HC wants autopsy report, list of RAB men who grilled Jasmine
Naogaon woman dies in custody28 March 2023
Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Monday wanted to know the details of Rab members involved in arresting and interrogating Sultana Jasmine of Naogaon, who died in Rab custody on March 24 instant.
An employee of a Naogaon union parishad land office, Sultana Jasmine, suffered hemorrhages of the brain after being detained by Rab on March 22.
The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel asked Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Abul Kalam Khan Daud to produce relevant papers before this court by Tuesday (March 28) morning.
The AAG has been asked to inform the HC bench whether a law has been violated in taking her into custody and whether any case has been filed in connection with the death in Rab custody.
The AAG informed the court that no case was filed in this connection so far and the body of Sultana Jasmine was handed over to the family after autopsy.
The bench passed the orders on a Suo Motu (voluntary) move after Supreme Court lawyer Manoj Kumar Bhowmik placed a report published in an English daily over the death of Sultana Jasmine.
Sources said, an employee of a Naogaon union parishad land office who stood accused in a case under the Digital Security Act died in the custody of Rab-5 after suffering hemorrhages of the brain. Rab officers told doctors Sultana Jasmine (38), suffered a fall.
Her son Shahed Hossain Saikat, a student of Chattogram University, said, "She died due to torture in Rab custody. She has a mark of injury on her head". Family members said, she was in perfect health. Rab picked up Sultana around 10:00am on March 22 when she was on her way to Chandipur Union Land Office where she was an office assistant, law enforcers said.
She died at 10:00am on Friday (March 24) at the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH). A day after her detention, she was sued under DSA in Rajshahi "for syphoning off money from job seekers using a Facebook account".
Faisal bin Ahsan, Officer-in-Charge of Naogaon Sadar Police Station, said that Rab did not inform police about the arrest and they learnt about the matter from the media.
Sultana's uncle Nazmul Haque Montu, a former councillor of Naogaon municipality, said, "My niece was intercepted at Muktir Mor by a white microbus carrying Rab officers. We had been looking for her in various [Rab] camps since but failed to locate her. Around noon, we heard that she is under treatment at Naogaon Sadar Hospital".
Her family rushed there to find her unconscious. She had a bruise on her head. "Rab said that she suffered a stroke but she was young and in perfect health. Why would she have a stroke in Rab custody?" Montu added.
Sultana was moved to the RMCH the next day. RMCH Director Brig Gen FM Shamim Ahmed said that Sultana was brought in by a Rab team in a critical condition around 9:20pm on Thursday.
"She was unconscious and was immediately rushed to the neurology ward. From there, she was transferred to the intensive care unit, because her condition continued to deteriorate. We did a CT scan and found multiple intracranial bleeds in her head," he said.
Her health deteriorated too fast for the doctors to revive her, he said, adding that they found an external bruise on her head.
Enamul Haque, the local government director of the Rajshahi divisional commissioner's office, sued Sultana in the case filed under the Digital Security Act with Rajpara Police Station in Rajshahi city, said Officer-in-Charge (investigation) Ruhul Amin.
Interestingly, the case was recorded at 5:10pm on Thursday, more than 31 hours after she had been picked up by Rab and when she was unresponsive in a hospital bed.