A judicial probe report said lawyer Palash Kumar Roy who was found burnt in Panchagarh Jail on April 26 committed suicide by setting himself on fire. Besides, the report pointed out some cases of mismanagement and irregularities in the jail.
Hearing the report on Wednesday, a High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Md Badrujjaman ordered copies be sent to the Home Secretary and Inspector General (DIG) of Prisons, for them to submit their own explanations by October 15, the date fixed for the next hearing in the case.
However, Palash Kumar Roy, 36, a Bangladesh Bar Council-listed lawyer and son of Pranab Kumar Roy of Borosingia village in Atoari upazila, sustained burn injuries in a toilet of the Panchagarh Jail on April 26 and succumbed to his injuries at the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital on April 30.
Barrister Sayedul Haque Suman, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed a writ petition with the High Court on May 6 seeking its order to conduct a judicial inquiry into the death of Advocate Palash Kumar Roy in Panchagarh Jail.
Hearing the writ on May 8, the HC directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Panchagarh to file a report after looking into the death.
As per the order, a judicial probe report was produced before the court on Wednesday where Barrister Suman and Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state.
The report said Palash was treated 24 hours after receiving burn injuries while the jail authority was responsible to ensure instant treatment. Besides, his family members were not informed about the serious injuries he suffered, when the prison authority is supposed to inform family members if a prisoner as much as falls sick. Yet Palash’s family was kept in the dark regarding his transfer to another prison.
Apart from these, the report help up a quagmire of mismanagement and irregularities in the district jail, including sale of gas lighters inside the prison, absence of fire extinguishers, lack of CCTV inside the jail premises, absence of jail superintendent and even of medical officer at the prison hospital.
Besides, an accused in a murder case is performing rudimentary staff duties at the Surgery Department of the hospital, said the report.