Five cops were closed in Rangpur on Wednesday afternoon over the death of a detained sexagenarian in police custody.
The accused policemen allegedly claimed Tk1 lakh in bribe from the victim's family on condition of setting the detainee free. As the family could not pay it, the detainee was reportedly beaten to death.
The deceased, 60-year-old Shamsul Haque, was a cattle trader of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur. Police detained him on Tuesday night and seized 15 litres of bootleg liquor.
Later, he was brought to the Bhendabari police outpost. Police claimed Shamsul committed suicide there on early Wednesday.
After hearing the news, the locals besieged the police outpost. They chanted slogans and demanded punishment of the accused.
They claimed the police outpost in-charge Aminul Islam, Assistant Sub-Inspectors Shahalam, Hari Kanta Barman, Tamij Uddin and Constable Ariful Islam were involved in the killing.
Police lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the agitating mob. At least 20 people, including police personnel, were injured in the clash.
The deceased's daughter said her father was a cattle trader.
"The outpost in-charge and a police source whisked him up and later demanded Tk1 lakh. As we did not give the amount, my father was beaten to death," said the daughter, alleging police were trying to cover up the murder as suicide.
In the meantime, local union parishad Chairman Amirul Islam said Shamsul was not involved in illicit business.
Additional Superintendent of Police of Rangpur Range Hafizur Rahman said all the five accused have been closed.
A three-member probe committee was also formed. The committee will submit the report by three working days.