Three persons including a police constable were arrested after they were beaten by locals for allegedly extorting money from businessmen at a bazar in Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram on Tuesday night.
The arrestees are Md Sohel Rana (28), a constable of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP), and Md Imran (27) and Md Monaf (25).
Meanwhile, CMP officials told this newspaper that Rana has a history of drug abuse and departmental action is underway against him over the issue.
Police and local sources at Sitakunda said the incident took place in Boro Kumira Bazar area around 8pm.
The constable along with his two aides came to the market in civil dress and introduced himself as a sub-inspector of Sitakunda Police Station. Rana started charging traders, asking why the shops were open amid the countrywide shutdown, said witnesses. They said Rana also had an empty gun holster on his waist during the time.
Store owners then got out of the shops and fled fearing further harassment, and at one point, Rana started taking money from the stores' cash boxes. Witnessing this, others started to gather and eventually beat them up.
Sheikh Firoj Hossain Molla, officer-in-charge of Sitakunda Police Station, said, "Seeing the incident, local businessmen caught the three and informed the union parishad member and law enforcers. Police arrested them on the spot. We also informed the matter to our higher authorities." A case was filed in this connection.
Contacted, Amir Zafar, deputy commissioner of CMP, said, "Sohel Rana is a drug addict and has been absent from the police lines for last four months."
"Departmental action against him was underway, and after this incident, he has been suspended," Zafar said.