Businessman Mehedy Sheikh has gone into hiding over concerns for his safety and a fear of abduction, after filing a complaint against a deputy commissioner (DC) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
Speaking to The Business Standard on phone, Mehedy claimed that Ramna division's DC Sajjadur Rahman sent two sub-Inspectors to pick him up from his residence in the Badda area on the night of January 22.
The businessman said that he had a money-related dispute with the Ramna DC.
"I was forced to sign two cheques amounting Tk60 lakh and Tk65 lakh respectively in the Dhanmondi police station. The DC's brother-in-law, Masud Hossain alias Shubhro was present when I signed the cheques," Mehedy said.
He told The Business Standard that his life is in risk now, and he could be abducted any time.
He continued, "While being harassed and forced to sign the cheques, I tried to protest, but they threatened me. After lodging several complaints following the incident to the inspector general of police and the DMP commissioner, now my life is at risk.
"They also made phone calls to my brother-in-law for negotiation, but that was a trap to get my whereabouts."
Meanwhile, Sajjadur Rahman has firmly denied the allegations, saying, "I did not force Mehedi to sign any chequebook, a plaintiff complained about him and I tried to resolve the matter."
What happened that day?
Narrating the incidents that took place on January 22, Mehedi claimed that two police officers of Dhanmondi and Hazaribagh police stations detained him from Badda without any arrest warrant.
"Handcuffed, I was taken to the Dhanmondi Police Station, beaten up and kept inside a locked room until the morning. The cops also told me that I have to pay Tk50 lakh that I owed to someone," he said.
Around 12pm the next day, he was asked to tell his family to bring his chequebook and trade licence at the Dhanmondi Police Station. After the documents arrived, they reportedly forced him to sign two separate cheques of Tk65 lakh and Tk60 lakh.
"Around 5pm that day, I was taken to the Ramna DC office. At his office, Sajjadur noted the date of cheque encashment and I had to sign with date on the note, while Shubhro, wrote the amount," said the businessman, adding that he was then released.
On February 12, Mehedy wrote to the inspector general of police and the DMP commissioner regarding the matter. The correspondent could not reach DMP Commissioner Shafiqul Islam on phone for comments till the filing of this report.
However, several sources have confirmed that a probe body has already been formed to investigate the allegation against the DMP DC.
Mehedy, an importer of powdered milk, borrowed Tk50 lakh from DC Sajjadur in 2018. He agreed to pay Tk2.5 lakh as interest against the borrowed amount every month.
He had given the officer a cheque of Tk50 lakh as a security deposit for the amount, and the DC's brother-in-law Shubhro was receiving the monthly interest. After Mehedy began to incur losses, he stopped paying the interest since December 2019.
Later, Shubhro filed a case against Mehedy after the Tk50 lakh cheque was dishonoured. Mehedy is presently on bail in that case.
He was allegedly picked up from home last month, and was forced to sign the two cheques. Shuvro and his relative Hadiuzzaman also sent a legal notice to Mehedy as both the cheques he signed were dishonoured too.
Mehedy said that he paid around Tk67 lakh to them, including the borrowed amount and interest.
"After paying the owed money, they forced me to sign Tk1.25 crore altogether in two cheques," he added, saying, "As I filed complaints against them, they got angry at me."
Mehedy added that so far, no one from the DMP has contacted him in connection with any investigation regarding the matter.