'He's only a farmer. No-one ever found any proof of his political affiliation'
Police have detained a farmer from Satkhira sadar upazila in exchange for money and then implicated him in two cases filed over sabotage, the victim’s family alleges.
The law enforcers accused Md Mahabubur Rahman in a case claiming that he had been arrested from a meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP activists plotting sabotage on February 10. But he had been in police custody since February 9.
Mahabubur, from Jhaudanga Union’s Tujolpur village, has been behind bars since January 4.
“My father was never affiliated with any political party,” his son Wahiduzzaman said at a press briefing in Satkhira on Thursday.
He accused three men – Nurul Amin Sardar, Kabir Sardar and Kuddus Sardar – from Tujolpur of bribing police to lock up his father and accuse him in the cases.
Wahid dubbed the trio “former Jamaat-e-Islami activists now posing as Awami League supporters” and said that they had land-related dispute with his father.
“Police took away my father from our home around 1am on January 4 after Nurul, Kabir and Kuddus bribed them. My father did not have any criminal or political case against him,” Wahid told the Dhaka Tribune.
“No-one can ever prove that he had ever participated in any political activities,” he added.
Mahabubur was first implicated in a case filed over plotting of subversive activities by BNP-Jamaat activists in the town on December 27 last year.
Wahid said policemen demanded money from them for releasing his father. “They initially released him after we gave them money but later refused to let him go. We later learned that he had been charged with plotting sabotage,” he said.
The farmer secured bail on February 8.
Wahid said he had gone to receive his father from jail gate the next day. “But Detective Branch members picked him up from in front of me and took him to their office,” he said.
The DB handed him over to the sadar police station around noon. Police produced Mahabubur before the court on February 11, naming him in another sabotage case.
“Police claimed that my father was arrested around 6am on February 10 when plotting subversive activities with a group of BNP-Jamaat activists in Shibpur area.
“How is that possible? He had been kept at the detention centre of the Satkhira sadar police station since February 9,” Wahid said.
He said his mother had fallen sick after his father’s incarceration and feared that the trio would implicate him and his brother in false cases like their father over land dispute.
Satkhira police chief and the sadar police station’s officer-in-charge declined comment for this article.
‘Arrest violated statutory rights’
Barrister Jyotrimoy Barua pointed out Mahbubur’s arrest, when he was on bail, had violated his statutory rights.
“Police do not have the authority to arrest anyone without specific complaint when the person is out on bail. Even if someone is detained under Section 54, police must follow due procedure irrespective of that person’s political affiliation,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
Section 32 of the constitution guarantees protection of right to life and personal liberty “save in accordance with law.”
Jyotirmoy said: “This cannot be undermined in any circumstances. Otherwise, the whole process will come under question. But unfortunately, this is not being properly followed by the law enforcers.
“The general people are unaware about their rights. Even though it is the government’s duty to inform the people, it is doing nothing in this regard.