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Rights body demands probe into Hanif's death

Published : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 241

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) rights body on Monday demanded a judicial enquiry over the death of Hanif Mridha in Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) custody on Friday.
The demand came in the backdrop of an allegation made by Hanif's family that he was actually picked up by a group of people claiming to be detectives in
Siddhirganj area of Narayanganj last month.
"We demand a judicial probe into this matter," said ASK in a press statement signed by its acting executive director Nur Khan. 'Hanif killed being branded as militant?'
RAB arrested Abu Hanif Mridha, 32, from Ashkona around 4:15pm on Friday, hours after the attack on the barracks of the elite force at its new headquarters being constructed in the area near the airport. He later died in Kurmitola Hospital.
Hanif died of 'cardiac arrest', RAB spokesperson Mufti Mahmud Khan said. "He (Hanif) fell ill immediately after the arrest," said Mufti Mahmud.
Meanwhile, family members of Hanif claimed that he was allegedly picked up by law enforcers a month ago.  Hanif's wife Kulsum Begum said her husband and Sohel went to attend a waz mahfil (sermon session) of the spiritual leader (pir) of Charmonai on February 24. On their arrival on February 27, seven to eight people identifying themselves as law-enforcers picked them up at gunpoint, Kulsum said. They were taken away in a microbus.
Kohinur Begum, the landlady who rented her house out to deceased Hanif Mridha, said: "Some RAB men came to the residence along with Hanif on Wednesday and said he was involved with a carjacking gang." Kulsum Bagum said Hanif has two buses and one private car. Another missing Sohel Hossain has old furniture business at Gulshan.  She said RAB members came to her Rayarbazar house on March 15 and forcibly signed a cheque for Tk6, 70,000.
Hanif's brother Md Halim Mi, on March 4, filed a missing diary with Siddhirganj Police Station of Narayanganj in this connection, she said. Hanif's friend Sohel Hossain Montu is also missing till date  Expressing grave concerns over the alleged custodial death, ASK said that the allegations of detaining Hanif, taking his signature on cheque and his death in custody raised by his family members were serious ones.

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