At least six policemen from two stations on the outskirts of the capital in Savar were suspended, with four of them arrested just hours after allegedly beating a young man to death, when he refused to bribe them.
The deceased was identified as Shamim Sarkar, 32 of Hemayetpur.
Around 12:30pm locals angered by Shamim’s death demonstrated and barricaded the Dhaka-Aricha Highway for nearly four hours in protest.
A police box was burned down and 15 vehicles damaged at the time. Two separate enquiry teams have been formed to investigate the circumstances of Shamim’s death.
The police personnel suspended are Sub-inspector (SI) Sazzad Rummon, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Md Akidul Islam along with constables Mobarak Hossain, Ramzan Ali and Md Yusuf from Savar police station, while SI Emdadul Islam is from the Ashulia police station.
Law enforcers detained SI Sazzad and the constables but ASI Akidul evaded arrest by going into hiding soon after the incident, according to sources.
“It is certain Shamim, an accused in a case related to a motorcycle theft, died under police custody. Two separate committees have been formed to find out how he died and if the police were involved in demanding bribes and his death,” said Dhaka district SI Habibur Rahman.
The additional deputy inspector general (DIG) of Dhaka range Mizanur Rahman heads one team, who must submit a report within seven working days while the other probe team lead by Md Faruk Hossain, additional SP of Dhaka district police has three working days to investigate the incident, said SI Habibur Rahman.
Locals and sources in the police said a team of plainclothes policemen picked up Shamim from Hemayetpur on Wednesday night. They charged him with murder and then demanded Tk250, 000 for his release. However, soon after his arrest, they must have realised Shamim was dead and rushed him to Dhaka’s Mitford Hospital.