On the night of April 18, a team of eleven plain clothes Detective Branch (DB) policemen led by assistant commissioner Ruhul Amin entered the New Wave Club in Kafrul, Dhaka.
After alleging that illegal gambling was taking place, they demanded that the people gathered at the club hand over their mobile phones and money.
When asked for identification, the DB personnel claimed to be members of the Rapid Action Battalion.
According to witnesses, when people at the club protested their presence, the DB policemen pulled out their weapons to intimidate the crowd. They then proceeded to force four individuals out of the club.
Club president Shafiul Azam told the Dhaka Tribune that one of the people they picked up was the husband of a Bangladesh Army major. He added that as they were driving away, officials at a nearby military check-post stopped them.
After ascertaining the details of the situation, the military officials had released the four people and had handed the DB policemen over to the local police station.
According to Shafiul, the same team had raided the club a month earlier and had picked up two people. He alleged that they had demanded Tk10 lakhs from one of the detained and subsequently released him after extorting TK50,000 from him.
The Dhaka Tribune attempted to reach several DB high officials for comments. Many did not answer calls. Those who did refused to comment on the matter.
Responding to the Dhaka Tribune’s queries, the DMP Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia said all eleven of the DB officials had been suspended.
Masud Ahmed, Mirpur division deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the DMP commissioner had formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident. The probe committee is expected to submit a report within three days.
He said eight DB members had been temporarily suspended and three had been given show cause notices.
“Once the investigation is complete, legal actions will be taken against them,” added Masud.