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ASK: 150 custodial deaths in 9 months

  • Published at 10:52 pm September 30th, 2016
  • Last updated at 11:27 pm September 30th, 2016
ASK: 150 custodial deaths in 9 months
Human rights group Ain o Salish Kendra has counted reported deaths of at least 150 people in so-called crossfires or gunfights and other means at the hands of different law enforcement agencies in the last nine months. The dead include 19 militants killed after the deadly Gulshan terror attack and in raids at different places of Dhaka and Narayanganj. Of those killed extrajudicially, the highest 83 people died in police custody, followed by 34 in elite force Rapid Action Battalion custody before and after their arrest. Other forces accused of extrajudicial killings are DB police (12 deaths), SWAT (12 deaths), joint forces (six deaths), BGB-police (two deaths) and Ansar/rail police (one death). ASKMeanwhile, family members and witnesses allege that at least 75 others were picked up by plainclothes police during the same time. Only three of the victims returned to their families alive and eight as dead, while 18 others were shown arrested in different cases. The police have, however, refuted the allegations of detaining these persons, ASK says in its periodical report on human rights situation released Friday. Information on the incidents were collected from nine national dailies and ASK offices across the country. The latest report says at least 90 people were killed in crossfires or gunfights by the police, RAB, DB police and BGB-police before their arrest while 20 others after being held by police and RAB. Of the dead, five people died due to torture after arrest and four before their arrest. Four others died during treatment in custody while two faced mysterious deaths, ASK says. On the other hand, 34 people detained in lockups and 23 prisoners died or were killed during the first nine months of the current year. Ain o Salish Kendra logoThe rights body also reports that at least 168 people were killed in 855 incidents of political violence occurred centring establishing supremacy across the country. Of them, 142 people were killed in the union parishad elections, four during the municipality polls while 13 others killed in clashes between rival groups of the ruling Awami League. The number of people sustained injuries in political violence during this time is 10,863, according to ASK. On the other hand, at least 34 people were killed in mob beating across the country, including 11 each in Dhaka and Chittagong. During the last nine months, ASK and the nine dailies reported attack and harassment of at least 95 journalists across the country. Of them, 32 came under terrorist attacks, 19 were tortured or threatened by ruling Awami League men while 18 others sued for their reports. The Border Security Force (BSF) of India shot dead 21 Bangladeshis and tortured to death six others along the border since January. The reason behind another death could not be ascertained. At least 28 others were injured in attacks by the BSF personnel and 19 abducted during the same time. All but one were returned to the BGB.

Attack on religious minorities

Between January and September, at least seven Hindu priests and followers were killed by militants across the country ASK says. Apart from the seven, two Christians and two Buddhists were also killed by the religious extremists. ASK documentation also reports death threats issued against a number of Hindu priests and followers, 79 incidents of vandalism and arson attacks on Hindu temples and 58 incidents of attacks on houses. At least five Hindu houses were grabbed by criminals during the time when at least 27 people sustained injuries across the country.

Violence against women

At least 89 women and seven children were killed from January to September while three others committed suicide due to torture for dowry by their in-laws. The number of women injured due to torture for dowry was 93. The rights body reports at least 28 incidents of acid attacks on women and children in the first nine months. Four of the victims were children while one of the victims attacked for dowry died while undergoing treatment. Only nine cases were filed over the 28 incidents. At least eight women were subjected to torture through fatwa or village arbitration across the country during the nine months. Four of them were banished from their village. Legal action was sought in only two of the incidents. Twenty-six cases were filed over the deaths of 30 domestic helps in torture, three suicide, 14 torture and two rape incidents across the country. Of the victims, 30 are children. At least 58 women were killed by their husbands and in-laws while 10 by their own families during the time. The dead include 18 children. Only 135 cases were filed in the 305 incidents of domestic violence occurred during the period, ASK says. At least 512 incidents of rape were reported in media since January. Of the victims, 26 were killed after rape. The number of gang-rape was 152, of who 64 are aged 13-18 years. More than half of the rape victims were children. Of the 341 children raped, 37 are aged below six, 121 are aged 7-12 and 183 between 13 and 18 years. On the other hand, at least six men and five women were killed for protesting against sexual harassment, while six women committed suicide since January. Another 94 women and 17 men were subjected to torture and assault for resisting stalkers, while 61 men who came forward to help the victims were injured in clashes with the stalkers. Four girls stopped going to school after facing sexual harassment during this time.