A businessman on Monday filed a case with Dhaka’s chief metropolitan magistrate court against five policemen, including the Kotwali police station officer-in-charge, on charge of extortion by threatening ‘crossfire’.
The court has instructed the Police Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case.
The accused are Kotwali police station officer-in-charge Mizanur Rahman, sub-inspectors Pabitra Sarkar and Khaled Sheikh, assistant sub-inspector Shahinur, constable Mizan and police source Motaleb.
Complainant Sohel Mir, a cloth trader from Keraniganj, told New Age that some policemen approached and got hold of him on August 2 in Waizghat area and forcibly took away around Tk 3,000 from his pocket.
As he protested at the incident and some locals were gathering there, police allegedly forced over 200 Yaba pills into his hands and then detained him on the charge that he was a drug trader.
The incident occurred days after retired army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan was shot dead at a police checkpoint on Cox’s Bazar–Teknaf Marine Drive at Shamlapur under Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on July 31.
The family of Sinha accused nine policemen, including then officer-in-charge of the Teknaf police station Pradeep Kumar Das, for the killing.
The killing sparked huge criticism leading to the arrest of Pradeep and other cops, who were later suspended from their jobs.
Sohel told New Age that the accused policemen squeezed Tk 3.5 lakh out of his family by threatening to kill him in crossfire.
He was released the following day as the family paid the amount.
‘The cops locked me up without any allegation and called my wife and sister. They demanded Tk 5 lakh for releasing me or else threatened to kill me in crossfire. They even intimated that they would bring charges of extremism against me and shoot me by labelling as a member of the banned JMB outfit,’ Sohel said.
Sohel’s wife Sabina Abedin said that she gave Tk two lakh to three of the mentioned cops on that night in the police station compound and Tk 1.5 Lakh in the morning.
SIs Pabitra and Khaled told Sabina that they were taking the money at the instruction from the OC himself, she added.
After the payment was made, police produced Sohel before the court the following day on charge of smoking inside the Mitford Hospital compound and he was granted bail and released within hours, said Sabina.
Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Sufian Mohammad Noman on Monday asked the PBI to investigate the case, reported New Age Court Correspondent.
Contacted, PBI Dhaka Metro (North) special police superintendent Mohammad Osman Gani said that they were yet to have the court order and would immediately take action after receiving the order.
The OC and other accused police officers could not be reached despite repeated phone calls and texts.
When approached, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Lalbagh division deputy commissioner Biplab Bijoy Talukder said that they were yet to be informed of the case.
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