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Dhaka Tribune

Doctor says murder in court, writes suicide in report

Update : 25 Dec 2017, 09:24 PM
Shamima Laila Arzumanna Khan Shammi was found mysteriously dead at her home in Kallyanpur on June 7. When her in-laws and her husband claimed her death was natural, Shammi’s family refused to believe them. The injury marks on her body hinted at something sinister. But the autopsy report refused to acknowledge the injuries and the doctor who conducted it did not address the concerns of the death being a “provocative suicide.” The discrepancy in the report has clouded the case. On June 8, Shammi’s younger brother Farhad Hossain Khan filed a case with Mirpur model police station. The police immediately arrested her husband Alamgir Hossain Titu and his third wife Ishrat Jahan Mukta. Farhad alleged that one Abdul Bachhed, husband to Alamgir’s sister, is attempting to influence the investigation and the autopsy. He also accused the investigating officer Sub-Inspector Nowsher Ali of actively and passively working to steer the case towards the interest of Alamgir. His concerns were publicised in a national daily report, which drew the attention of Supreme Court lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan. The court took the report into cognizance and formed a High Court bench with justices M Enayetur Rahim and Shahidul Karim. The bench summoned SI Nowsher with documents pertaining to the case. On November 21, the court chastised SI Nowsher for his failure to submit a charge sheet months after the case had been filed. The court also referred to the public curiosity surrounding the case due to the series of discrepancies regarding the investigation. The court summoned Dr Shohel Mahmud, the person who conducted the autopsy, and asked him to explain his actions. As Shohel proceeded to explain, Supreme Court lawyer Khurshid pointed out inconsistencies in his statements. Both Khurshid and Shohel spoke to the Bangla Tribune to explain their cases. Khurshid said: “The doctor told the court he found ‘marks of injury’ during autopsy but in the autopsy report he wrote that the death was ‘suicide in nature.’ “In his statement to the court, he called it a ‘provocative suicide in nature.’ When the court pointed out the stark absence of the term ‘provocative’ in the autopsy report, I told the court that there is no statute for ‘provocative suicide in nature’ because nobody provokes themselves to take their lives. Provocation is an external factor.” He said: “According to Section 306 of the Penal Code, it falls under ‘abetment of suicide.’ It appears that the doctor himself is in doubt over his own report.” Dr Shohel attempted to defend his case, saying: “I said nothing to undermine the legitimacy of the autopsy report. The court asked me if the death was incited. I only said it could have been provoked. I noted all the injuries in my report, hence, it is provocative. But if I had written provocative in the report without mentioning the injuries, the report could have been criticised.” He attempted to explain why he did not write “provocative” in the autopsy report, saying: “Some people write ‘provocative’ in the reports, some do not. It is not imperative. I said there were injury marks on her body, hence, she was murdered. She herself would not have been able to inflict the injuries upon herself. This was a case of provocative suicide. The provocation could have been mental or physical.” The High Court was dissatisfied with Shohel’s argument and dismissed his explanation and instructed the Police Investigation Bureau to take over the case. In addition, the High Court asked the principal of Dhaka Medical College Hospital to investigate the autopsy report with a board comprised of three professor-level experts.The article was first published on Bangla Tribune
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