Alam Sagar, also identified as Shah
Alam Sarkar, was found dead behind the Uttara Paschim Police Station in the capital, Dhaka. Police said Alam believed he
was about to be arrested and that he fell off the roof from where he was attempting
to escape by climbing down a drainpipe, reports said.
Sagar’s wife, Shoma Akhter, told the online news website
BDnews24 that her husband was tortured and killed and that police had
staged the death as an accident, news accounts reported. Akhter said her husband’s body showed
marks of torture and that his hands bore marks from handcuffs, the reports
said. The Dhaka Tribune cited two individuals–a witness as well as a local
journalist–who also cast doubts on the police version of the case. “Even his
hands and legs looked like they had been broken,” the journalist told the
to his death, Sagar, a reporter for the weekly Bangla-language crime magazine Oporadh Domon, had published a story alleging financial
wrongdoing by a local college principal, according to news reports. The report
included allegations from a local carpenter that the college principal
had owed him vast sums of money, news accounts said. A local journalist who asked not to be
identified for fear of police retaliation told CPJ that the report also accused
the principal of embezzling large sums of money from local residents.
After the article was published, the principal filed
a complaint against Sagar, news reports said citing Akhter. Police subsequently
summoned the journalist, as well as the principal and the carpenter, to the
police station to settle the dispute, the reports said.
Sagar’s brother, Kamal Mollah, told the press he believed police were involved in his brother’s
death and that he did not believe their claim that Sagar had fallen off the
roof. He said he believed this was a “pre-planned killing by the police.”
Assistant Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police
(North) Saifullah Mohammed told local journalists that Sagar had fallen from
the roof and denied that police had pushed him, according to reports.
Mollah said when the family tried to file a case at
the police station about Sagar’s death, their request was denied and they were forced
to leave. Police denied the allegation. Police later arrested four individuals,
including the college principal and the carpenter, citing them as prime
suspects in the case, according to The Dhaka
The journalist is survived by his wife and daughter.