Dhaka District police suspended seven members of its Detective Branch (DB) for their alleged involvement in extorting Tk 4.5 lakh from a trader after ‘threatening to kill him in crossfire’.
“We suspended them yesterday [Thursday] upon receiving complaint of harassing a man. We are investigating the allegation,” Maruf Hossain Sorder, superintendent of Dhaka District Police, told The Daily Star.
The suspended DB members are Sub-Inspector Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Assistant Sub-Inspector Forhad Ali and constables Mozammel Haque, Abdul Jabbar, Suman, Razib Chandra and Rasel.
The suspension came after a cloth trader Sohel from South Keraniganj complained that some people, identifying themselves as detectives, picked him up near Lalkuthi’s kheya ghat in the capital’s Sutrapur on Wednesday and demanded Tk 4.5 lakh from his family for his release that night.
Nazrul Islam, office-in-charge of DB-South of the district police said that after a primary investigation, they found part of the allegation to be true and submitted a report to SP office in this regard.
Sohel’s family said fear had gripped them as they received threats soon after filing the complaint with the police and district administration.
“My son is receiving death threats from unknown numbers… we are in fear. We filed the complaint as we want justice and the money to be returned. But now we are in a state of uncertainty,” Sohel’s wife, Sabrina Abedin, told The Daily Star yesterday.
According to the complaint lodged by Sohel, a group of five to six people, identifying themselves as detectives, picked up Sohel on Wednesday. They took him to Keraniganj crossing on the Buriganga river inside a microbus with no registration plate.
“They blindfolded me, took me to an unidentified place and injured my fingers with pliers. They beat me up with sticks, pointed a gun at me and threatened to implicate me in a false case or kill me in a crossfire,” Sohel said, adding they demanded Tk 5 lakh from his family for his release.
The DB men used Sohel’s mobile phone to call his family members to demand the ransom, the family said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Sabrina said that they then managed Tk 4.5 lakh from her relatives and paid the ransom to the abductors near Bosila Bridge around 11:30pm that night.
“They released my husband after getting the money but threatened to kill and disappear the body if we disclosed the incident to anyone,” she alleged. Contacted for comment on the allegations, SI Mahmudul said he was unaware of the incident. Asked about his suspension, he said the news was incorrect and hung up.