Police believe Jashore centre juveniles died from beating, not in clashes

  • Jashore Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-08-14 20:52:58 BdST

Police believe the three teenaged boys, who died at Jashore Juvenile Development Centre on Thursday, were beaten to death by the employees, not killed in clashes between themselves.

The juveniles, who were hospitalised with injuries, have made the claim.

AKM Nahidul Islam, the deputy inspector general of police, said on Friday that it was difficult to unearth the truth because they were informed about the “shocking” incident six hours after it had occurred.

“The injured at hospital are the key witnesses. No one tells a lie when they are dying. There is truth in their reasonable statements. We will treat them seriously when we investigate this one-sided incident,” the DIG said.

One of the injured receiving treatment at Jashore General Hospital said Noor Islam, an Ansar member and head guard of the centre in Poolerhaat, asked him to give him a haircut on Aug 3.

The boy from Chuadanga said he refused to oblige Noor immediately because he felt pain in his hand after giving haircuts to around 200 others at the centre

When Noor rebuked and swore at him, some of the teenagers beat the guard up.

Noor complained at the office that the boys beat him up under the influence of drugs, an allegation they refuted.

The authorities called the boys to the office on Thursday noon and asked them what happened.

When they were recounting the incident, Assistant Superintendent Masum Billah, Probation Officer Mushfik Ahmed and other employees beat the boys up, the injured teenager said.

Another teenaged inmate from Jashore’s Basundia said he shared a room with ‘Rasel’ alias ‘Sujon’, one of the dead boys.

“Rasel would get out on bail next month. Now he has died from excessive beating and a lack of treatment. The probation officer even threatened to get us killed in ‘crossfire’ after showing us as absconding,” he said.

The boy said the injured were kept out in the open on the premises of the centre. The authorities sent them to hospital when they began dying one by one.

Probation Officer Mushfiq denied the allegations.

He stood by the claim that the boys clashed and the authorities initially tried to treat the injured at the centre.

“We sent them to Jashore General Hospital when the condition of some of them turned serious,” he said.

DIG Nahidul said police would initiate a case if no one lodges a complaint about the incident.

Bangladesh has two correctional facilities for male juveniles. The other is in Gazipur’s Tongi.

The Jashore centre has 280 inmates. Assault and death is not new there.

An investigation committee of the district administration had recommended proper steps to run the centre after allegations of negligence and corruption had surfaced.