Mushtaq’s body was handed over to his family at 12:30pm
Writer Mushtaq Ahmed, who died in police custody on Thursday after almost 10 months of incarceration in a Digital Security Act case, was laid to rest at Azimpur graveyard on Friday night.
The deceased writer's namaj-e-janaza was held in Lalmatia after the Isha prayers.
Mushtaq’s body was handed over to his family at 12:30pm following the completion of an autopsy.
Mushtaq was arrested last May in a case filed under the Digital Security Act and charged with spreading disinformation against the government on social media.
The writer reportedly suffered a heart attack inside his cell at Kashimpur High Security Prison on Thursday evening. He was transported to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital, but declared dead on arrival, Senior Jail Superintendent Md Gias Uddin said.
"No apparent injury marks or other symptoms were found on his body during the autopsy. However, the cause of his death can be confirmed after conducting detailed examinations," Dr Safi Mohaimen, head of the forensic department of Tajuddin Medical College, said.
Syed Bayezid, sub-inspector of Sadar police station under Gazipur Metropolitan Police, said: "Sores were found on his right hand and back. The wounds may have occurred when his body was transported to the hospital in the ambulance. However, it can be confirmed after receiving the autopsy report."
An unnatural death case has been filed with Gazipur Metropolitan Police's Sadar police station over Mushtaq's death in custody, Bayezid added.
Mushtaq's brother Dr Nafisur Rahman, who was waiting at the hospital morgue, stated: "I saw the body myself and did not notice anything unusual. An autopsy has been completed. What else can I say without the autopsy report?"
The 53-year-old writer, who published the book "Kumir Chaasher Diary" under the pen name Michael Kumir Thakur, was arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from his Lalmatia home on May 2, allegedly for Facebook posts that were critical of the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On August 20, he was shifted to the Kashimpur prison, Gias Uddin said.
Calls for Mushtaq's release were widespread and sustained throughout his time in prison. Soon after his arrest, more than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh issued a joint statement demanding his release, as well as the release of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore.
Amnesty International reiterated the demand in a statement as recently as January, saying the duo (Kishore and Mushtaq) had been arrested "solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression."
Mushtaq’s applications for bail were turned down on at least four occasions.