Armed extortionists must be eliminated

Published : 18 Feb 2024 09:47 PM

We express our deep concern that the armed extortionists continue to issue death threats to businessmen and traders in the city. Businessmen, traders and even hawkers are frightened by the daring activities of armed extortionists.

Despite the government’s resolve to put an end to rampant extortion there seems to be no respite in armed extortion and the traders constantly live under the threat of extortionists. The recent incidents of hooliganism for extortion particularly on February 1, have virtually crippled trade and commerce in the city’s Badda area with most of the traders fearing to be slapped with extortion notices from various hardened criminals every moment. 

A gang of terrorists stormed into a fast food shop named ‘food court’ at Merul Badda asking the shop owner to pay them taka 10 lakh as toll or get shot. It proves that the menace of rampant extortion, by armed goons, has not yet been fully curbed despite best efforts by the police and other security forces. 

It has created a sense of fear among businesses and entrepreneurs which severely undermines the economy. Besides, street mugging is continuing unchecked in the capital and elsewhere in the country despite an ongoing police crackdown against the crime. 

Mugging and extortion are still going on at many intersections, thoroughfares and lanes though police have taken tight security measures, according to media reports.

Armed extortionists have become active again in committing mugging in the capital in recent times.  Even the pavement vendors are forced to pay toll.

Each hawker has to pay between Tk 500 and Tk 1000 to the organised extortionists, depending on the size of their makeshift shops. Different groups carry out extortion from footpath vendors through some designated persons who are known as “linemen”.

Menace of rampant extortion 

by armed goons has not yet been 

fully curbed despite 

best efforts by the police

Centring the distribution of the collected money serious clashes occur sometimes among, hoodlums and vendors.  

Especially when any occasion like religious and other festival draws near, the organised gang of extortionists become desperate and gear up extortion. All know this is a decades-long practice and several attempts were taken to free the footpaths but the process is halted due to the influence of some “influential quarters”. 

The top officials of law enforcement agencies must keep an eye on the law-and-order and eliminate the extortionists. Law enforcers will have to increase their presence at strategic points to arrest muggers, extortionists and dope gangsters.

Moreover, there are allegations that extortionists have been threatening people with severe consequences if they are not paid tolls as per their demand. The criminals in the city are regularly extorting money from shop owners, traders, hawkers and trucks carrying essential items.

The government must stop this extortion soon as extortionists attack traders if they are not paid the money.

We think no criminal whoever he or she may be should spared. It is important to eliminate crimes and illegal arms use in the metropolitan city.

The metropolitan police ensures security to the capital’s 2.24 crore people round the clock. Therefore, it is important to control crimes in the city. We believe now police are capable enough of curbing any crime and make this city safer and better for dwellers.