National, Front Page

Despite zero tolerance policy

Some police still harass innocents

Published : 27 Jul 2021 09:39 PM | Updated : 30 Jul 2021 07:27 PM

Despite police high up’s zero tolerance against any unlawful activities of police, some police personnel of Rangamati district police were still allegedly involved in various crimes including illegal drug trading and bribery.

According to Abdur Rahman, a small sanitary trader in Rajbari area under Kotowali Police Station of Rangamati, and a businessman Farid Hossain, were the latest victim of police harassment.

Talking to the Bangladesh Post on July 25, victim Abdur Rahaman said, “I was sitting at my sanitary shop on July 19, when I received several calls from an unknown caller, who identified himself as a customer. The phone caller told me that he wanted to buy some sanitary items from me. They later came to my shop but left without buying a single product.   

“Suddenly a police team arrived at my shop. Within a few seconds, police personnel claimed that they seized huge Yaba pills from my shop”, he added.

“Terming me a Yaba dealer, the police team brought me to the local police station. As I repeatedly claimed that I was innocent, senior police officers arrived and interrogated me. I was released at around 11pm on July 20 at the intervention of senior police officers and some local journalists”, he further said.

Inspector Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rangamati Kotwali police, admitted that Sub- Inspector Ziaul Haque led the drive. Assistant Sub Inspector Noor Mohammad was also present during the drive.

On the July 25, OC Kabir told the Bangladesh Post that no case was filed against Abdur Rahman as they primarily did not find his involvement in the drug trade.

According to victim Abdur Rahman, he had a land dispute with Jahir, who also runs a shop at the same place.

This correspondent also talked to Jahir. He admitted that he never believes that Abdur Rahman is a drug trader.

He said, I saw the police team raiding Rahman’s shop and he was being picked up.”

Jamil Hossain, another trader, who communicated with local police to save Abdur Rahman from harassment said, “I myself called at the phone number of his mysterious customer. He admitted that one of his accomplices mistakenly left the Yaba pills at Abdur Rahman’s sanitary shop.”

“Kotowali OC also talked at the phone number keeping the loudspeaker on. In response, the phone caller also informed that they left the drug at Abdur Rahman’s shop. I heard the conversation,” Jamil added. 

Another eyewitness on condition of annonimity said, at the request of Abdur Rahman, he went to the spot. He had also told SI Ziaul that Abdur Rahman is a very ordinary person and it is incredible that he was involved in drug trading.

But in response, SI Zia misbehaved with him and said that he was also involved in drug trading, he alleged.

 He said that Later he informed the senior police officer of the incident to fairly investigate the matter so that no innocent is harassed.

Another victim  Farid Hossain, on July 19  went to Hotel Faruque located at Reserve Bazar area with a lady, whom he identified as Ria.

Suddenly some people along with a police officer knocked at the room where he was staying. Among others, one Nabi Hossain, another one is known as Mechanic, were accompanying a police officer in plain clothes.

Some of them introduced themselves as journalists and another one introduced him as a police officer. They demanded Tk 2 lakh from him, unless threatened to arrest and circulate the news for destroying his image, the victim alleged. At one stage, the police officer himself took Tk 7,7000 which was with him. He also brought another Tk 10,000 through his employee Imran Hossain. Nabi and mechanic took the money. Then he was released, the victim further alleged.

Responding to a question, trader Farid said, “Nabi forcibly took Riya at the bathroom of the hotel and forced her to issue false statement against me, claiming that I brought her at the hotel on the day. But Riya was actually staying there for the last seven days.”

This correspondent talked to SI Ziaul about his alleged  involvement in the bribery through blackmailing with businessman Farid.

He first directly denied that he did not even went to the Hotel Faruque and cut off phone line saying that he was busy.  

Bangladesh Post again called him and informed that in the CCTV footages, he was captured in the Faruq Hotel while distributing bribes.

At that time, he admitted that he went to the Hotel saying that a local journalist was with him and requested to talk to him for further information.

When he was asked to give the local journalist’s phone number, he again disconnected phone call saying that he was very busy.

Earlier on November 19 last year, a team of Directorate  of Narcotics Control’s Rangamati district arrested constable Arman with 150 pieces of Yaba pills from College gate Bazar under Rangamati Municipality.

The arrested was working with Rangamati district Detective Branch (DB).

Sub- Inspector Md Jashim Uddin of DNC, who filed a case under the narcotic control act said  that during the anti-drug operation, Rangamati DB’s then Inspector Humayun Kabir, SI Jhanagir Alam and SI Golam Mohiuddin also accompanied the DNC team.

Inspector Sibnath Kumar Shaha of DNC’s Rangamati district office, had investigated the case.

He said,  “I have submitted charge sheet against lone accused Arman.

Bangladesh Post obtained a phone conversation between police constable Arman and Yaba trader Shokkur. However, this correspondent could not independently verify the the call record.

About alleged drug trader Shokkur, DNC Inspector Sibnath said, he himself arrested Shokkur with Yaba pills after Arman’s arrest.

Despite being charge sheeted accused, constable Arman denied all allegations against him and claimed that he was victim of conspiracy.

Inspector Emdadul Haque Sheikh , who is the current OC of Rangamati DB said Arman is now facing both criminal case and departmental case.

Responding to a question whether constable Arman was suspended after being arrested with Yaba, Inspector Emadul said, Arman was closed from DB. But he was not suspended.