihan murder: Court asks fugitive accused to surrender

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 A Sylhet court on Wednesday asked the authorities concerned to publish an advertisement in newspapers asking Abdullah Al Noman, a fugitive accused in a case over Raihan Ahmed’s death at Bandarbzar police outpost, to surrender before it.

Sylhet Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Amirul Islam passed the order, said Barrister MA Fazal Chowdhury.

Earlier in the day, police produced the five accused in the murder case including then in-charge of Bandarbazar police outpost suspended SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan before the court amid tight security.

Barrister MA Fazal Chowdhury said police conducted a drive at the house of Noman but did not find anything related to the case.

The authorities concerned will take steps to publish advertisements in at least two newspapers about Noman to let him know about the court proceedings, he said.

On September 30, a Sylhet court accepted the chargesheet submitted by police against six people, including suspended SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, in the case.

The court also issued a warrant for arresting absconding accused  Abdullah Al Noman, who had allegedly helped Akbar flee the country, said Sylhet Metropolitan Police inspector Pradeep Chandra Das.

Akbar was arrested from the Dona frontier area of Kanaighat on November 10.

The other four accused in the case are sub-inspector Hasan Ali, assistant sub-inspector Ahshque Elahi, and constables Harunur Rashid and Titu Chandra Das of Bandarbazar police outpost. All the accused policemen are currently in judicial custody.

On May 5, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) submitted the chargesheet in the case.

According to the chargesheet, Akbar, constables Harunur Rashid and Titu, and ASI Asheque were directly responsible for Raihan's custodial death.

On October 11 last year, the 34 year old resident of Akharia in Sylhet city, was allegedly beaten to death in police custody.

His wife Tahmina Akter Tanni filed a complaint at the Kotwali police station the following day, following which an FIR was registered against unidentified people.

Four policemen, including then in-charge of the Bandarbazar police outpost Akbar, were suspended on October 12. The three other policemen were also withdrawn from the outpost the same day.

Later, the case was transferred to the PBI.

Meanwhile, the Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) had formed a committee to probe the custodial death of Raihan. A primary probe by the committee found evidence against the accused cops.

The victim's autopsy report revealed over 100 injury marks on his body and two of his nails were also pulled out.

On October 22, then SMP Commissioner Golam Kibria was transferred over widespread criticism of the role of police in Raihan’s death.

On November 29, Dr Shamsul Islam, the chief of the Forensic Department of Osmani Medical College Hospital, said that Raihan died due to severe injuries "as per the viscera report".

On November 18, 2020, a court remanded Akbar in judicial custody in connection with Raihan’s death. 

How Raihan died

Raihan was allegedly beaten to death in police custody on October 11, 2020.

Raihan called his mother from an unknown number and told her that police took him to the Bandarbazar outpost and demanded Tk 10,000 for his release, in the early hours of October 11.

Later that day, his uncle rushed to the police outpost with Tk 5,000 but the cops allegedly refused to accept the bribe and asked him to return after arranging Tk 10,000.

Raihan’s uncle then again went to the Bandarbazar police outpost with the money but was told that his nephew had fallen sick and taken to a hospital at 6.40am.

When his uncle went to the hospital, he came to know that Raihan was dead and his body had been sent for post-mortem.

Turning down the allegations of custodial torture, police then said that Raihan was caught by locals in the Kastghar area during a robbery and had been lynched.

However, the news of Raihan’s death triggered massive protests and locals had blocked the Sylhet-Sunamganj Highway, demanding action against the accused cops.