Saturday, February 7, 2015

Political crisis 2015 - Law enforcement 'unlawful killings'

See also in the 'Political Crisis 2015' series:
Analysis of the deaths (updated to 1 Feb)

This page provide more details on alleged 'unlawful killings' by the police since 5 January which appear to be directly connected with the political crisis.

Twenty such deaths have been identified from news reports (as of 7 Feb, 2014). 10 of the men killed are from the BNP; 7 are from the Jamaat and 3 are so far unidentified.

[To see the full list of deaths, including details of the over 40 deaths claimed to be the result of opposition pickets, click here]

The police provide six different scenarios for these 20 'police' deaths

- that 8 men were killed when the police came under attack

- that 4 men were killed when, having been arrested by the police, they were taken to a place to recover arms or identify other alleged associates, and in a course of a shoot out with that persons associate's that person is killed.

- that 4 men were killed in the course of a protest (in the first few days of the political unrest)

- that 2 men died when vehicle ran them over when men were throwing bombs (police claim they were not involved)

- that 1 man died when trying to escape police custody

- that 1 man died, police claim no responsibility, but family claim that he was in police custody.

All these deaths are set out below.

It is difficult to come to any definite conclusions about whether the police stories are legitimate or not. There are though reasons to believe that many (if not most/all) are highly questionable.

In many cases family members dispute the chronology of the police story. So for example in relation to 3 out of the 8 deaths where police claim the person died after the police came under attack, family members are quoted in news reports as saying that their relative died after having been picked up by the police. (3 further deaths out of the 8 involve unidentified men so reporters have not yet been able to approach family members; in the other 2 cases the reports do not seem to quote family members).

In addition, the police narrative (used here in relation to 4 deaths) that men have been killed in 'shoot outs' (when the police take men to find arms or to identify accomplices) has been used so many times in the past by the police, with almost identical wording, that it has almost no credibility.

Of course all these deaths need to be properly investigated before coming to any proper conclusions.

(To provide any further information on these deaths, please e-mail)

