Thursday, September 21, 2017

Police suspend 11 detectives, investigating Kafrul club incident

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-04-20 22:38:33 BdST

bdnews24

Police have suspended 11 members of the Detective Branch, including an assistant commissioner, for allegedly snatching money and mobile phones while posing as RAB officials at a club in Dhaka's Kafrul.

It is not clear from the police statement what exactly happened in the New Wave Club at Ibrahimpur on Tuesday night.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police have formed a three-member committee to investigate the incident.

Committee member DMP Deputy Commissioner (Mirpur Zone) Masud Ahmed said on Thursday they were given three days to submit a report.

The two other members of the committee are DB Additional Commissioner Jamil Ahmed and Police Headquarters Joint Commissioner Krishnapada Roy.

According to media reports, a DB team of 11, led by Assistant Commissioner Ruhul Amin, went to the club on that night.

The reports said the DB officials, identifying themselves as RAB and army officials, took away money and mobile phones from those in the club on allegation of gambling.

The detectives detained four, including the husband of an army major. When the Military Police stopped the DB vehicle at a check post, the detainees alleged they were beaten up and their money and mobile phones were taken away.

Police came later and took the 11 DB officials to Kafrul Police Station.

DMP DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten told bdnews24.com that the DB team detained the four after finding yaba pills in the club.

Quoting the detained people, he said they were detained 'forcefully though they were not involved in any crime'.

"Confusion was created there. The commissioner was informed immediately and he formed the investigation committee. The detainees have been released," he said.

He also said the DB officials faced punitive action because they had no jurisdiction to conduct a drugs bust. The team was tasked with recovering illegal arms, he said.

Asked what happened that night, suspended DB AC Ruhul Amin said he would not comment on the matter under investigation.

bdnews24.com contacted the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) to know about the husband of the army major. The ISPR declined comment, saying the incident occurred in an area under Kafrul Police Station.

No case was initiated over the incident until Thursday afternoon, Kafrul police OC Shikder Mohammad Shameem said.

DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, referring to the statements of both sides - the DB officials and the detainees - said he did not know who was right.

"We received complaint that they (DB) wrongly detained innocent people, while the DB said they did not do any wrong. They said they conducted a raid following a tip-off that there were drugs and illegal arms in the club," he said.

"But the army stopped them because there was the husband of one Major Tania among the detainees. That's why they complicated the situation by stopping the DB team and handing them over to police," he added.

Quoting the DB team, he said yaba pills were recovered from the club. "They said gunrunning, yaba peddling take place there and different types of controversial people commit crimes there," he said.

The DMP chief added the investigation committee would check why the detectives had gone to the club and if they had broken any law.

"No one will be spared if found guilty in the investigation," Mia asserted.

He also said the suspension of the DB officials was not any punitive measure. They were suspended so that they could not influence the investigation.

Besides DB AC Ruhul Amin, the suspended DB personnel include Inspector Gias Uddin, Sub-Inspector Jahidul Islam, and Assistant Sub-Inspector Lutfur Rahman, Mahbubur Rahman and Tofazzal Hossain.

'Not the first time'

The New Wave Club was opened on the third floor of a five-storey building at Ibrahimpur Road in 2005. The building also houses a Chinese restaurant and a dance training centre.

Club President Shafiul Azam told bdnews24.com that some people of the neighbourhood come to the club to play billiard or use its gymnasium. 'Nothing illegal' happens there, he said.

He said he was not in the club on that night, but heard about the incident from its members later.

Quoting the members, he said 10 to 12 people identifying themselves as RAB and army personnel came and threatened to open fire if someone opened mouth.

"They took 20 to 25 people, who were playing billiard or doing exercise, to a room and asked them to put their mobile phones and moneybags on the table. I've heard that they later took away the money and the mobile phones," Azam said.

He said the people posing as security personnel handcuffed and took away the people who wanted to know their identity.

He said the club then contacted RAB, but the force said they did not conduct any raid on it.

The club president said a similar incident occurred in the club on Mar 16. People posing as law enforcers took away money from 20 to 25 people on that day, he said.

Referring to CCTV camera footage, he said some of the 'law enforcers, who came to the club on Tuesday night, were also among those who came on Mar 16.

Kafrul Police Station OC Shameem said the club did not file any complaint or inform the police about the Mar 16 incident.