Five, including three women, have been tortured in board day light following a “cattle theft” incident at Harbang union in Cox’s Bazar’s Chakoria.
The five, including four of a family, were paraded through villages after tying their hands and waists with rope on Friday.
A mother and her son and two daughters are among them.
The incident was orchestrated following alleged instructions of Harbang Union Parishad Chairman Miranur Islam.
Miranur, also the Awami League president of the union, himself allegedly beat them up.
After torturing them at the union parishad, the five were handed over to Harbang police outpost.
The video footage and some images of the Friday’s incident went viral on social media on Saturday night, creating a huge outcry across the country.
Locals caught the five in Lalbridge area from a CNG-run autorickshaw around 1:00pm Friday, suspecting that they lifted a calf. They then beat up the five, witnesses said.
On the instructions of Miranur, the five, including the mother and her son, two daughters, were tied up hands and waists with rope and paraded before villagers, the witnesses added.
Later, the five were taken to the union parishad office, where the chairman and village police beat them up a second time around 5:00pm, they added.
They were then handed over to police who took them to Chakoria Upazila Health Complex. After primary treatment, they were brought to Chakoria Police Station.
One Mahbubul Haque of Bandabonkhil village filed a case against the five — Chuttu, 27, Parvin, her son Emran, 21, and two daughters Selina Akhter Sheuli, 28, and Rozina Akhter, 23, for cattle theft with the station at night.
Of them, Chuttu is from Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua and Parvin from Chattogram’s Patiya.
A Cox’s Bazar court sent them to jail after police produced them before the court on Saturday, showing them arrested in the case.
Plaintiff Mahbubul told this correspondent over phone that locals beat up the accused when they beat up his son.
They were tied up and taken to the union parishad office, from where the chairman handed them over to police Friday evening, he said.
At night, he along with Harbang Police Outpost in-charge Aminul Islam went to Chakoria Police Station and lodged a case against them, he added.
Chairman Miranur could not be contacted over phone as it was found switched off.
However, in a video message from an unknown place, the chairman claimed that he was not involved in the incident.
His rivals are trying to spread propaganda against him, he said.
Those who tortured the women will be identified and legal action will be taken against them, said Habibur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Chakoria Police Station.
Police are working to identify the people involved.
A three-member probe committed, led by Shabasti Roy, deputy director of local government department, was formed by Kamal Hossain, deputy commission of Cox’s Bazar.
The committee has been asked to submit the report within seven working days, said Shabasti.
Meanwhile, a petition was filed with Chakoria Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court yesterday, seeking the bail of the five.
The court fixed today for hearing the petition, said lawyer Ilias Arif, who filed the petition, adding that the five were going to Dulahazra Christian Memorial Hospital.