Death in Rab Custody: Akram died due to ‘blunt force trauma’

Akram Hossain, who died in Rab custody in Chattogram on August 16, was hit with blunt objects before his death, according to his postmortem report.

Akram, 33, was arrested by a team of Rab-7 during an alleged mugging attempt on the port city’s Akhtaruzzaman Flyover around 4:30pm on August 15.  He was later admitted to the medicine ward of Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

He died the following day.

Rab claimed that Akram was beaten up after he was caught by a mob during the mugging attempt and was admitted to the hospital after he complained of chest pains. Seeing the body, his family members, however, alleged that he was tortured to death by Rab men.

Interestingly, Rab did not mention anything about the mob beating in the case it filed with Panchlaish Police Station over the incident.

The Daily Star has obtained a copy of the postmortem report recently. The report mentions similar injuries marks which were mentioned in the inquest report prepared by an executive magistrate after the death.

The autopsy report, prepared by ANM Manzurul, a lecturer of Chattogram Medical College’s forensic medicine department, said bruises were found on the left buttock, left thigh, and foot. Similar bruises were found on the right buttock, said the report.

Manzurul in the report, signed on September 10, said, “Considering postmortem examination findings and result of viscera report, death, in my opinion, was due to combined effect of hemorrhagic and neurogenic shock as a result of massive blunt force trauma [bruises], which were ante mortem in nature.

“The manner of death can be concluded by correlating postmortem findings and with circumstantial evidence.”

The report does not mention anything related to chest pain, which was mentioned by Rab officials in the case statements.

Talking to The Daily Star, several experts also said if the victim had been beaten by a mob, there would have been bruise marks on the face.  

But Akram’s body had no such marks on the face, according to the postmortem report.

Executive Magistrate Ali Hasan of Chattogram District Administration, who had prepared the inquest report, had earlier said, “Black marks were found in the legs — from foot up to the knee — and his bottom. There were black marks also on his back.

“The reason behind his death will be known after postmortem,” he had mentioned while talking to The Daily Star earlier in August.

After Akram’s death, an unnatural death case was filed by Rab-7 with Panchlaish Police Station. Inspector Abdul Haque from Rab-7 lodged the case.

The Daily Star ran a report on the custodial death on August 26. Later, rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), in a statement, expressed grave concern over the incident.


Akram’s maternal uncle Nasir Uddin Chowdhury said, “Akram was brutally tortured to death. He is neither a mugger nor a drug addict. We want justice.”

He said they wanted a fair probe and punishment of the culprits so that no one else has to die like Akram.

Talking about the death of a youth named Raihan in police custody in Sylhet, Akram’s another uncle Kashem said, “The killers of Raihan were suspended and arrested. My nephew died in the same fashion but no one protested or looked into it.”

“Our son is not a criminal. He had no criminal records. We want that the unnatural death case filed over his death to be turned into a murder case,” he added.

This correspondent tried to talk to several senior police officials, including the commissioner of Chattogram Metropolitan Police, but none of them agreed to make any comments on the matter.

CMP Commissioner Mahabubor Rahman had said, “Police are waiting for the postmortem report. The unnatural death case will be turned into a murder case if the report describes it as homicide.”

Rab-7 Commanding Officer Lt Col Moshiur Rahman Jewel had earlier said, “He [Akram] was a mugger. He was caught on the flyover during a mugging attempt. After his arrest, Rab members, taking him with them, conducted drives in two places of the city to detain other members of his gang.”

“He was admitted to the CMCH after he had complained of chest pains. He died later.”

Asked about the marks on Akram’s body, Moshiur said, “We heard that he had been beaten up by a mob after his capture. The marks found during inquest were minor, not significant.”

It is mentionable that two witnesses out of three whose names were mentioned in the case statement as witnesses had earlier told The Daily Star that there was no incident of mob beating during Akram’s arrest.

Several Rab and police officials said Akram had no criminal records.


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