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Police molest girl, beat journalists

Court Correspondent

The girl, whom some policemen attempted to violet at a police club near Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka, gives the details of the harassment in a police station on Tuesday. — New Age photoThe girl, whom some policemen attempted to violet at a police club near Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka, gives the details of the harassment in a police station on Tuesday. — New Age photo

Two policemen molested a teenaged girl who went to the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court to seek justice in the nearby Police Club in the capital on Tuesday.
A few hours after the incident, the policemen led by senior assistant commissioner (Kotwali) Rajib Al Masud and the Kotwali police officer-in-charge, Salauddin Khan, attacked journalists and lawyers when they tried to stop the police picking up the girl and her mother from the court premises. At least 10 were injured in the attack.
Witnesses said that the police launched the attack when the girl along with her mother was telling the lawyers and journalists of the incident about 4:30pm.
‘As we asked to police officer to arrest the policemen responsible for the incident, the police attacked us,’ a lawyer said.
Senior assistant commissioner (Kotwali) Rajib Al Masud, however, claimed that they had not attacked the people but there was a scuffle with lawyers as they misbehaved with the policemen in connection with the incident.
Court correspondents MA Jalil Ujjwal of Kaler Kantha and Tuhin Hawlader of Bangladesh Pratidin and Prashanta Kumar Karmakar of Prothom Alo came to be attacked.
After the incident, the chief metropolitan magistrate, Bikash Kumar Saha, on Tuesday invited journalists, lawyers and policemen to a ‘tea party’ to be held on the court premises today where he would hear all the parties, a senior police officer told New Age.
The girl, who is married, said that Zaman, as he was named in his badge, and another moustached man, both in police uniform, had molested her when she, along with her parents, was leaving the court premises in the afternoon.
The police, meanwhile, withdrew assistant subinspector Zaman to the Lalbagh division of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, a police officer told New Age at night. ‘We are looking for the the moustached man.’
Lalbagh police zone deputy commissioner Harun-or-Rashid said that they had set up a two-member committee, led by additional deputy commissioner Maruf Hossain, to investigate the incident. The committee has been asked to submit the report in 24 hours.
Harun-or-Rashid, however, termed the allegation of the girl ‘fabricated.’ He said that the police would find out the truth.
Ain o Salish Kendra executive director Sultana Kamal visited the Kotwali police station in the evening.
She took the girl and her parents in her custody and the three, who became injured in the tussle, were treated in Dhaka Medical College Hospital at night.
The girl in the presence of rights activists and police officials at the station house told the media that she along with her parents had gone to the court in the morning to lodge a case against her husband. But their counsel asked them to go there another day.
The girl in the evening said that some plainclothesmen had intercepted her and her parents riding on a motorcycle on their way back home just outside the court premises about midday and said that her father was accused in a case and the motorcycle was stolen.
As they lodged their protests, the police held her father, started beating him and seized the motorcycle. ‘Policemen also held me and my mother and kept us separate,’ she added.
The two policemen had started molesting her in the club room, she said adding that some other policemen rushed in and rescued her as she cried out.
The police then sent them to the Kotwali police station.
She said that the police had detained her father and asked her and her mother to stay in the station house. ‘But,’ she said, ‘we returned to the court to recover the motorcycle. And the police started beating us as were telling the lawyers and journalists about the incident.’
The victim’s mother alleged that her husband had a long-standing quarrel with a police informant, Babu, from Bangshal and Babu used the police to have her husband framed. The girl said that the police had tortured them in custody.
 




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