Not even a month has passed since a police officer in Pabna forcibly arranged a marriage between a rape victim and her rapist. Now another incident of police tyranny has taken place in the district.
A Pabna police Sub-Inspector (SI) named Yusuf has been accused of extortion after he forcibly locked up a shop at Aminpur village in Bera Upazila under Pabna District.
Yusuf is posted at Aminpur Police Station in Pabna. He is commonly known as Tiger Yusuf in the area and has a reputation of getting his way through tyranny on the villagers.
The victim, Rafiqul Islam Munshi, has been on the run out of fear of the SI since the incident.
After Rafiqul was contacted, he told The Business Standard, "About four months ago, Yusuf demanded Tk60,000 from me. Fortunately I was saved by the intervention of senior authorities that time. But now Yusuf has demanded Tk5 lakh from me."
Rafiqul also said that on September 2, Yusuf forcibly dragged out Rafiqul's 70-year-old father Dhani Munshi from his shop after shouting obscenities at him, and locked up the shop when Rafiqul refused to pay the SI his demanded extortion fee.
"When I asked him why he is locking-up the shop, Yusuf asked my son to bring Tk5 lakh and meet him. While leaving, he threatened to close up the shop permanently if Rafiqul fails to pay the amount," Dhani said.
Former president of the Aminpur Bazar Association, Md. Selim Mia, said, "No policeman can close down a business. If there is something illegal in the store, it is necessary to carry out an investigation in the presence of a magistrate, market committee and dignitaries in the area. And if there was such an accusation against Rafiqul, the market committee would have taken action long ago."
On the condition of anonymity, many shopkeepers said that although everyone in the area knew about Rafiqul's situation, no one wanted to talk against Yusuf for fear of being victimised.
Aminpur Police Station Officer-in-Charge Mominul Islam said, "We are working to ensure the safety of the people. If there is evidence that a policeman is harassing people, strict action will be taken against him."
There are allegations against the SI that he has been extorting money from people by threatening to torture them, locking them up in jail, and falsely charging them in cases.
However, Yusuf has denied all the allegations against him. He says that these allegations are false and baseless, and are being made to destroy his reputation.