A Sylhet court on Sunday framed charges against six accused, including suspended SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, in a case over Raihan Ahmed’s death at Bandarbazar police outpost.
Sylhet Metropolitan Session Judge Md Abdur Rahim framed the charges and fixed May 10 for starting the trial.
Earlier in the day, police produced five of the accused in the murder case, including then in-charge of Bandarbazar police outpost, the suspended SI Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, before the court amid tight security.
Before today, charge framing in this case had been deferred several times.
On September 30 last year, the court accepted the chargesheet submitted by police against six people in the case.
The court also issued an arrest warrant against the sixth accused -- Abdullah Al Noman, who had allegedly helped Akbar flee the country, who remains absconding.
The other four accused in the case are sub-inspector Hasan Ali, assistant sub-inspector Ahshque Elahi, and constables Harunur Rashid and Titu Chandra Das of the Bandarbazar police outpost. They are all currently in judicial custody.
In May 2021, the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) submitted the chargesheet in the case.
According to the chargesheet, Akbar, constables Harunur Rashid and Titu, and ASI Asheque were directly responsible for Raihan's custodial death.
On October 11 in 2020, the 34-year-old resident of Akharia in Sylhet city, was allegedly beaten to death in police custody.
His wife Tahmina Akter Tanni filed a complaint at the Kotwali police station the following day, following which an FIR was registered against unidentified people.
Four policemen, including then in-charge of the Bandarbazar police outpost Akbar, were suspended on October 12. The three other policemen were also withdrawn from the outpost the same day.
Later, the case was transferred to the PBI.
How Raihan died
Raihan called his mother from an unknown number and told her that police took him to the Bandarbazar outpost and demanded Tk 10,000 for his release, in the early hours of October 11, 2020.
Later that day, his uncle rushed to the police outpost with Tk 5,000 but the cops allegedly refused to accept the bribe and asked him to return after arranging Tk 10,000.
Raihan’s uncle then again went to the Bandarbazar police outpost with the money but was told that his nephew had fallen sick and was taken to a hospital at 6.40am.
When his uncle went to the hospital, he came to know that Raihan was dead and his body had been sent for post-mortem.
Turning down the allegations of custodial torture, police at first said that Raihan was caught by locals in the Kastghar area attempting a robbery and had been lynched.
However, the news of Raihan’s death triggered massive protests and locals blocked the Sylhet-Sunamganj Highway, demanding action against the accused cops.