Cops assault prying journos, lawyers
Two sub-inspectors assaulted and harassed a teenaged girl, her father and mother on the very premises of Dhaka magistrate court yesterday.
The two cops in the nearby Police Club assaulted the 15-year-old allegedly for protesting against the police claim of her father’s motorbike being a stolen one .
After the assault, when she was talking to newsmen about her ordeal, police charged truncheons on her and beat up six journalists and four lawyers.
They then picked up the girl, her father, mother and two lawyers and took them to Kotwali Police Station for no apparent reason.
Sub-Inspector Zaman, one of the two police officials involved in the assault, was closed.
Sources said the girl and her parents went to the magistrate court yesterday on her father’s motorbike around noon to file a case against her husband in connection with torturing her for dowry.
When they were entering the court premises, two sub-inspector of Kotwali Police Station–Zaman and Jahangir–stopped them at the gate. The officers claimed that the bike was stolen and there was a case against the father.
The father refuted the police claim and protested.
As the girl’s father protested, the two policemen beat him up and took him to the Police Club near the gate of the court premises.
When the girl protested the police action against her father, police took the girl and her mother inside the club as well.
They were attacked and were subjected to abusive behaviour.
The girl was rescued by other policemen only to be attacked again while she was talking to journalists.
Police then picked them up but in the evening handed the girl and her parents over to advocate Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) in the evening.
The four-hour-long harassment on the family, especially of the teenaged girl, and the attack on lawyers and journalists sparked anger among lawyers and journalists at the court.
The girl told journalists around 3:30pm, before the second attack, that the two policemen took her in room inside the club and physically abused her. Her father and mother were detained in another room of the club, she said.
She said a senior officer discovered what was going on, rescued the girl and her parents and ensured a safe passage out of the club.
Court correspondents had gathered to hear what she had to say about the incident when law enforcers swooped on the newsmen and charged truncheons on them allegedly with the directive of Salauddin Khan, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, and Assistant Commissioner Rajib Al Masud.
Police also picked up lawyers Shakhawat Hossain Taslim and Rajib alias Raju along with the family.
Prothom Alo correspondent Prashanta Kumar Karmaker, Kaler Kantha correspondents MA Jalil Ujjal and Bangladesh Pratidin correspondent Tuhin Howlader were among the 10 injured.
Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Lalbagh division Harun-ur-Rashid formed a committee with Additional Deputy Commissioner Maruf Hossain and Assistant Commissioner Rajib Al Masud to probe the incident. The committee was asked to submit a report in 24 hours.
On March 10, 1998, four-year-old Tania was raped inside the police control room adjacent to the courtroom of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Dhaka.
-With The Daily Star input