“My son was taken to Rajshahi and killed. Like the many forced disappearances and murders perpetrated by the government, my son was taken to Rajshahi and killed,” his mother Hosne Ara alleged on Sunday.
The family members, including Hosne Ara and Pintu’s wife Nasima Aktar, spoke to journalists at their Hazaribagh home in the afternoon.
“I want justice for this murder,” demanded his mother.
Nasima told reporters, “My husband could not have possibly died this way. He was killed. He was murdered, that’s for sure.”
Pintu, who was convicted and sentenced to life in jail for his role in the 2009 BDR mutiny, died of cardiac arrest in Rajshahi earlier in the day.
Doctors at the Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) declared him dead when he was rushed there from the Rajshahi Central Jail around12:20pm.
Pintu, the joint organising secretary of the BNP’s Dhaka Division unit, died of a cardiac arrest, said RMCH Cardiology chief Rais Uddin.
State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, too, confirmed he had died of natural causes.
Hundreds of BNP activists gathered at the former BNP MP’s home at Hazaribagh’s Moneshwar Road once the news of his death spread.
Several senior party leaders met the family in the afternoon.
Pintu’s brother Nasim Ahmed Rintu left for Rajshahi in the afternoon to bring the body.
He told reporters before leaving, “My brother has been killed in a planned way. The High Court, based on a medical board’s recommendation, had ordered his treatment (Pintu) at a specialised hospital.
“He was taken to Rajshahi from Narayanganj jail on Apr 20 despite the court orders. We have learnt that he was not receiving any treatment there,” he claimed.
Rintu alleged no specialist doctor had been also assigned to treat Pintu.
He said Pintu would be buried in the Azimpur Graveyard.
Their mother said, “My son (Pintu) was implicated in a false case over the BDR mutiny murder. He was a victim of conspiracy. And now he has been killed inside the prison.”
Pintu was given the life sentence in 2013 for conspiring to murder and helping the mutineers flee from the BDR headquarters adjacent to his turf Lalbagh.
He had often made news headlines during the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami alliance government term in 2001-06 for extortion and terrorism.
He was arrested in one such case while an MP and was sent to jail, but later got out on bail.
The BNP leader had also tried to run for the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, but the Election Commission scrapped his nomination papers during the scrutiny.
Pintu’s younger sister Ferdousi Ahmed Mishti said, “He wasn’t taken to the hospital even after he had fallen sick.”
Montu said he went to meet Pintu on Saturday, but the prison authorities refused permission, saying the BNP leader was sick.
“Doctors at the hospital told me that Pintu was not given the necessary treatment and medicine in the jail. That’s why he fell sick,” he claimed.
“He died because of the negligence of the prison authorities.”
RMCH cardiology chief Rais Uddin said Pintu was suffering from diseases including those of heart, kidney, diabetes, blood pressure, and eye and chest problems.
The prison authorities had written to the RMCH director on Saturday seeking a specialised doctor to conduct a check-up on Pintu.
Rais Uddin went to treat him later in the afternoon same day.
But, the doctor alleged, Senior Jail Superintendent Shafiqul Islam Khan ‘offered him tea’ and then ‘sent him back’ without letting him see Pintu.
Rais Uddin, who is also the Rajshahi chapter joint general secretary of the pro-BNP Doctors Association of Bangladesh, said, “The accident (Pintu’s death) took place on the next day (Sunday) as the patient’s condition got very bad.”
Shafiqul Islam Khan said, “Pintu’s follow-up medical check-up was conducted on Apr 25. He was rushed to the hospital today when he complained of chest pain.”
He, however, refused to comment on the doctor’s allegation.