With the Eid-ul-Fitr festival getting nearer, ‘extortion’ by a section of policemen continues unabated in different areas of the capital.
Many city dwellers alleged that a section of policemen working under different police stations in the capital are engaged in the malpractice in the name of searching illegal materials including arms, drug and other contraband items in CNG-run auto-rickshaws, micro-bus, other public vehicles and even motorbikes.On the other hand, the police sergeants in the name of checking licences, registration and fitness certificates are also taking bribe from drivers of many motor vehicles.
The lawmen start the so-called search of the CNG-run auto-rickshaws, motorbikes and even slow-moving rickshaws from every early morning that continues till midnight.
Amanullah, an owner of a roadside restaurant in Golapbagh Biswa road said, drivers and passengers of auto-rickshaws, taxi-cab and micro-bus are their main target.
In most cases, as part of their tricks, policemen on various pleas stop vehicles especially taxi-cabs, CNG auto-rickshaws and rickshaws, search their passengers, and sometimes pick them up.
The commuters are afraid of the policemen more than the criminals or muggers. Young men and women are also the worst sufferers of the misdeed.
Young people, who fall victim to the misdeeds usually are afraid of boarding any rickshaw or CNG-run auto rickshaws at night as the policemen stop most of the vehicles and charge bribe from the passengers threatening them to send them in custody.They even take many people in their police van as they fail to fulfill their demands and later release them after taking bribe through negotiation with their relatives.
They also seize their valuables and later set those free in exchange of money, it is also alleged.
Monir Hossain, a battery-run auto-rickshaw driver in Mughda area in Shabujbagh police station alleged that a team of police stopped him near Mughda medical college hospital at around 9 pm on Wednesday.
They threatened him to take his unlicenced rickshaw to police station and took Tk 200, he alleged.
Dishonest sub-inspectors and their constables have long been carrying out the misdeeds in different areas including Sayedabad, Gabtali, Maniknagar, Golapbagh Bishwa Road, Kazla, Shanirakhra, Rayerbagh, Mirpur, Motihjeel causing panic among the commuters.
The bribe trade by the law enforcers from the commuters is a regular phenomenon, Bashir Hossain, another roadside shop owner in Maniknagor biswa road area alleged.
In some cases, with a view to diverting public attention, the unscrupulous policemen take some suspects to an unknown destination and released them after taking brief, Bashir added.
A section of unscrupulous police sergeants working on different city-streets has reportedly become more desperate for illegal money and now scare the drivers of different small-vehicles including motorbikes and CNG-run auto-rickshaws in the capital and its outskirts.
Many motor bikers and CNG drivers alleged that it seems that their vehicles are their main target and they lie in wait for them at different strategic points in the capital.
They remain busy for illegal money rather than removing the traffic congestion, they alleged. Not only that, such dishonest police sergeants are also responsible for traffic congestion as they reportedly realize illegal money from many drivers stopping their transport including passenger bus, good-carrying trucks and pickup van and microbus on different busy roads for hours, many bus and truck drivers alleged.
If the drivers of these vehicles fail to meet their demand, they file cases charging fines against their vehicles and even call wrecker, Akbar Hossain, a CNG driver of Maniknagar alleged.
Such dishonest police sergeants are also responsible for creating traffic congestion on Sayedabad-Jatrabari and Sayedabad-Badda road as they realise toll, stopping running buses and trucks on the busy roads.
Officer-in-charge of Enam Ahmed of Mughda police station told this correspondent he was not aware of the misdeeds of the policemen.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said policemen involved in such crime would not be tolerated.
He also sought support of the media to identify the unscrupulous police officers.
Stern measures would be taken against those policemen if found in guilty, he warned.