A Dhaka court on Saturday sent Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity secretary general Mojammel Huq Chowdhury to jail on completion of a one-day remand in police custody in an ‘extortion’ case lodged with Mirpur police.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Golam Nabi gave the order, rejecting three pleas – one made by the police seeking a fresh five-day remand in police custody and two others by Mojammel seeking bail and cancellation of the fresh remand prayer.
The Samity is a civic group platform vocal on passengers’ rights and road safety. Mojammel’s arrest came weeks after the student protests held in demand for road safety.
In a statement, Safe Roads and Transport Alliance convener Hossain Zillur Rahman said that Mojammel’s arrest would confuse and demoralise all those who had actively worked to build awareness on road safety.
Demanding his immediate and unconditional release, the platform said that the JKS had confirmed about Mojammel being on his way to a talk-show recording at the ATN Bangla office when the alleged extortion money was collected at 5:00pm on September 3.
Investigation officer of the case sub-inspector Bajlur Rahman of Mirpur police produced Mojammel before the court and sought a fresh five-day remand mentioning that the accused, during interrogation, had given ‘important’ information and was needed to be quizzed further for the sake of proper investigation.
Sub-inspector Bajlur Rahman also told the court that the accused had extorted money from transport organisations at different times in the past.
Mojammel’s defence lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua sought his client’s bail and cancellation of the fresh remand prayer, saying that his client was innocent and had been implicated in the case based on false allegations.
Barua referred to reports published in different newspapers, which were also submitted to the court, and stated that the plaintiff did not know the person who had extorted money from him.
He argued that his client was implicated in the case to stop his voice in favour of demands of passengers and road safety.
Mojammel was arrested in the ‘extortion case’ early Thursday at his home at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj and was placed on a one-day remand after hours.
The plaintiff, Md Dulal, filed a case on Tuesday alleging that Mojammel had demanded Tk 2 lakh from him over the phone and later collected Tk 10,000 from him at Mirpur on September 3.