Where it is claimed that person is killed when the police came under attack
There are 8 people in this category
Death of Imrul Quayes, Jamaat, Dhaka, on 19 January
The Dhaka Tribune reports as follows
… DB claimed that they did not even know who Imrul was until his family members identified his body at the morgue.
“We had information that a group of people were planning subversive activities from there [the mess] and a team of detectives went there,” and official said.
DC Jahangir Hossain Matubbar said the incident took place around 3am at AGB Colony kitchen market area in the capital’s Motijheel.
Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the group that had gathered there opened fire and detectives retaliated. At one stage, the criminals fled the spot leaving back injured Imrul. Police recovered one pistol, two bullets and five crude bombs from the spot, Jahangir said. ….
The Dhaka Tribune caught up with Imrul’s brother Abdur Razzak over phone yesterday evening.
Razzak said: “A group of people, who said they were from DB, came to Imrul’s mess in the early hours of Saturday and picked him up. At first they wanted to see his national ID card. After they confirmed his identity, they took him with them.
“On Saturday morning, Imrul’s roommate called up his wife’s mobile phone and told her that he had been taken away. Then we sent an acquaintance to the DB office in Dhaka. But DB denied knowing anything about the matter.
“Around 11am yesterday, someone called up Jannatul [Imrul’s wife] from Imrul’s mobile phone and told her that he was severely injured in an ‘accident’ and that he was being taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. The caller did not say who he was,” Razzak said.
Death of Solaiman Uddin Jisan, BNP, Comilla, on 23 Jan
The Daily Star reports
Around 1:45am yesterday, a patrol team of Rapid Action Battalion-11 signalled Jisan to stop at Jigatola on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway when he was returning to Laxmipur from Dhaka by motorcycle, said Anamul Haque, a sub-inspector of Daudkandi Police Station, a correspondent of Daudkandi adds.
“As he did not stop, another team of the Rab tried to intercept Jisan. He then fired two shots at the elite force. The Rab men were compelled to fire back,” the police official said.
Anamul said Jisan was hit by bullets and died on the spot around 4:00am. ...
"Jisan was picked up and shot dead for his political connections," he claimed. According to police, Jisan led a criminal gang named after him. However, his maternal uncle Abdul Alim said all the cases filed against the JCD leader were politically motivated, reports our Noakhali correspondentA.
Deaths of two unidentified men, Dhaka, 4 Feb
New Age reports that
The battalion headquarters legal and media wing deputy director, Rumman Mahmud, claimed that pickets threw brickbats at the vehicle of a battalion patrol team at at Matuail or Jatrabari at about 3:00am. As the patrol car slowed, the pickets hurled a petrol bomb at the patrol team promtim the team to open fire that injured two of the pickets, he claimed. The injured two pickets were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared them dead at about 4:00am, said battalion officials. DMCH police outpost in-charge Mozammel Huq said the bodies of the victims were sent to morgue for post mortem examination. Marks of bullet wound were seen in the chests, abdomen and other part of the youths. The battalion members also found some firearms on the spot, officials claimed.
Death of unidentified man, Dhaka, 4 Feb
The Daily Star reports
The SI said activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Shibir hurled petrol and crude bombs targeting a patrol team of police in Purba Manipur area around 3:00am, prompting the law enforcers to retaliate that triggered a gunfight.
The man came in the line of fire and suffered bullet wounds, the SI said adding that the cohorts managed to flee the scene.
Police rushed the injured to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Four petrol and crude bombs were recovered from the scene
Death of Sahabuddin Patwari, BNP, Comilla, on 6 February
Daily Star report states:
Police claimed that Sahabuddin received bullets when they opened fire on a group of criminals at Samuksar area on Dhaka-Chittagong highway around 4:30am after being attacked with petrol bombs.
A group of around 20 men hurled petrol bombs on a police team which was patrolling the area, claimed Uttam Chakroborty, officer-in-charge of Chouddagram Police Station.
When the bomb missed, the criminals opened fire, forcing police to retaliate, claimed the OC.
Sahabuddin was hit. Doctors declared him dead when he was taken to Comilla Medical College Hospital. Sources at the hospital said he had more than one bullet wounds in his head.
The law enforcers claimed that they recovered a revolver, one bullet and two petrol bombs from the spot.
Farjana Akter, a sister of the deceased, alleged that a plainclothes police team picked up Sahabuddin at their home in Chandiskara area around 4:00pm on Thursday.
They heard about his death yesterday morning, she said.
“He was not killed in a shootout. He was killed in a planned way,” she said.
 Death of Shahidul Islam, Jamaat, Jessore, on 6 February
Daily Star report states: 
Shahidul Islam, 35, a Satkhira Jamaat activist, was killed in a “shootout” with police in Jessore. He was the son of Nur Ali of Satkhira and a nephew of a former Satkhira Jamaat lawmaker.
Enamul Haque, officer-in-charge of Jessore Kotwali Police Station, said a police team tried to stop a microbus at Ramnagar area around 2:15am.
The men inside the microbus opened fire on the team, forcing the police to fire back, claimed the OC.
Police later found Shahidul bullet hit at the scene and sent him to Jessore Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival, said the OC.
He added the Jamaat man received two bullets in his chest and back.
Abdul Majid, a leader of the pro-BNP Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal of Kalaroa in Satkhira, also received bullet injuries in the incident, said Jessore police.
Death of Sahahuddin Ripon, Jamaat, Rajshai, killed on 6 February
Daily Star report states: 
Sahabuddin Ripon, information and technology affairs secretary of the Rajshahi University Shibir unit, was killed in a “shootout” with police in the city
Some 15 Shibir activists hurled several crude bombs at a police patrol team on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway around 1:00am forcing the police to retaliate, claimed AKM Nahidul Islam, a deputy commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police.
He said after the encounter policemen arrested three bullet-hit Shibir men and sent them to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital where arrestee Ripon, who received two bullets in his thighs, was declared dead around 1:30am.
The DC claimed constable Mahbubur Rahman sustained injuries in his right elbow during the incident and was having treatment at Rajshahi Police Lines Hospital.
Ripon was a final-year student of Crop Science and Technology at the university. The other arrestees were Habibur Rahman, president of RU Hobibur Rahman Hall Shibir unit, and Mufijur Rahman, a Shibir activist.
Interestingly, all three of them were shot in both their thighs.
Injured Mofizur alleged that police had picked them up in the city's Kapashia area around 8:00pm Thursday when they were returning from a wedding. They were taken to Motihar Police Station.
“Later at night, police blindfolded me and took me to a place, forced me to lie down on the ground and shot me in my thighs,” Mofizur told The Daily Star.
The Dhaka Tribune states:
Publicity Secretary of Shibir RU Unit Farhad Reza claimed that police had detained the Shibir men but denied the matter when the relatives of the activists were looking for them.
Later, they were informed about Shahabuddin's body being kept at RMCH morgue.
When it is claimed that a person, is arrested by the police, and taken to a place to recover arms or identify other alleged associates, and in a course of a shoot out with that persons associate's that person is killed.

