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Dhaka Tribune

Suspected thief ‘dies in DB custody’

Update : 24 May 2014, 10:03 PM

Police and doctors in the district gave different versions of the death of a suspected thief yesterday, a day after he had been picked up by the DB police personnel.

Ashraf Hawlader, 50, was taken to the Gopalganj 250-bed General Hospital at around 10:30am. He was already dead.

But the police allegedly pressured the doctors to mention in the death certificate that the detained had died at the hospital. OC of Gopalganj DB police Alimul Huq refuted the allegation that Ashraf’s death occurred in custody.

However, Dr Imtiaz Faruq at the hospital’s emergency ward said the man had died at least 30 minutes before he was taken to the hospital.

Ashraf, who was from Ballabdi village in the Madaripur sadar upazila, was caught by locals in the DC Office area on Friday noon. He had allegedly stolen a wallet from a team of Tabligh Jamaat who had stopped to prepare for prayers, the OC said.

When he ran, locals caught him and handed him over to the DB police. The DB team handed him over to the Sadar police station at around midnight.

“Ashraf fell sick just after he got into the police car at around 9:20am, yesterday. He died after he was taken to the hospital,” the OC claimed. He might have died due to cardiac arrest, fear or any internal complication, he added.

Rathindra Nath Tarafder, an SI of DB police, and SI Monzel Ali, duty officer at the sadar police station, gave similar versions of the arrest and death.

On the other hand, physician Faruq said two police personnel had brought Ashraf, who was already dead, to the hospital at around 10:30am. When he declared the detained to be dead, the policemen left the emergency ward.

“We registered his name at around 1pm when the police provided his name and address. In the report, we mentioned that the person had died before he was brought to the hospital,” he said adding that things would be clear after the post mortem report came in.

A senior official at the hospital said some people in the police were trying to influence the doctors and the senior health department officials so that the report was prepared stating that Ashraf’s death had occurred at the hospital.

“If the person died naturally, there is nothing to be worried. But now it seems that he did not die normally,” the official said, seeking anonymity.

Civil Surgeon of the district Dr SM Sirajul Islam said they will produce a post mortem report with accurate information about Ashraf’s death and the reasons behind it. 

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