Drivers of goods laden trucks anxiously 'wait for their turn' near their vehicles a little away from the 'extortionist' law enforcers at Gharinda Bypass point on Dhaka-Tangail Highway on Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO: STAR
Extortion and harassment allegedly by a section of law enforcers has become a cause of concern for the drivers, especially of the goods-laden trucks, on Dhaka-Tangail highway.
The ill-practice in the name of checking documents is going on for a long time, alleged truckers.
On Tuesday, this correspondent saw a team of highway police performing duty at Gharinda Bypass near Tangail district town at around 2:30pm while a number of goods-laden trucks remained stranded at some distance.
Sensing arrival of a journalist, the law enforcers, however, left the place immediately by their vehicle.
Then the drivers and helpers of the 'stranded' trucks approached this correspondent and alleged that they had been waiting there as the highway police were realising money from the vehicles illegally in name of document checking.
Aminul Islam, driver of a Rangpur bound iron rod-laden truck from Chittagong, said he was standing with his truck there to avoid the team of highway policemen.
“During my journey from Chittagong to Gazipur, I had to pay a total of Tk 3200 to the law enforcers at different points on the highways. Now I would have to pay at least Tk 1000 here and some amount at another spot ahead on Dhaka-Tangail highway. Such illegal toll collection by the law enforcers is a regular matter,” he said.
“The law enforcers even beat up truckers for refusal to meet their illegal demand. Earlier, the toll collection by the law enforcers occurred only at night but recently it goes on also in broad daylight,” said Khalilur Rahman, driver of a Kustia-bound soybean oil laden truck from Dhaka.
Several other truck drivers including Amirul Islam, Shahidul Islam, Shahinur Miah and Mohammad Ali made semilar allegations against the cops.
Mohammad Jobaidul Alam, officer in charge of Gorail Highway Police Station (proposed) however, said, "Highway police, traffic police as well as law enforcers from the nearby police stations conduct checking to verify validity of documents of vehicles on the highway."
Besides, some truck owners make unauthorised changes in the vehicles to accommodate goods having more than the approved weight and on duty police impose fines as per rule if such cases are detected, he added.
About Tuesday's incident, he claimed that highway police were checking documents of vehicles on the spot and the truck drivers remained standing a bit away to avoid the checking as they did not have necessary documents.
"The truck drivers lied to the newsmen to cover up their faults," he said.