There are 4 deaths in this category
Death of Motiur Rahman, BNP, Chapainawabganj on 16 Jan
The Daily Star reports
According to Rapid Action Battalion, Motiur Rahman, 22, a union-level leader of pro-BNP Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, was the main man behind arson and bomb attacks in Chapainawabganj, reports our district correspondent there. ..
Major Kamruzzaman, commander of Chapainawabganj camp of Rab-5, said Rab personnel in a special drive arrested three people -- Motiur, Hazrat and Shyamal -- at Kansat around 3:00pm on Thursday for their alleged involvement in recent destructive activities in the area.
Motiur admitted to have torched and hurled crude bombs at goods-laden trucks at Muslimpur and Rasulpur of Shibganj on Wednesday, the major said.
A Rab team then took Motiur to a mango orchard in Kansat “for arresting his accomplices and recovering arms and explosives” around 3:00am, he claimed.
He said Motiur's accomplices started firing indiscriminately and throwing homemade bombs at the Rab team forcing the Rab men to retaliate and sparking a 20-minute "gunfight".
Motiur sustained bullet injuries while trying to flee and had died on the spot, he said, adding that a pistol, a revolver, two light guns, two other guns, three magazines, five bullets, 17 crude bombs, 10 petrol bombs and five sharp weapons were found on the spot.
Rab media wing claimed that Motiur was the main man behind the arson and bomb attacks on vehicles that had been carried out during BNP-led 20-party alliance's blockade.
However, Motiur's father Unshakh Ali Montu said, "Rab took him away unlawfully from an eggplant field near his house and killed him. I want justice after proper investigation."
Motiur was a student of Kansat Soleyman Ali Degree College and the vice-president of JCD's Shyampur union.
Shahjahan Mia, president of Chapainawabganj district BNP and district coordinator of 20-party alliance, alleged Motiur was a victim of "extrajudicial killing".
"The joint forces of Rab, BGB and police are carrying out atrocities in some areas of Chapainawabganj. They have orders from the government to kill. They raided some villages of Shibganj-Kansat and killed opposition leaders and activists, torched many of their houses,” BNP's Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said
The Dhaka Tribune reports:
Major Kamruzzaman Pavel, commander of RAB 5 in the district, said several people were detained near the Shyampur Nari Kalyan School on Thursday during a joint forces drive in Shibganj. One of the detainees – Motiur – admitted his involvement with subversive activities in the upazila, the RAB commander claimed, adding that the elite force then took Motiur on a drive to recover weapons.
The RAB claimed that Motiur’s associates opened fire on the team once they reached Kansat in the early hours of yesterday. Motiur allegedly tried to flee during the ensuing gunfight and died after being caught in the line of fire being exchanged. His body was later handed over to the Shibganj police station.
General Secretary of Shibganj upazila Chhatra Dal Abdullah Al Faruk claimed the deceased was the vice-president of Chhatra Dal’s Shyampur union unit.
However, Motiur’s father Montu Ali said his son was not involved with any political party, and was only a second-year student at Kansat Solaiman Degree College. He claimed that law enforcers had wrongfully detained and killed Motiur, who did not even have any case filed against him
Nuruzzaman Johnny, BNP, on 20 January
According to the Daily Star, the police story is as follows:
Detectives said they picked up Jonny from Nazim Uddin Road area on Monday, and during primary interrogation he confessed to his involvement in the arson attack on a police van near Matsya Bhaban on Saturday.
On information gleaned from him, they launched a drive at Jorpukur playground at Khilgaon around 3:00am yesterday to recover petrol bombs, crude bombs and other arms and ammunition.
Sensing police presence, his associates opened fire on police, prompting them to fire back. Jonny was bullet-hit as he came in the line of fire, said a detective official, preferring anonymity.
And the family story is as follows:
Yakub said he spoke with his son for the last time 1:15pm on Monday, after he had gone to the jail gate to visit his younger brother Moniruzzaman Hira.
Police allegedly picked Hira up on Friday, not finding Jonny.
Jonny's wife, Munia Parveen Monisha, found all his four cell phones off about an hour after the conversation, Yakub said, adding that they looked for him at every possible place.
He then contacted the Khilgaon police and the Detective Branch of Police, but they denied arresting him.
"The detectives who denied arresting my son on Monday night killed him just hours later," he said, and alleged that along with Jonny detectives arrested another JCD activist named Moin.
Death of Nurul Islam, Jamaat, Rajshai, 28 January
Daily Star reports
