Innocent people are allegedly falling victim to police atrocities amid countrywide ongoing transport blockade and intermittent shut-downs.
As many as 17 people are now undergoing treatment in the prison cell of National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor) after being shot by law enforcers.
Law enforcers, however, said they arrested them on suspicion of their involvement in political violence.
Three of the inmates of the prison cell in Nitor declined to talk to the media as they were under constant police surveillance.
A young man from Lakshmipur claimed himself to be a betel leaf seller told the Dhaka Tribune that police filed one case against him after they had shot him.
He said he was scared to talk to journalists.
“They have filed three more cases against me as my fault was I talked to some journalists after coming here one month ago,” the frightened man told this reporter in hushed voice.
Another one who was also afraid of being identified indignantly said: “Your better ask police sitting here. If possible please mention me as a criminal in your newspaper.”
All the 17 people admitted to Nitor were shot in their knees and many of them are yet to be produced before court although they were arrested 20 to 25 days back.
Mehedy Hasan Faisal is a shopkeeper in Mymensingh. On February 11 when he went out of his home to buy some products for his shop he was detained by police and taken to Mymensingh highway.
Police blindfolded him and asked him to run away. As he denied he was shot in his knee. On February 12 his father was informed over phone that his son was admitted to Nitor in a critical condition.
Another Nitor inmate Sariful Islam said he was a bus driver’s assistant. On February 11 DB police detained him from Itkhola area.
He too was blindfolded and asked to run away and he was shot when he denied to do so. On February 12 his younger brother was informed by police that Sariful was admitted to Nitor.
Sariful’s brother Ariful told the Dhaka Tribune that Sariful is the only earning member of their family. Now they can not afford to pay his medical expense.
Jagannath University student Nayan Bachar was found lying on 69 No bed of the hospital’s A/B Ward. He is a third-year student of Philosophy Department.
His mother Sikha Rani at first did not want to talk to this reporter fearing police reprisal. After sometimes she stealthily came out of the Ward and talked to this reporter.
She said they were Hindus. On February 4 her son after giving a tuition came to Victoria Park area to board a bus to go to his mess about 8:30pm. At that time a bus was fire-bombed and police detained him suspecting him to be an arsonist.
Nayan repeatedly told police that he was a Hindu but police branded him as a Shibir activist. Police shot him in his knee before he was admitted to Nitor.
Everyday Nayan’s treatment cost is around Tk5000. An injection worth Tk1150 is also needed for him. His mother wondered how she could manage her son’s treatment expense.
Foyej Ali, a businessman of Azampur area of the capital’s Dakkhinkhan, who is also undergoing treatment at Nitor claimed himself to be a supporter of Awami League. He too was shot in the knee.
Her wife Rehana Foyej said on January 12 morning Dakkhinkhan Police Station Sub-Inspector Joinal asked Foyej to go to police station. As he asked him why he should go to the police station Foyej was shot in his knee.”
SI Joinal had been demanding money from my husband before the shooting incident happened as “we were constructing a building in Azampur area”.
“When my husband refused to give the money police shot him and now my husband is shown arrested as BNP- Jaamat activist.”
When contacted Officer-in-Charge of Dakkhinkhan Police Station Shamim Or Rashid, said Foyej was attending a protest procession organised by BNP- Jamaat activists on that day.
“When we tried to disperse them they began to throw bricks at us. As police made an attempt to arrest him he tried to snatch the gun from SI Joinal and he was shot in his knee,” said the OC.
Of the 17 admitted to Nitor three have already had their one leg amputated. Nine people claimed themselves to be innocent as they had never been involved in any politics.
An on-duty nurse of the A/B ward requesting anonymity said most of the patients would have to face some kinds of disability in future.