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Sylhet mayor persuades Rayhan's mother to withdraw hunger strike

  • Published at 01:46 pm October 25th, 2020
Rayhan's Mother Salma Begum
Rayhan Ahmed's mother Salma Begum drinks juice offered by Sylhet Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury to end her hunger strike in front of the Bandarbazar police outpost in Sylhet city on Sunday, October 25, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

‘I don’t want any more assurances; I want to see the accused in handcuffs,’ Rayhan’s mother said when she ended the strike

The family members of Rayhan Ahmed have withdrawn their hunger strike after receiving assurance of justice from the Sylhet mayor.

They were on a hunger strike for around six hours on Sunday before Rayhan's mother Salma Begum ended the strike by drinking juice given by Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury.

Rayhan, 34, died in police custody on October 11 following torture, his family says.

His mother Salma and other members of the family started a hunger strike along with a sit-in protest on Sunday morning in front of the Bandarbazar police outpost in Sylhet.

The mayor persuaded Rayhan’s mother by assuring her that along with the citizens of Sylhet, he himself would start a larger protest if the accused were not arrested soon.

Mayor Ariful said: “The people of Sylhet, who have been vocal in demanding the arrest of Rayhan’s killers, have already been able to inform the government and other concerned departments about the brutal murder through a peaceful movement.”

Nonetheless, the mayor said he would talk to the officials concerned, as well as the home minister, regarding the matter.

After ending the hunger strike, Salma Begum said: “I don’t want any more assurances. I want to see initiative. I want to see the accused in handcuffs.”

Also read - Custodial death of Rayhan: Constable Titu remanded again

Rayhan’s family started their hunger strike at 11pm on Sunday; many others also joined the strike.

Salma said: “It has almost been two weeks since Rayhan was killed and the prime suspect is still absconding.”

The agitated crowd blocked the road in front of the Bandarbazar police outpost in the afternoon. At around 4:45pm, Mayor Ariful went there and persuaded everyone to withdraw the strike.

Forensic findings

The Forensic Medical Board of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in their second autopsy report said Rayhan died due to injuries he sustained from a blunt weapon.

Dr Shamsul Islam, head of the Forensic Medical Board, disclosed the findings on Thursday.

In the first autopsy report, the doctors found 111 injury marks on Rayhan’s body. Of them, 14 were serious injuries.

According to that autopsy report submitted on October 15, two of Rayhan’s fingernails were removed. Such torture was carried out on him for two to four hours before his death. The medical board found similarities between the first autopsy report and the second one.

Case details

On October 11, Rayhan died in police custody following torture, his family claimed.

Denying the allegation, police said Rayhan was caught by the locals while mugging and was lynched.

Police said they found the man wounded after a mob beating and took him to a hospital, where he died.

However, the victim's mother said Rayhan had called her from an unknown number at 4:23am and said police took him to Bandarbazar police outpost and were demanding Tk10,000 for his release.

On October 12 midnight, Rayhan’s wife Tahmina Akhter Tanni filed a case with Kotwali police station in this connection; no one was accused in the case.

The case has since been transferred to the Police Bureau of Investigation following the family’s demand, police said.

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