Residents of Geneva Camp allege police harassment | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:31 AM, October 17, 2019

Residents of Geneva Camp allege police harassment

Cops say they’re only arresting people with specific charges

Residents of Mohammadpur Geneva Camp and Mirpur Camp yesterday held token hunger strike, demanding a stop to police harassment over the recent clash between them and law enforcers.

At the daylong hunger strike, many complained that police are not allowing them to open shops in Mohammadpur.

They said police often conduct raids in the camp -- causing panic -- because of which many residents are afraid to stay there.

On October 5, Geneva Camp residents blocked nearby Ghaznabi Road, protesting frequent load shedding.

Some outsiders took the opportunity -- vandalising shops and houses in the camp and police vehicles as well as looting valuables, they claimed.

They demanded arrest of the culprits who were involved with vandalism and requested police not to harass general camp residents.

Selim Yousuf, president of Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee (SPGRC) of Mirpur-10, said residents of Geneva Camp held the programme in Mirpur as they did not dare to protest in Mohammadpur area.

“We participated with them as we too want this harassment to stop,” he said.

Over 50 people, including 15 policemen, were injured as Geneva Camp residents and law enforcers clashed in Mohammadpur during the October 5 demonstration.

Police filed a case against 51 named and many unnamed with the Mohammadpur Police Station after the incident.

Officer-in-Charge of Mohammadpur Police station GG Biswas, however, said they are not harassing anyone uninvolved and are not forcefully shutting down shops.

He said they are arresting people with specific charges.

Anisur Rahman, deputy commissioner (Tejgaon division) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, earlier said the camp residents did not pay electricity bills worth Tk 33 crore to Dhaka Power Distribution Company.

The camp residents had been experiencing frequent load shedding for 20 days.

They said different international agencies used to provide funds to Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief for paying the electricity bills. 

Local ward councilor Habibur Rahman Mizan, who is now in jail, earlier said those organisations stopped providing funds after the camp residents were given national identity cards.

On November 20 last year, the ministry wrote to the Power Development Board, saying the funds were not coming anymore.

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