Picked up, forced to sign cheques of Tk 1.25 crore | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:25 AM, February 18, 2020

Picked up, forced to sign cheques of Tk 1.25 crore

Police official faces probe over businessman’s complaint

Around midnight on January 22, the doorbell rang at Mehedy Sheikh's flat at the capital's Kalachandpur in Gulshan.

Opening the door, the businessman saw two police officers waiting for him. They told him to go with them to Dhanmondi Police Station to pay Tk 50 lakh he owed to someone.

When Mehedy asked whether there was a warrant for him, the officers handcuffed him and forced him into a police vehicle.

He was then taken to Dhanmondi Police Station where he was beaten up and locked inside a room until the morning, Mehedy told The Daily Star.

Around 12:00pm the next day, he was asked to tell his family members to bring his cheque book and trade licence to the police station.

After his family members brought the book and the licence, Mehedy was forced to sign a cheque of Tk 65 lakh and another of Tk 60 lakh.

Around 5:00pm, Mehedy was taken to the office of Deputy Commissioner Sajjadur Rahman of Ramna division, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). Mehedy said he had a money-related dispute with the Ramna DC.

At his office, Sajjadur wrote on his diary the date when the cheques would be encashed. Mehedy was asked to put his signature along with date below. Sajjadur's brother-in-law Masud Hossain alias Shubhro wrote the amount of money.

Bangla daily Prothom Alo published a report on the incident on Sunday.

Yesterday, The Daily Star talked to the victim.

On February 12, Mehedy wrote to the inspector general of police and the DMP commissioner regarding the matter.

DMP Commissioner Shafiqul Islam yesterday told The Daily Star that his department had enquired about the allegations.

"The allegations don't seem to be true. But we will investigate further," he added.

Mehedy is an importer of different products. He lent Tk 50 lakh from DC Sajjadur in 2018. He was supposed to give Tk 2.5 lakh, the profit from his Tk 50-lakh investment, to the officer every month.

Mehedy gave the officer a cheque of Tk 50 lakh and the officer's brother-in-law Shubhro received the profit from him every month.

After Mehedy started incurring losses, he stopped giving the money.

When the cheque of Tk 50 lakh was submitted to the bank, it was dishonoured. The DC's brother-in-law Shubhro then filed a case against Mehedy, who is on bail in the case.

Then last month, he was picked up from home and forced to sign the two cheques. When those two cheques were dishonoured, a legal notice was sent to Mehedy by Shubhro and his relative Hadiuzzaman.

TWO OFFICERS WHO PICKED HIM UP

Mehedy was picked up by Raju Ahmed, assistant sub-inspector of Hazaribagh Police Station and Zillur Rahman, sub-inspector of Dhanmondi Police Station.

Raju had worked with the Ramna DC previously when his was posted in Satkhira and Narayanganj.

Refuting the allegations, ASI Raju told The Daily Star that he was not involved and he didn't go to Mehedy's flat on January 22.

Asked whether he was at Dhanmondi Police Station that night, he said, "I cannot remember."

Most of Mehedy's allegations are false, he claimed.

Contacted, SI Zillur said he fell sick yesterday and was in no position to talk. He told Prothom Alo that he and Raju were together that night.

Zillur said they went to Mehedy's flat after a general diary was lodged by Hadiuzzaman, a relative of the Ramna DC.

He added that they went there to settle the dispute and his higher authorities were aware of it.

Zillur did not say an officer from Hazaribagh Police Station accompanied him.

SOURCE OF THE MONEY?

Mehedy said Sajjadur gave him Tk 50 lakh. "I took money from the DC to invest in my business. I gave him part of the profit."

DC Sajjadur didn't answer his phone despite repeated attempts yesterday.

He was quoted by Prothom Alo as saying that he did not give the money and that it was his brother-in-law who did.

"When a man does not get his money back, he comes to us. My brother-in-law also came," Sajjadur told Prothom Alo.

The DC added that nothing illegal had been done.

"Besides, if you look at the complainant's record, you will know how bad a person he is."

The DC said that Mehedy was taken to his office. But he was not forced to do anything.

Asked about the allegations of harassment and forcing someone in custody to write a cheque, he said, "These allegations are false… I assisted in the settlement of the issue."

Mehedy said he would go to court for justice.

He added that he had given a total of TK 67 lakh in profit shares.

"They are using the Tk 50 lakh cheque to harass me. Now they forcibly took two cheques from me," he claimed.

DC Sajjadur Rahman told Prothom Alo, "He did not pay dividends on the money, nor did he return the original money."

Mehedy said he used to import different products via Five One BD, which is owned by the DC.

"I suffered a huge loss by importing powdered milk… all my capital was gone… They know the whole thing. But I am being harassed."

Experts said it was not legal to pick someone up from home and force them to sign cheques.

Talking to this newspaper, Eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik said that it was a civil offense not to return the money. Failing to pay the money is a breach of conduct that should be resolved in a civil court.

"Police have nothing to do with the incident. People go to police in such cases," he said.

Such cases have been increasing in the last 5-7 years. That's why police are abusing their powers, he added.

"What the police officer did in this particular incident, was not right at all. First of all, he has his own involvement and then he has abused his power." 

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