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Police allegedly extorted Tk3.5 lakh from a businessman using threats of ‘crossfire’

  • Published at 12:14 pm August 12th, 2020
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The businessman sued against six including five policemen in this connection on Monday

A businessman has alleged that the police extorted Tk3.5 Lakh from him after threatening to put him in “crossfire” and framing a case against him.

The businessman, Sohel Mir, 50, was arrested from Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital area on August 2 and was released after providing the money on August 3.

Sohel filed a case against five policemen from Kotwali police station and a police informer with Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court in this connection on Monday.

The accused are Officer In-Charge (OC) Mizanur Rahman, Sub-Inspector (SI) Pabitra Sarkar, SI Khalid Sheikh, ASI Shahinur Rahman, Constable Mizan, and police source Motaleb.

The court ordered the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate and submit the report by September 16.

Dhaka Tribune could not reach OC Mizanur Rahman and others despite several attempts over phone.

Kotwali police station Inspector (investigation) Nur Alam told Dhaka Tribune: “I was not on duty that day. I only came to know about the incident after the case was filed. PBI is investigating the incident. I don’t know anything in this regard.”

Refusing to say anything about the incident, Deputy Commissioner of DMP’s Lalbagh division Biplob Bijoy Talukdar said: “It is under investigation. Firstly, an organization [PBI] is investigating the incident, so it would not be wise to make any comment over this. Secondly, I didn’t get any document in my hand.”

Sohel, a resident of Keraniganj, said he was on his way to his daughter’s house in Bashundhara residential area on August 2 and came to Wiseghat of Sadarghat after crossing the river from Kaliganj.

When he reached Ambia Tower in the area, SI Pabitra Sarker, SI Khalid Sheikh, ASI Shahinur Rahman, Constable Mizan, and police source Motaleb stopped him.

Sohel said: “Police searched my body and got nothing but Tk2,900. Then, SI Khalid took the money from me.

“They told me to go back. When I asked for my money, they hit me repeatedly,” he alleged.

When locals gathered after noticing the altercation, police told them that Sohel was carrying 214 yaba pills.

“Constable Mizan took out a packet filled with yaba pills from his pocket and showed it to the people. The police also told them that there is a warrant against me in a case linked to JMB,” said Sohel.

Police then brought him to Kotwali police station. Later, SI Khalid called Sohel’s wife Sabina Khatun and told her that her husband is in police custody.

Sabina told the media that police told her to come to the police station.

“After reaching the station, I called SI Khalid and he told me to go to Noyabazar Bridge. There, he told me that Tk5 lakh is needed to release my husband. Otherwise, he will be killed in a crossfire.”

Later on, Sabina went to the police station again to meet Sohel about bribing police.

Sabrina claimed that SI Pabitra, SI Khalid, and ASI Shahinur talked to her about the extortion money inside the station.

At 10:30pm, Sabina went to the police station and gave Tk2 lakh to SI Pabitra and Khalid.

Sabina said: “Khalid told me that they will send Sohel to court and then he wil be released with his own lawyer on the same day.”

Sabina provided Tk1.5 lakh more the next day and Sohel was released on that day, August 3, from the court.

Sabina said they are afraid of their security as they filed a case against police.

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