A two-member committee has been constituted by the local administration to investigate into the custodial death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed.
Mushtaq died of a heart attack Thursday at the high-security Kashimpur prison, where he had been lodged since August last year. He was arrested in May 2020 in a case filed under the Digital Security Act and charged with spreading disinformation against the government on social media.
"As far as we know Mushtaq collapsed in a washroom of the prison on Thursday evening. Later he was taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical college and Hospital, where he was declared dead,” said Gazipur deputy commissioner SM Tariqul Islam.
"The two-member probe panel was formed on Friday night to investigate if there was any negligence during his treatment," he said, adding the committee has been asked to submit its report within two days.
The committee members are Executive Magistrate Mohamamd Wasiuzzaman Chowdhury and Umme Habiba Farzana.
The 53-year-old writer, who published the book "Kumir Chaasher Diary" under the pen name Michael Kumir Thakur, was picked up by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel from his Lalmatia home on May 2, allegedly for posts critical of the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On August 20, he was shifted to Kashimpur prison, Gias Uddin said.
Calls for Mushtaq's release were widespread and sustained throughout his time in prison. Soon after his arrest, more than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh issued a joint statement demanding his release, including cartoonist Ahmed Kishore.