Around 2:00am, a team of the Detective Branch (DB) of police took him to Nolkhola Ashrafer Mor to arrest his cohorts and recover firearms, said Muhammad Shamsuddin, commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, at a press briefing at the RMP headquarters.
Sensing police presence, his accomplices opened fire, hurled several crude bombs and tried to snatch Nurul away, prompting the DB men to open fire in retaliation. Nurul was hit by bullets while trying to escape and was declared dead at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital around 3:30am, said the RMP boss.
Two police constables were claimed to have received bullets during the "gunfight" and admitted to Rajshahi Police Lines Hospital.
A revolver, five bullets and 10 crude bombs were recovered from the scene, the RMP commissioner claimed.
Nurul was accused in over a dozen cases in Rajshahi, according to police.
The victim's family, however, thinks the entire story was cooked up.
"Police killed my brother in a planned way. They might have some past grudges as he was active in politics,” said Nurul's brother Fazlul Haque. "We will file a murder case against the police.”
 Death of Emdadullah, Jamaat, Dhaka, on 31 January
In its report provides the police perspective
Referring to the case details, [the sub inspector of Mirpur police station] said police held Emdad and 10 other youths with petrol bombs from Mirpur Section-2 early on Sunday.
Emdad told police his fellows were waiting in the Beribandh area with a huge haul of Molotov cocktails and explosives to be used for arson attacks during a blockade called by the alliance of BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and smaller parties.
Shibir is the Jamaat’s student affiliate.
The SI said police raided the area on the basis of information provided by Emdad.
"Police fired from their guns when the Shibir men started firing at the law enforcers.
"Emdad was shot by the Shibir men when he managed to get off from the police van and tried to flee the scene," the SI said. 
 In its report, New Age provides a different perspective
The student political organisation, however, alleged policemen picked up the victim in front of his house at Section-6 in Mirpur, at about 7:00pm on Saturday. The police raided different student messes in the area and arrested nine others. ‘Later, he was shot dead in the middle of the night,’ the statement read, adding, ‘the body was handed over to Rupnagor police station.’ Witnesses told New Age they saw a microbus of Mirpur police station parked in front of UCEP School between 8:15pm and 9:00pm. The plainclothes policemen were carrying firearms and were seen wearing bullet proof vests with the words 'police' printed on them.  
Where it is claimed that protestors in the course of a protest are killed
There are 4 deaths in this category.
Death of Mojiruddin, BNP, Rajshahi on 5 JanuaryAccording to the Daily Star
Mojiruddin, 45, was the BNP ward unit vice-president of Maria union in Charghat upazila. He died on the spot around 4:30pm after being shot in the head, said Alamgir Kabir, superintendent of police of Rajshahi.
Witnesses and police said the clash erupted around 3:00pm when law enforcers intercepted a BNP procession at Baneswar Bazar.
The BNP men armed with sticks hurled brick chunks and crude bombs at police. The police fired over 100 rubber bullets, teargas shells and sound grenades.
The district police chief claimed that the BNP men's attack on police was planned. “The police was forced to open fire in self defence when BNP men shot at them and hurled over 50 homemade bombs.”
Death of Jamshed Ali, Jamaat-e-Islami, Chapainawabganj, on 5 JanAccording to same the Daily Star article
A BNP activist was killed and 10 people, including two law enforcers, were injured during a clash between police and Jamaat-BNP men at Kansat-Gopalnagar intersection in Shibganj upazila.
Deceased Jamshed Ali, 40, was the son of Momtaj Ali of Shibnarayanpur. Shahjahan Mia, president of district unit BNP, claimed that Jamshed was a BNP activist.
Moinul Islam, officer-in-charge of Shibganj Police Station, said police opened fire around 3:00pm when Jamaat-BNP men hurled crude bombs and brick chunks at police, violating the section-144 imposed there
(This bdnews24 article also provides details)
Deaths of Rubel and Mohsin, BNP, Noakhali on 7 JanuaryAccording to the Daily Star article
Blockade supporters were rampaging through Chaumohani Rail Gate area in Begumganj upazila yesterday evening, said ASM Ashrafuzzaman, additional superintendent of Noakhali police.
When police reached the spot, the blockaders started pelting the policemen with brick chunks and stones, forcing the law enforcers to open fire, he added.
The injured were rushed to Noakhali Abdul Malek Ukil Medical College Hospital where Rubel and Mohsin were declared dead.
Kamakhya claimed they had brought out a peaceful procession in support of the blockade but police intercepted and opened fire on them.
