On October 19, police constables Delwar Hossain, Saidur Rahman and Shamim Miya testified before the Sylhet Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Zihadur Rahman under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
Akbar Hossain, the suspended sub-inspector of Sylhet’s Bandarbazar police outpost, allegedly asked two policemen—who witnessed Rayhan’s arrest and torture—to give false testimonies through intimidation.
On October 19, police constables Delwar Hossain, Saidur Rahman and Shamim Miya testified before the Sylhet Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Zihadur Rahman under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Among the three, Saidur and Delwar, in their statements, said Akbar had asked them to give false testimonies in court and threatened to shoot them unless they complied with his demand, said a source at the court.
Following the trio’s testimonies, police arrested suspended constable Titu Chandra Das and took him into custody for interrogation. After interrogating Titu, the PBI continued with the investigation and arrested suspended constable Harunur Rashid on Friday night, said sources at the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), the investigating agency in the case.
According to Sylhet Metropolitan Police Range Reserve Force sources, police constables Delwar, Saidur and Shamim— who witnessed Rayhan’s arrest and torture— were on sentry duty at Bandarbazar police outpost on October 11, the night of the incident.
Saidur, in his deposition, stated that he saw Rayhan being taken to the police outpost while he was on duty from 12am on October 11.
When he heard Rayhan screaming, he went to take a look and saw constable Harunur Rashid holding Rayhan’s legs up while SI Akbar and Constable Titu struck them with a stick.
When he wanted to know why the man was being beaten, SI Akbar said: “He is a mugger. I am interrogating him to know the names of his two associates.” Saidur was then asked to return to duty. He said Raihan’s screams could be heard throughout the night. When his shift ended at 4am, he went home.
Later that day, Saidur was called to the outpost where SI Akbar told him: “If DC (Deputy Commissioner) Sir asks, no one was brought to the outpost last night. You tell him a man named Rayhan was beaten by the mob and was taken straight to the hospital.” Saying this, Akbar held out a threat and told him: “Say what I want you to say. If you tell the truth, I will shoot you in the chest and the bullet will come out at the back. ”
Delwar Hossain replaced Constable Saidur on sentry duty at 4am on October 11. Saidur informed Delwar that a mugger had been caught and beaten.
When Delwar went to take a look, he saw SI Akbar holding a stick, sitting on a chair next to a man lying on the floor. He also saw two unknown men there. When SI Akbar saw Delwar, he asked him to return to his post.
Describing the incident, Delwar said SI Akbar then instructed Constable Tauhid to call the man’s family and ask them to bring Tk10,000.
Akbar then addressed ASI Ashek Elahi, saying: “I’m going to sleep. Take him (Rayhan) to the hospital in the morning.”
At around 5am, Ashek Elahi and Constable Harun took the man to the hospital in a CNG-run auto rickshaw. After they left, Akbar too quickly left the outpost.
When Delwar's duty was over, he handed over duty to Constable Elias and went to sleep.
Delwar added: “I woke up at 12pm to hear that the man (Rayhan) had died. Back at the outpost, Akbar Sir told me, ‘There was no incident of torture in the outpost. That man (Rayhan) died in a mob beating.’ Saying this, Akbar Sir threatened me and said, ‘If you don't say this, I will shoot you in the chest and the bullet will come out at your back.’”
Contacted, Mohidul Islam, investigating officer of the case, was reluctant about giving out any details in the interest of investigation. He told Dhaka Tribune that Constable Titu Chandra Das and Harunur Rashid, who were suspended over Rayhan’s death, were being interrogated after their arrest.