Once a driver by profession, Aminul Islam Hannan of the capital's Dakshinkhan area, who was recently arrested on charge of shooting a man dead in broad daylight, made a fortune in the last one decade through widespread extortion, said locals.
Hannan, also known as Japani Hannan, through his criminal gang spread terror at Ainusbagh of Dakshinkhan, but no one dared to challenge him, as he used to identify himself as a ruling party leader, they added.
They said he used to take photographs with leaders of the ruling party or influential persons and display those in banners and posters at the gate of his house and on the walls.
His posters are still hanging at Ainusbagh that show him as the joint general secretary of Bangabandhu Sainik League. Some influential AL leader also visited his Ainusbagh residence, said locals.
They alleged that law enforcers were always reluctant to take any action against Hannan, despite some locals lodging general diaries with police against him.
Any resident of Ainusbagh constructing a building or shop and selling or purchasing flats had to give him extortion money, otherwise they had to face dire consequences, they said.
Hannan also collected Tk 2,500 per month as toll from around 500 battery-run auto-rickshaws that ply from Ashkona Hajj camp to Ainusbagh, they alleged. He also controlled household garbage collection in the locality, which involves a huge amount of money.
Hannan used to threaten residents with his firearms frequently and even shot at people, said Tofazzal Hossain, former chairman of Dakshinkhan union and currently the Liberation War affairs secretary of Dhaka city (north) Awami League.
Tofazzal, however, claimed that Hannan never held any party position.
Contacted, lawmaker Shirin Ahmed, acting president of Bangabandhu Sainik League, said Hannan is not involved with the organisation.
On March 24, Hannan shot dead trader Abdur Rashid over extortion at Ainsubagh, police said.
Following this, police arrested Hannan and seven of his family members and associates. Hannan is now being interrogated by police in remand. Police also seized a licensed and another illegal firearm from him.
Hannan was placed on a two-day remand for the second time on Tuesday, after completion of a four-day remand, said Azizul Haque, inspector (investigation) of Dakshinkhan Police Station. He is also the case's investigation officer.
Mozammel Patwari, a neighbour of Hannan, alleged that Hannan had cut off utility connection of one of his buildings, as he refused to pay Hannan Tk 2 lakh as extortion in June last year.
He also alleged that Hannan forcibly erected a wall, blocking entry to his home, and grabbed some of his land. As he protested, Hannan beat him in public.
He then filed a case with a Dhaka court over the incident.
Mozammel also alleged that over the last 10 months he went to Dakshinkhan Police Station at least 10 times, but police told him to settle the issue with Hannan.
Asked why police did not take any action against Hannan despite locals' complaints against him, Shikder Mohammad Shamim, officer-in-charge of Dakshinkhan Police Station, claimed that no one ever lodged any complaint against Hannan.
However, documents, which this newspaper obtained, suggest Mozammel lodged a GD against Hannan. Contacted on Monday, Mozammel said he finally got his land back.
Another resident, Mokbul, said Hannan had demanded Tk 5 lakh from him, as he started constructing a building in Ainusbagh.
Locals also alleged that Hannan had forcibly renamed Ainusbagh "Chandnagar", as he hailed from Chandpur.
They said around 20 years back, Hannan went to Japan. After his return, he purchased some land in the area at a low price. After Awami League came to power, he started making his fortune through illegal activities, they alleged.
Now, he owns at least five buildings in the area, said his neighbour Mozammel.
Contacted, Md Shahidullah, deputy commissioner of Uttara Division Police, said they were not aware of all the complaints against Hannan. "Now that they have come to light, we will look into the complaints."