Naogaon’s Jasmine was arrested in presence of joint secretary
Death in RAB custody
Staff Correspondent: The woman who died in the custody of the Rapid Action Battalion in Naogaon was arrested after a complaint made by a joint secretary, the elite force said.
Joint Secretary Enamul Haque, who submitted the complaint against the woman, works in the Rajshahi divisional commissioner’s office. He was present at the scene when Sultana Jasmine, an employee at the Naogaon Sadar Upazila land office, was arrested, RAB spokesman Commander Khandaker Al Moin said at a media briefing yesterday.
The RAB arrested Jasmine, 45, last week and she died due to the ‘torture’ by RAB, her family alleged. Earlier, RAB said that Jasmine was detained for questioning over allegations of fraud.
Asked yesterday, RAB officer Moin said Jasmine was arrested in the presence of Joint Secretary Enamul Haque and was taken to the hospital after “she fell sick”.
“A gang has been cheating people for a long time using the hacked Facebook ID of the joint secretary. Using the joint secretary’s name and designation, they extracted money from people luring them with offers for jobs or other benefits,” said Moin, adding that Enamul filed the first general diary in March 2022. Enamul complained that his Facebook ID was hacked and used for forgery. A woman was using his Facebook ID to cheat people, he alleged. The government official tried to catch the gang for a long time and recently he got word of someone using his name to extort money on Mar 19-20, Moin said.
The government official also heard that a man identified as Al Amin was involved in the fraud aided by Jasmine, according to the RAB. On Mar 22, Enamul saw a RAB patrol team and complained about the issue.
“He has the right to file a complaint to the RAB for a crime he faced. Then we identified the woman using information technology and Enamul Haque was with us at that time,” Moin said.
Jasmine was arrested at the land office where she worked as an office assistant. Two witnesses were present at the scene. The female members of RAB questioned Jasmine in the presence of the witnesses and local people, according to Moin.
“Jasmine confessed to the crime outright,” Moin said, claiming that her mobile was found “logged in” to Enamul’s Facebook ID.
“We found a Sonali Bank account on her mobile which had receipts of millions of taka deposited to the account. The mobile phone had evidence of transactions worth Tk 2 million to Tk 3 million.”
The RAB arrested Jasmine at around 11:30 am and then the information found on her mobile phone was printed out at a nearby computer shop in the presence of Enamul and other witnesses, said Moin.
“We collected the evidence and started for the police station to file a case. The woman then started feeling unwell. We took her to Naogaon hospital at around 1 pm. She got out of the car and walked to the hospital where the doctors spoke to her,” Moin said.
Jasmine’s sister, aunt, and uncle were called in. Her colleague at the land office and the assistant commissioner (land) were also informed. All of them were present as she underwent treatment, according to the RAB.
On the evening of the same day, the doctors referred Jasmine to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. A CT scan found that Jasmine suffered a stroke. She died a day later. The doctors clearly noted the reason for her death and it was also mentioned in the autopsy report, the RAB officer said.
“After sending Jasmine to the hospital, we asked Joint Secretary Enamul Haque to the police station as per the rules. Then he filed a case,” he said.
Enamul Haque did not respond to phone calls for comment.
RAB PROBE COMMITTEE
The RAB formed a committee to investigate the Naogaon incident, said Al Moin.
“As there was the complaint of her death in our custody, we formed a committee on Monday to investigate it. We’ll see if there was any negligence on our part, or if the woman faced anything illegal or wrongful,” he said.
He said the RAB would take the necessary legal steps if its staff members were found to be negligent. Also, the court asked the RAB some questions and the elite force will provide answers to the court through proper authorities, Moin said.
The High Court ordered officials to submit the post-mortem examination report on Jasmine and asked who interrogated her in custody.
The panel of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel passed the orders on Monday after Supreme Court lawyer Manoj Kumar Bhowmik drew their attention to newspaper reports on the incident.
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