The Dhaka Tribune has exclusively reported the sorry conditions of Charan Soren, Bimal Kisku and Dijen Tudu – the Santal men – were in while being treated in custody.
Charan Soren and Bimal Kisku are currently at Rangpur Medical College Hospital with bullet wounds while Dijen Tudu, with serious eye injury from shotgun pellets, is at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital in Dhaka.
Gaibandha Superintendent of Police (SP) M Ashraful Islam told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday evening that handcuffs had been removed two days ago for treatment purposes.
Also Read- Gaibandha violence victim: This country fails to ensure citizens’ rights
A Dhaka Tribune reporter on Sunday found Dijen Tudu without handcuffs during day-time, though he claimed that police handcuff him every day after midnight and take those off in the morning.
On Friday, the Dhaka Tribune’s Rangpur correspondent spotted Charan Soren and Bimal Kisku, both in a groggy state, handcuffed and tied to their hospital bed.
Also Read- Injured Gaibandha Santals being treated in handcuffs
Earlier on Monday morning, a High Court bench comprising justices Obaidul Hassan and Krishna Debnath ordered the authorities concerned to remove the handcuffs from the Santal men following a petition by a Supreme Court lawyer seeking court directives in this matter.
The writ petition was filed on the ground that the three accused are bedridden from bullet injuries and are incapable of walking at the moment. Therefore, the prospect of them fleeing is miniscule and being handcuffed is a violation of their human rights.
Police arrested them in a case filed for attacking law enforcers with arrows during a clash on November 6.
During the clash, the police were allegedly backed by a group of goons loyal to the local MP. Three Santals were killed and several more injured in the clash in Madarpur and Joypur villages of Gaibandha’s Gobindaganj upazila.
[caption id="attachment_32462" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Dijen Tudu lies in the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital in Dhaka eyes injured by shotgun pellets Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
The court asked the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, Rangpur range deputy inspector general (DIG) and Gaibandha SP to comply with the order immediately.
Petitioner barrister Jyotirmoy Barua told the Dhaka Tribune that the respondents were also ordered to submit a report to the court within November 16 regarding the issue.
Later, the court issued a ruling, seeking an explanation within two weeks, as to why being handcuffed to a bed in a hospital should not be declared illegal.
[caption id="attachment_31635" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Bimal Kisku, another victim in November 6 attack on his village in Gaibandha, was also spotted lying in a hospital bed in handcuff Dhaka Tribune
The law secretary, inspector general of police (IGP), DMP commissioner, Rangpur range DIG and Gaibandha SP were made respondents to the ruling.