A trader has died in Narayanganj's Sonargaon after he was 'beaten by the police,' his family alleges, but the law-enforcement agency has linked his death to cardiac arrest.
The incident took place in Burundi village on Monday.
Police claim that the trader did not die from a beating but instead suffered a 'heart attack' as police were conducting an anti-drug raid.
The trader, Nurul Islam, ran a poultry business. No case was filed over his death as of Tuesday morning. His family buried him without an autopsy.
According to the family, Assistant Sub Inspector Iliyas Ahmed of the Sonargaon Taltola Police Investigation Centre went to Nurul's home in plainclothes with a constable accompanying. ASI Iliyas attempted to extort Nurul for Tk 100,000 and threatened to name him in false cases if he failed to pay, they said.
"We agreed to pay Tk 50,000 but ASI Iliyas did not find it sufficient. He handcuffed my father and dragged him out of the home. When my father tried to resist the policemen, they had a brawl," said Mithila Akter, Nurul's daughter.
“Then police started punching my father and beat him with a stick. When father collapsed on the ground, the policemen left the scene."
Nurul was taken to the local upazila health complex where the doctor pronounced him dead, Mithila said.
The family said that Nurul suffered from cardiac ailments and had an open heart surgery three years ago.
Mithila said her father had asked for water and an inhaler as the police took him away, but the law enforcers would not allow it. "I want justice," she said.
The policemen went back to Nurul's house after learning of his death and were detained by the family. Narayanganj Additional Police Superintendent Sheikh Billal Hossain and Mahbub Alam, chief of Sonargaon Police Station, then went to the scene with a larger force. Locals became incensed with the police.
Narayanganj-3 MP Leakot Hossain Khoka went to the scene after being informed of the situation, said Jampur Union Council Chairman Humayun Kabir.
“While arresting Nurul Islam, police punched and beat him. They struggled. As Nurul suffered from cardiac ailments, he couldn’t handle it,” Humayun said, citing the family.
Saiful Islam, chief of the Taltola Police Investigation Centre, claimed that police went for a raid after a tip-off on a drug deal.
“Police went to his home to recover drugs but left after they got nothing. As he was a cardiac patient, he may have died from his fear of the police.”
When asked why an assistant sub inspector conducted the raid in plainclothes, Saiful said he did not know the specifics. “But sometimes, when needed, police go for raids in plainclothes,” he said.
Saiful could not provide information on whether trader Nurul Islam was named in any drug case. “I’m new to this station and I can give you the details later,” he said.
The chief of the Sonargaon Police Station did not receive the call when bdnews24.com attempted to contact him over the matter.