I am writing to bring to your attention a recent case I have learned about involving a homeopathic doctor who was arbitrarily arrested by the DB police Sub Inspector of the Dinajpur district and then detained for seven days. According to the information I have received, the SI of the DB police, along with his colleagues, raided a shop and the house of its owner and seized unauthorized goods. The SI fabricated evidence while seizing those goods, thus implicating homeopathic doctor, Dr. Basudev Roy. The police lodged a case against Dr. Basudev with the Kotwali police station for violating sections of the Narcotics Control. They then arrested Dr. Basudev regarding the case and detained him.
I have also learned that the police intimidated the victim and the staff of his shop as well as his family and extorted money from them. Although the alleged key perpetrator was temporarily suspended from his duty following an investigation conducted by the office of the Superintendent of Police (SP), no legal action was taken against him. Furthermore, his associates have not yet been identified or punished. While the victim has been released from detention, he continues to face the charges laid against him, despite the investigation having proven that the charges were the result of fabricated evidence. The victim has not received the money extorted from him by the police nor been granted any compensation.
In light of this, I urge you to take immediate steps to have the charges laid against the victim withdrawn without delay. The money extorted from him must also be returned. I also request that you order a prompt and thorough investigation into the alleged conduct of the police. If it is found that the alleged perpetrators committed crimes against the victim, then they must be made accountable for their actions. If they are found guilty of arbitrary arrest, fabricating evidence, extorting money, harassment and intimidation, then they must be indicted under the prevailing domestic laws of Bangladesh. What is more, if the extortion is found to be true then the DB Police SI must be charged and forced to compensate the victim for the losses he has suffered. During the investigation of the police, protection must be afforded to the victim.
Such action by the police is a matter of deep concern. It would appear that many of Bangladesh’s police personnel are involved in the violation of laws rather than upholding the laws of the country. This reflects the lack of commitment as well as lack of respect for the citizens of the country and the excessive powers the police wield and abuse.
I therefore urge you and other government officials in Bangladesh to consider reforming your current law enforcement system by introducing better training programmes for your police officers and to make them more accountable for the abuses they commit against ordinary citizens of Bangladesh.
I look forward to your urgent intervention in this matter.
PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Abdul Quayum
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Tel: +88-02-9562054, 7176451, 7176677, 8362552 or 8362553
Fax: +88-02-9563362, 9563363
2. Mr. Dr. Baharul Islam BPM
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
Office of the DIG of Rajshahi Range
Tel: +88-0721-772309 (O)
Fax: +88-0721-775444 (O)
3. Mr. Md. Lutfozzaman Babor MP
The Ministry of Home Affairs
Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Secretariat
Tel: +88-02-7169069, 8359000
Fax: + 88-02-7160405, 7164788
4. Mr. Anwarul Karim
Joint Secretary (Police)
Ministry of Home Affairs
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Tel: +88-02-7164680, 8953012
5. Mr. A. J. Mohammad Ali
The Attorney General of Bangladesh
The Office of the Attorney General
Supreme Court Building
6. Mr. Syed J. R. Mudassir Husain
The Chief Justice
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Supreme Court Building
7. Ms Leila Zerrougui
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
c/o Miguel de la Lama
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (ATTENTION: Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)
Urgent Appeal Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission