Mushtaq’s death: Protests rage in Dhaka for 2nd day

Chhatra Front activists brought out a procession from TSC, marched to Shahbag intersection and took position there for a while.

Later, they paraded the TSC area chanting slogans demanding abolition of the Digital Security Act (DSA).

Chhatra Front President Al Kaderi Joy also condemned the police attack on students during protests on Friday.

Earlier, Chhatra Federation members held a rally at Shahbag demanding quick inquiry into the custodial death.

Bangladesh Chhatra Federation President Golam Mostafa said the government is trying to silence everyone's voice.

Meanwhile, members of Bangladesh Students Rights Protection Council held a sit-in programme protesting Mushtaq's death and urged the authorities to repeal the Digital Security Act.

On Friday evening, at least 35 of protesters and police were injured in a clash between police and activists of the left-leaning organisations who gathered in Dhaka University area to stage protests. Twenty of the injured were the protesters and 15 policemen.

The incident took place when the protesters brought out a torchlight procession in the area around 7pm.

Police obstructed and detained some of the protesters from the spot, leading to a clash between the two sides. At one stage, police fired teargas there, forcing the protesters to take position in front of the Dhaka University central mosque.

According to sources at Shahbagh Police Station, four protesters were arrested from the spot, but the protesters claimed that the number is seven.

Police sue 7 protesters

Police on Saturday filed a case against seven people who were arrested from Shahbagh on Friday for obstructing police in performing their duties.

Sub-inspector of Shahbagh Police Station Md Mintu Miah filed the case against Md Tamjid Haider, 22, Nazir Amir Chowdhury Joy, 27, ASM Tanjimur Rahman, 22, Md Akib Ahmed, 22, Md Arafat Saad, 24, Nazifa Jannat, 24, and Joyoti Chakrawarty, 23, said officer-in-charge of the police station Md Mamun Ur Rashid.

Probe panel formed

A two-member committee has been constituted by Gazipur district administration to investigate the custodial death of writer Mushtaq.

"As far as we know Mushtaq collapsed in a washroom of the prison on Thursday evening. Later, he was taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College and Hospital, where he was declared dead,” said Gazipur Deputy Commissioner SM Tariqul Islam.

"The two-member probe panel was formed on Friday night to investigate if there was any negligence during his treatment," he said, adding the committee has been asked to submit its report within two days.

The committee members are Executive Magistrate Mohamamd Wasiuzzaman Chowdhury and Umme Habiba Farzana.

Mushtaq reportedly suffered a heart attack inside his cell at Kashimpur prison on Thursday evening.

"He was rushed to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead," Senior Jail Superintendent Md Gias Uddin said.

An unnatural death case has been filed with the Gazipur Metropolitan Police's Sadar Police Station in connection with Mushtaq's custodial death.

The 53-year-old writer, who published the book "Kumir Chaasher Diary" under the pen name Michael Kumir Thakur, was picked up by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel from his Lalmatia home on May 2, allegedly for posts over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On August 20, he was shifted to Kashimpur prison, Gias Uddin said.

Calls for Mushtaq's release were widespread and sustained throughout his time in prison. Soon after his arrest, more than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh issued a joint statement demanding his release, including cartoonist Ahmed Kishore.

Source: United News of Bangladesh