We are alarmed by the report of a businessman being picked up from his home in Dhaka allegedly by two police officers in the middle of the night and forced to sign cheques of Tk 1.25 crore. Reportedly, the man was taken to a police station where he was beaten up and locked inside a room until morning before being forced to sign the cheques. The incident came to light when the victim submitted written complaints to the inspector general of police and the DMP commissioner.
Apparently, all this happened because the victim had a money-related dispute with the Deputy Commissioner of Ramna division, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). When The Daily Star contacted the two police officers, who reportedly picked him up, and the DC of Ramna, who lent him money to run a business, and asked them about the alleged harassment, all three of them denied the allegations.
From what have been reported in the newspapers, we understand that the DC, Ramna, himself was involved in an unlawful business and has abused his power for personal benefits. Whatever might have happened between the businessman and the said DC, they should have dealt with it differently, because such money-related disputes fall under civil offence and police have nothing to do with these incidents. Moreover, picking someone up without an arrest warrant, beating him up and forcing him to sign cheques are also illegal.
Since the DMP has been investigating the case, we hope that they would be able to do it without any influence from any quarters. Also, reportedly, such abuse of power by the police is on the rise across the country. Thus, there needs to be a mechanism through which citizens can file complaints about this kind of harassment. Such incidents, if left unchecked, will only deepen the mistrust between the police and the public.