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Dhaka Tribune

'Would be dead by now had I not confessed'

Accused Khalilur Rahman recounts his experience of being in custody

Update : 04 Sep 2020, 08:25 PM

If I didn’t make a confession about raping and killing that girl I would have been dead by now” said Khalilur Rahman recounting his experience of being arrested and tortured in custody.

Khalil is one of the accused of the widely talked about “rape-murder of school girl case,” who confessed to the crime under section 164 of the, and is currently out in bail.

However, the girl who the accused have confessed to raping and killing has returned home safely on August 23.

Also read: Return of 'murdered' girl: HC summons investigators

Khalil said: “They [police] would have kept beating me if I did not admit to the crime. They said they'd put me in a crossfire if I did not confess.

“My wife and children would have been waiting for my dead body if I had not confessed.”

After getting bail on Wednesday, he came back to his rental house in Ekrampur area of Bandar upazila in Narayanganj.

This correspondent talked to him there on Thursday.

Khalil said: “I have Tuberculosis, my lungs also get filled with water often. Doctors have told me to do a few tests, but they are expensive. Where will I get so much money?”

Khalil’s wife Sharmin Begum said: “I had taken loans to get him treated and improve his health. But now he is in bed after being beaten in a false case filed by the police. He fainted as soon as he came home after coming out of jail. 

“He was later admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Doctors have given various tests which require a lot of money. So, I brought him back without doing the tests.”

She added: “We have three daughters and the eldest one is disabled. I can't even think about how to run the family in future. 

“But I want to punish those who forced my husband to give false confessions.”

Khalil lamented: “I never thought something like this would happen to me. I have been earning by rowing a boat near ghat no. 5 for eight to 10 years now. I maintain my family with that money.

“No one can say anything bad about me.”

What happened on the day of the arrest:

Khalilur Rahman said: “On August 7 a few police officers including Sub-Inspector Shamin Al Mamun came to call six of us boatmen to the police station.

“They said they will question us about something and let us go.”

At the police station, one of the accused in the rape-murder case, Abdullah, identified Khalil saying, he had been on Khalil’s boat where they had raped the young girl together and then suffocated her to death.

Police arrested Khalil letting the other five boatmen go.

Khalil said: “That night [August 28] at about 2am SI Shamin and a few others tied my hands and legs. They poured cold water on my face after laying me down. I could not breathe, it felt like I would die.”

“They hit my hands and feet relentlessly after hanging me.”

He continued: “SI Shamim said ‘Convicts who do not admit to crimes are put in crossfires.’ That is why I admitted to the crime.”

“SI Shamim also demanded Tk20,000 saying he would torture me less the next day if I pay the money. My wife managed the money but the torture did not reduce,” said Khalil.

About the section 164 Khalil said: “I am a mere boatman, an illiterate man. I did not know anything about section 164, SI Shamin told me about it before my appearance in court.

“He [Shamim] said if I do not admit everything in front of the magistrate then he will take me to remand again or kill me in a crossfire. If I had known I would be spared by explaining everything to the magistrate I would not have confessed.”

Khalil also said: “I have never met Abdullah. They never got on my boat. I even asked Abdullah in jail if he knew me, he said no.

“Abdullah said that police had instructed him to point toward the man who will be brought in first to meet him,who has marks on his face. So he pointed to me.”

What the SI has to say

However, suspended ex investigator in the case sub-inspector Shamim denied all these claims saying: “They [the convicts] could have said the truth in front of the magistrate, but they did not. Now they are saying they have been forced to confess to the crime.”

Sadar Model police station OC Asaduzzaman did not make a comment about Khalil’s claims saying: “It is now a matter of investigation.”

A probe committee has been formed to investigate the claims of the investigation officer asking for money from the convict’s family and forcing a confession. 

Finding the SI guilty he has been withdrawn from his position temporarily and recommendations for filing a divisional case has been made.

Return of the dead

After 51 days of disappearance the girl called her mother on August 23 to ask for money and was later found along with her husband Iqbal from Nabiganj area.

The girl said Abdullah had left her to bring some food on July 4 and from there she went with Iqbal, married him, and had been living with him in a rented house for the past month.

The case

On July 4, the girl went missing and her father Jahangir filed a general diary on July 17. On August 6, Jahangir filed a kidnapping case with Narayanganj Sadar Model police station.

Police arrested the girl’s alleged lover Abdullah, and a three-wheeler driver Rakib.

According to Abdullah, the victim and Abdullah went on a tour in Rakib's auto rickshaw to different parts of Bandar upazila. In the evening they hired a boat from the ghat 5 and the girl was raped on the vessel by Abdullah and the boatman Khalilur.

When the girl said she would make a complaint regarding her rape, Abdullah and Khalilur strangled her to death and later dumped her body to the Shitalakshya river around 9pm.

The investigation officer of the case SI Shamim took the three accused in remand and presented them in Senior Judicial Magistrate Milton Hossain and Judicial Magistrate Ahmed Humayun’s court on August 9.

The convicts confessed to the crime at the court.

Abdullah, Rakib and the girl’s husband Iqbal are currently in jail.

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