Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jamaat supported UP member extra-judicially killed by government forces in Jhenaidah

Four days after being abducted by men claiming to be members of Kothchandpur Detective Branch (DB) of Police, the dead bullet ridden body of a Jamaat-e-Islami supported Union Parishad member was discovered by police at Mamunshia village under Sadar upazila of Jhenaidah district on Monday morning.

The deceased was identified as Hafez Abul Kalam, 40, Union Parishad member of 8 no. ward Elangi union under Kotchandpur upazila of Jhenaidah district and resident of the area. 

Gopalpur Police in charge Shibupod Prasad said that his men recovered the body from a field of Bakultala area of the Mamunshia village after being informed by locals at around 6 am. He confirmed that the dead body of the UP member had been shot and there were signs where bullets had entered through his chest and neck.

Kotchandpur district OC Fazlur Rahman said that there were 9 political cases lodged against the deceased including attack on police, weapons confiscation and setting fire to Awami League offices.

"Crossfire" for 4 lakh taka ? 

Abul Kalam’s family however, had a different story to tell. They informed the media that Abul Kalam had been initially abducted and later killed by state security forces themselves. Abul Kalam’s body was found within 72 hours of being arrested by the police. As per the personal statement of his wife Hasina Begum, her husband was taken away by Kotchandpur police led by S.I. Mizan at 11 am on Friday the 18th of April.

Hasina Begum said, “Since my husband was at home bare-chested, I wanted to give him a shirt as he was being taken away, but the police refused. At the time of the arrest, S.I. Mizan was wearing a white Bangla New Year fotuwa (short sleeved light garment). After being arrested, he was first taken to Gurpara police camp and tortured. When people began to gather hearing the screams of the tortured man, police promptly lathi-charged and dispersed the gathering. They then carried him away to an unknown location in a white microbus (Dhaka Metro-Gha-11-2231). That was the last I heard of my husband.”      

When a relative of the family of the abducted person communicated with S.I. Mizan, he demanded 4,00,000 taka at one point for ensuring that Abul Kalam would be brought up to court and not killed in a “crossfire” incident. Due to the fact that it was the weekend Friday-Saturday holiday, the banks were closed and the family was unable to gather the money demanded by the police officer. They managed to raise around 70,000 – 75,000 taka from their fellow villagers, but sadly, this was not enough to appease the police officer who had threatened to kill Abul Kalam. Affirmatively, he returned four days later, a dead body.             

Picture: Face of the Shaheed at his Namaaz-e-janaza.

Local Jamaat called for a dawn to dusk shutdown on Tuesday in Kotchandpur and Maheshpur upazilas of the district protesting the extrajudicial killing of UP member Hafez Abul Kalam and demanding justice for the deceased. His namaaz-e-janaza was attended by hundreds of people at his native village.

Picture: Hundreds of people at the namaaz e janaza of Abul Kalam

We strongly protest the continued trend of disappearances and  extrajudicial killings taking place with the blessings of the illegal regime in Bangladesh and ask for human rights organisations both nationwide and worldwide along with common citizens to raise their voices against the widespread abuse of human rights happening right now in the country. 

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