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Post Khaleda Verdict: Arrests, harassment on suspicion

WT24 Desk

Police have been detaining people and harassing them in the police stations, according to families of those picked up, according to reports.

A 72-year-old man had been waiting at the Shahbagh police station on Friday morning for his 67-year-old wife who had been caught by police in front of Dhaka medical college hospital on Thursday morning. Upon hearing of his wife’s detention, he was waiting for her release since Thursday noon.

“My wife is 67 years old. She wasn’t using her car in fear that it might be vandalised after the verdict of the case against Khaleda Zia. She went to Dhaka medical college hospital for treatment in a CNG-run auto-rickshaw, along with our driver. The police detained her along with the driver when she got out of the auto-rickshaw and took them to the police station. After 28 hours of detention, the police released them just before jumma prayers on Friday,” the old man, a principal at a private college, told this correspondent.

During a visit to Shahbgah police station, this correspondent found a gathering of around 50 relatives of detainees at 10:00am on Friday. The relatives claimed their near and dear ones were innocent. They said some of the detainees were walking along the footpath, some of them were going to visit patients and some of them were out on various urgent errands. The relatives said there were no cases against the detainees, but police held them on suspicion.

According to the relatives, some 61 men and 11 women were detained and brought to the police station. Police first searched their cell phones and Facebook accounts to check whether they were BNP leaders, activists or supporters. The detainees who had photos of Khaleda Zia or any post relating to BNP on their Facebook accounts were not released. The rest were freed at midnight.

Shahbagh police station officer-in-charge Abul Hasan said 64 people were detained. Of them, 47 people have been produced before the court.

Two people from Adabar area in the capital went to the police station as one of their friends was in the custody. He had a boutique business.

They said their friend came to see an ailing relative at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University by motor bike. They had papers to prove it, but police did not listen.

A 17-year-old boy was waiting for his brother. His brother had been arrested on suspicion while n the way to work in Shahbagh.

The relatives in front of the police station expressed their frustration. A relative said, “How will people live in this country? It is very difficult to live here. Sometimes, I think I should leave the country.”

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