An accused, Faruk Mia, was allegedly tortured to death while in police custody in Habiganj Sadar, igniting protests among the locals.
Mashuk Ali, the officer-in-charge at the Habiganj police station, denied the allegation, saying, "No one tortured Faruk Mia at the station. He had a heart attack shortly after he was brought to the station. We, immediately, took him to the hospital, where the doctors declared him dead."
Dr Mithun Roy, a doctor of the emergency unit at the Habiganj Sadar Hospital, said, "Faruk Mia had been unwell when he was brought here. He died early in the morning on Monday."
The deceased's son, Masuk Mia, claimed, "Police tortured my father at the police station. They did not even let me see him. My father was tortured to death by the police."
Masuk further said, "My father borrowed Tk15 thousand a few months ago from Hannan Mia of our area. My father was returning the money in instalments through checks; recently Hannan filed a check dishonour case of Tk45 thousand with the court."
The court, subsequently, issued an arrest warrant against Faruk Mia. On Monday, Faruk paid Tk5000 each to Hannan and the police to avoid the arrest. Nevertheless, the police came and arrested him later that night.
Faruk's brother, Matin Mia, said, "A while after Faruk was taken to the station, police called and informed us that he was sick and taken to hospital. We went to the hospital and found him dead."
Meanwhile, as they heard of Faruk's death, the locals started protesting in front of the hospital, as they accused the police for torturing Faruk at the police station. The Police Super and other high officials at the station went to the hospital to control the situation.
Habiganj Police Super Mohammad Ullah told the protesters that if the autopsy proves the torture allegation, action will be taken against those involved in the misdeed.
The Police Super added, "There was no sign of injury on Faruk's chest. He tried to flee at the time of arrest that left few marks on his hands and legs. We will surely know the cause of his death after the autopsy."