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Supreme Court must intervene to stop abuse of police remand

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27th-Jul-2014       
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NOT even a month has passed since the custodial death of a trader in Mirpur police station, we are shocked by another incident of brutality by Dhanmondi police. Inzamamul Islam Jisan, a 17-year old student of Dhaka City College, was taken by the police for questioning in connection with a murder case on June 9. According to the police officer accused of torturing him, the boy was in good physical health prior to his arrest.
Since Jisan's 9-day remand started, Sahidul Biswas, the Sub-Inspector of Dhanmondi Police Station, and some other police officers beat him up. According to reports, the extent of torture included electric shocks and repetitive piercing of his left leg with sharp objects and syringes. To add insult to injury, the police demanded 10 lakh taka from the boy's family, and even though the family paid 4 lakh taka in instalments to a plainclothes policeman, the officers kept beating the boy which led to the boy's leg being grievously injured and infected.
Denying all allegations and evidence, SI Sahidul instead claimed that Jisan went to the court in late June to give his confessional statement.  The National Human Rights Commission Chairman, Professor Mizanur Rahman, went to visit Jisan at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), where he was being treated and that is when the atrocities committed by our 'so called' protectors came to light.
Reports state that Jisan was beaten at least twice a day and tortured until he cracked and decided to give false confessional statement just to survive the vile policemen's clutches. During his remand, Jisan had been brought and treated at the prison hospital for a few days and then sent to DMCH for surgery. Upon contact, senior Jail Superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail, Farman Ali, confirmed that the boy had been brought to the prison with leg injuries. Even though the NHRC chairman condemned a section of corrupt policemen who were committing crimes by abusing their positions, how effective his calling out for immediate investigation by the Home Ministry into such custodial malpractices remains to be seen.
Sending an accused to police custody means sending him to a torture house. And corrupting the police and the judicial system both. It is not unknown that police remand has grown into a big business and a human crisis. It is within the power of the Supreme Court to lay down guidelines when a person should be sent into police custody by a court. Only in extreme cases this practice may be justified. Police remand if granted then the person should have the right to have a lawyer for protecting his constitutional safeguard not to be tortured or to be incriminated.

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