Remove 3 hospitalised Santals’ handcuff at once: HC

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Dhaka, November 14: The High Court (HC) on Monday ordered police to remove handcuffs of three Santals of Gaibandha immediately who were injured and arrested in a case filed for attacking police with arrows during a clash on November 6.

An HC bench comprising Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Krishna Debnath passed the order and issued rule after a writ petition filed with the HC seeking its order upon the government to open the handcuff from the three Santals.

The court also asked the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner, deputy inspector general of Rangpur range and superintendent of police in Gaibandha district to submit a report before it by November 16 after complying with the order.

It also issued a rule asking them to explain in two weeks as to why handcuffing Choron Soren, Bimal Kisku and Dijen Tudu should not be declared illegal.

Two of the Santals are now receiving treatment at Rangpur Medical College Hospital while another at National Institute of Ophthalmology (NIO) in Dhaka.

A Supreme Court lawyer, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua submitted the petition following a report published on The Daily Star on November 13 under the headline ‘Santal man being treated with hand cuffed, tied’.

The three were arrested on November 7 after Gobindaganj police filed the case against 34 named and 300 unnamed people for allegedly attacking the law enforcers. They were being treated at different hospitals with their hands cuffed and tied.

On November 6, the clash ensued at Shahebganj cane farm of Rangpur Sugar Mills located in Gobindaganj upazila of Gaibandha over harvesting sugarcane. The clash left two Santals dead and 25 people, including nine cops, injured.

During the then Pakistan regime in 1952, the government had acquired 1,840 acres of land at Shahebganj to set up a sugarcane farm.