A victim claimed the accused policemen staged a drama to falsely implicate him in a drug trade
A day after Eid-ul-Adha, businessman Sohel Mir was going to Bashundhara Residential Area in Dhaka from Keraniganj to meet his daughter.
When he was crossing Waizghat, a team from the Kotwali Police Station in the capital, stopped him for a search. At one point of searching, Sub-Inspector Khaled Sheikh took away around Tk2,900 from his pocket.
As he protested it, some locals started gathering there. Then police put over 200 pieces of yaba in his hands and detained him on a false charge of drug trading.
A team of police trapped Sohel Mir in this way, according to the victim and his case statement.
The businessman on Monday filed the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court against five policemen, including the officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotwali Police Station on a charge of extorting money from his family by "threatening to put him on crossfire".
The court directed the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate the case.
The accused are OC Mizanur Rahman, sub-inspectors Pabitra Sarkar and Khaled Sheikh, assistant sub-inspector Shahinur, constable Mizan and police source Motaleb.
Victim Sohel Mir, who has a clothing business in Keraniganj, told The Business Standard that a team of police stopped him to search his body on August 2 in Waizghat area and snatched away around Tk2,900 from his pocket.
"When I wanted to get my money back from them, they staged a drama to implicate me in yaba trade," he added.
Sohel said that the accused policemen extorted Tk3.5 lakh from his family by "threatening to kill him in crossfire". He was released a day after the family had paid the amount.
"The policemen detained me without any allegation and then called my wife and sister. They demanded Tk5 lakh to release me. They had threatened to kill me in a crossfire if I failed to pay the money. Even they threatened to implicate me in extremism charges and shoot me by identifying me as a member of banned Islamist outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen," Sohel added.
Sohel's wife, Sabina Abedin, said she gave Tk2 lakh to three of the aforementioned sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspector on that night at the police station compound and Tk1.5 lakh in the next morning.
The two sub-inspectors, Pabitra and Khaled, told Sabina they were taking the money on an instruction from the OC himself, she added.
After the payment, police produced Sohel before a court on the following day, showing him an accused of smoking inside the Mitford Hospital compound, and then he received bail and was released within hours, said Sabina.
Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Sufian Mohammad Noman on Monday asked the PBI to investigate the case.
PBI's Special Police Superintendent Mohammad Osman Gani told reporters they will now take immediate actions.
Despite repeated attempts, the accused OC and other police officers could not be reached on their phones for comments.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Lalbagh Division Deputy Commissioner Biplab Bijoy Talukder said they were yet to be informed about the case.
According to the case statement, the accused police officers had trapped Sohel by providing false information. The victim claimed if the investigation officer verifies the call lists of their mobile phones and analyse the CCTV footage, it will be clear what had happened on that day.
Meanwhile, the victim has submitted an application to the home ministry narrating the incident.
Besides, he filed the complaint to the police and the DMP headquarters, seeking a proper investigation into the incident.
The case came just days after retired army major Sinha Rashed Khan was shot dead by police on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive in Cox's Bazar on July 31.
The family of Sinha accused nine policemen, including the suspended officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das for the killing.
The killing sparked a massive criticism leading to the arrest of Pradeep and other policemen, who were later suspended.