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Abir's Extra-Judicial Killing: Police In Paradox

By William Gomes

15 February, 2011
Srilanka Guardian

Dhaka : Kazi Imtiaz Hossain Abir was a student of higher secondary level at
the Northern College at Mohammadpur was killed in so called “Cross
Fire” in the capital.There were flows of news in news media on the issue.
They had raised question why Abir was killed? But when I go for an in-depth
investigation. I found a different queue. The question is not only
why, but it’s where Abir was killed?

I have found inconsistencies in the documents related to incident of
Abir's extrajudicial murder. The police submitted a "Death
Certificate" with its forwarding placed before the Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate Court of Dhaka through the Deputy Commissioner
(Prosecution), a police officer, of the Metropolitan Court. The Death
Certificate was issued by Dr. Nurul Islam of the National Institute of
Trauma and Orthopedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) of Dhaka. It does not
assert the cause of death although it mentions that "there is a
penetrating injury on the medial aspect of the right lower thigh about
(2cm X 2cm)".

According to the Death Certificate, the time of death was "10pm
(probably)" and the age of Abir was recorded as "24" while the columns
of 'father's name' and 'address' were filled in with "unknown" in the
Death Certificate.

But, in the forwarding the Investigation Officer (IO) Sub Inspector
(SI) Mr. Hekmat Ali claims that Abir was sent to the Dhaka Medical
College Hospital for treatment after his bullet wounds. In the seizure
list and FIR Abir's age was shown as "28". In all the three complaints
address of the crime scene has been written with pen although the
whole document is composed in computer.
So now it’s a question where Abir was killed ?

The Pallabi police filed three cases against Abir regarding the
incident. According to the documents regarding the cases, Assistant
Sub Inspector (ASI) Mr. Md. Ismail Hossain (Badge No. 7695016392)
filed the first complaint as First Information Report (FIR) no. 27
with the Pallabi Police Station at 11:05pm on 10 January under Section
19 (A) of Arms Act of 1878. Only Abir was named as the accused with
four-five unidentified persons. Sub Inspector (SI) Hekmot Ali was
assigned as the Investigation Officer (IO) by the Officer-in-Charge
(OC) of the Pallabi police Mr. Md. Iqbal Hossain.

The police ASI Ismail Hossain claims in the FIR no. 27 that the OC of
the Pallabi police informed a police patrol team led by him about a
gather of five-six persons prior to a possible robbery. He,
accompanying Police Constable (ID No. 2557) Md. Mazibor and Md. Saidur
Rahman (ID No. 19883), went to Balurmath area, which was the alleged
place of the gathering; found that indiscriminate gunshots were fired
toward the police, who immediately returned fire in self-defence. All
the "terrorists" fled the scene and hid in darkness. The police found
one critically-injured person, who was bleeding at the time from his
bullet wounds. He was holding a revolver in his right hand. The person
told the officers his name as "Abir (28)" before losing consciousness.
They sent Abir to a hospital (which was not named) with critical
injuries. A revolver with two loaded bullets and two empty cartridges
was recovered from the crime scene at 9:25pm on 10 January 2011 in
presence of three persons – namely Mr. Md. Jainal Chairman (48), son
of late Mr. Rajab Ali Sikder, living in Kalshi Balur Math slum, under
Block-11/C (lower to the dam); Mr. Sahabuddin (45), son of late Mr.
Osman Ali, living in House # 19, Lane # 7, Bauniabandh, under Block-C;
and Mr. Aziz Chairman (50), son of late Mr. Surut Ali Munshi, living
in a house adjacent to the Mosque of Balurmath slam, under
Section-12/A of the Pallabi police station. The police took signatures
from the three "witnesses" on the seizure list. They claim that ASI
Ismail and constable Saidur were injured (without any details about
their injuries) and received first aid from "Adhunik Hospital", which
referred them to the Rajarbag Police Hospital for further treatment.

In the second and third cases recorded as FIRs no. 28 under Sections
353, 332,333 of the Penal Code-1860; and FIR no. 29 under Sections
399,402, 302 of the Penal Code-1860 respectively with the same
language and texts in the complaints except the difference of legal
provisions of the penal code. SI Md. Yasin Munshi and SI Md. Ezajul
Islam were made IOs for those two cases respectively.

Professionals related to the forensic examination of dead bodies told
the human rights defenders that the shot fired at Abir's right thigh
had been done at close range.

Abir's relatives, including his father Mr. Golam Farukh and mother
Mrs. Monowara, said that Abir's cell phone has not been returned to
the family and is not included in the seizure list. They expressed
their complete frustration over the criminal justice system to defend
their decision of not registering a complaint regarding the
extrajudicial murder of Abir. They asked questions: have authorities
ever prosecuted any personnel of the law-enforcement agencies despite
the fact that a large number of innocent persons have been murdered?
They argued that there are a number of wanted criminals in the city
whom the people want to see behind bars. They want legal action
against the police who have failed to arrest them for years. They
demand answers as to why an innocent student, who did have not a
single complaint against him with any police station or court of the
country, should be killed and publicized as a robber. Does the
government ever feel how deeply shocked and infuriated people are
about these lawless murders by the government's own agents?
Even recently the prime minister has spoken out against extra
judicial killings. The foreign minister has said extrajudicial killing
have become almost part of the system and it cannot be changed

Recently extraordinarily Home Minister Sahara Khatun in public blamed
human rights organizations for "siding with the criminals" and claimed
that no extra-judicial killing has taken place during the tenure of
the present government.

Now it’s an open question before the nation, where Abir was killed?
Regional Human Rights watchdog Asian Human Rights Commission has
written separate letters to the UN Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution requesting his prompt
interventions in this case.



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