However, Superintendent of Noakhali Police Ilias Sharif told The Daily Star that it was the blockaders who fired the shots first and police only retaliated.
He also claimed that seven policemen were injured in the violence.
Where police claim picketers run over whilst throwing petrol bombs 
There are 2 people in this category
Deaths of Liton Ali and Yusuf Miah, BNP, on 3 Feb in Jessore
The Daily Star reported:
Two Jubo Dal activists were killed as a truck ran them over while they were trying to hurl petrol bombs at the vehicle in Monirampur of Jessore early yesterday, claimed police.
The dead, Liton Ali, 22, and Yusuf Mia, 25, are from the same upazila.
Talking to reporters at Jessore Medical College, Yusuf's uncle Abdul Mannan, said he came to know around 10:00pm on Monday that police picked up the two from Gangra village of the upazila around 8:00pm.
“I went to the police station today [yesterday] morning to enquire about the two, but police informed me that they were killed in an accident,” said Mannan.
Khabir Uddin, officer-in-charge of Monirampur Police Station, said Liton and Yusuf were killed while trying to set ablaze a truck around 5:00am. The two died on the spot, he added.
Where police claim that the person died when trying to escape police custody
There is 1 person in this category
Death of Asadullah Tuhin, Jamaat, Chapainawabganj, 27 January
The Daily Star reports:
Talking to newsmen at his office, Major Kamruzzaman, camp commander of Rab-5 in Chapainawabganj, said Rab members rounded up five Shibir activists, including Tuhin, in the town's C&B Ghat Road area around 4:00pm on Monday and seized 23 Jihadi books from their possession.
After primary interrogation, Tuhin admitted his involvement in some recent subversive activities in the town, claimed the Rab official, adding that Tuhin used to bring crude bombs from Ramchandrapur in Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila for supplying those to Shibir activists to create anarchy.
Rab members then decided to conduct a drive in Ramchandrapur to recover crude bombs
As the Rab team along with Tuhin reached Lalapara around 3:00am yesterday, the detainee jumped from the Rab's vehicle to escape. In the process, he was hit by a truck coming from the opposite direction and injured seriously.
Law enforcers sent Tuhin to Chapainawabganj Adhunik Sadar Hospital where he died of his wounds around 4:20am, said Kamruzzaman.
The body was sent to the hospital morgue last evening for an autopsy.
Dr Shafiqul Islam, residential medical officer at the hospital, said Tuhin was brought dead to the hospital. There were several injury marks on his body, added the physician.
Jasimuddin, officer-in-charge of Chapainawabganj Sadar Police Station, said none of the five arrestees has any criminal records.
Tuhin's father Emadul Haque said Rab men picked up his son around 2:30pm on Monday when he was asleep at home at Char Mohonpur under Chapainawabganj municipality.
“We had no idea about the reason behind Tuhin's detention. We came to know about his death from our neighbours this [Tuesday] morning,” Emdadul told The Daily Star.
Al Amin, elder brother of the victim, said a team of around 25 Rab men reached their home on Monday afternoon by three pick-up vans.
The law enforcers blindfolded Tuhin with his shirt and took him away in presence of his parents, sister-in-law, nephews and nieces.
Kamela Begum, mother of the victim, said: “I saw the Rab men beating up my son with cricket stumps while they were taking him away.” She accused the Rab men of killing his son after torturing him brutally.
Where a dead body is found, police claim no responsibility, but family claim that was in police custody
There is 1 person in this category
Death of Ariful Islam Mukul, BNP on 30 January 
The Daily Star reported 
The body of a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader was recovered from the capital's Rupnagar on Friday, about 15 hours after he had allegedly been picked up by detectives.
The victim, Ariful Islam Mukul, was a joint secretary of JCD's Charfashion unit in Bhola, says a central committee press note of the pro-BNP student body. ...
His family identified the body at Dhaka Medical College morgue yesterday.
The 22-year-old was shot thrice in the chest and abdomen, morgue sources said.
Mukul's father Mostafa Kamal, a madrasa teacher, said a neighbour told them that his son had been arrested from a launch at Sadarghat on January 29. He said his son was going to Bhola that day and remained missing since.
“A neighbour named Abdul Hannan called me over the phone. He came to know about the arrest from another neighbour who was on the same launch as Mukul,” he added.
Mostafa claimed a relative in the capital went to the Kotwali police that day to seek information about Mukul's arrest.
The relative also went to the police on Sunday to file a general diary, but police refused to take it, said Tawhidul.

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