HC orders judicial probe into custodial death

04 March 2021

Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Wednesday issued directive for a judicial inquiry into the death of an apprentice lawyer, Rejaul Karim Reja, in Barishal due to torture while he was taken of the custody of the detectives of the Barishal Metropolitan Police.
The case has been handed over to the chief metropolitan magistrate of Barishal for investigation instead of the Police Bureau of Investigation-PBI.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after holding hearing on a petition filed by deceased's father Eunus Munshi seeking a judicial probe into the death.
Advocate Shishir Mohammad Manir took part in the hearing on behalf of the petitioner; deputy attorney general Sarwar Hossain Bappy represented the state.
According to the case documents, Rejaul Karim Reja died in a hospital in Barishal on January 2 this year after he had been picked by the members of the detective branch (DB) of police on December 29 last year. His relatives claimed that he died due to the torture of the law enforcers in their custody.  Later Rejaul's father Eunus Munshi filed a case with the metropolitan magistrate court on January 5 as the Kotwali police did not record a murder case against three members of the detective branch of police.
Sub inspector Mohiuddin and two other members of DB police had been made accused in the case.
Rejaul told his wife at the hospital that he was brutally tortured by Mohiuddin, said family members.
The DB that night filed a narcotics case against the 30-year-old apprentice lawyer with Kotwali Police Station and handed him over to police. A local court sent him to jail the following day.
On January 1, he was admitted to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital. He passed away at night on January 2.
Taking the allegation into cognizance the metropolitan magistrate on January 5 ordered the PBI to probe into the death and to submit a report on February 23.
Eunus Munshi filed a petition with the HC on February 8 against the order of the metropolitan magistrate.
Lawyer Shishir Manir said, "The case was filed against police members. Again police have been given the responsibility of investigating of the case. In this circumstance confusion has been raised over getting justice. That is why the plaintiff applied to the HC seeking directions for a judicial inquiry."

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