Traders seek relief from 'extortion by AL leader'
Shop owners of the capital's Rajdhani Super Market and New Rajdhani Super Market yesterday sought the government's intervention to protect them from alleged extortion by a local Awami League leader and ward councillor.
At a press briefing at Dhaka Reporters' Unity, they said Mainul Haq Manju and his men had been extorting money from them every month since 2011 in the name of electricity bill, security guard bill and generator bill.
They urged the prime minister, home minister, inspector general of police and director general of the Rapid Action Battalion to free the markets, located in the city's Tikatuli, from the clutches of the extortionists.
Manju is the self-declared president of the shop owners association, said Shakhawat Hossain, a shop owner, while reading out a written statement.
His men collects electricity bill at Tk 13 per unit from 1,788 shops in the markets whereas the government rate is Tk 9 per unit.
Following threats from Manju's men, eight shop owners filed a general diary with Wari Police Station on Thursday, said another shop owner Rafiqul Islam.
The councillor of ward 39, Manju, however, refuted the claims over the phone.
He said that having been defeated in the shop owners' association election three months back, his rival groups brought the allegations against him.
Earlier on July 9, a Rab-backed mobile court raided Rajdhani Super Market and sentenced 10 people to different jail terms for extortion.
During the raid, Rab also detained Rezaul Karim Reza, acting general sectary of the Jubo League's Dhaka South unit, but released him later, according to shop owners.
Three days after the incident, he was expelled from the organisation over allegations of extortion. According to shop owners, Reza was self-declared general secretary of the shop owners' association.