Police yesterday filed two cases against around 200 people on charge of assaulting six law enforcers during a drive to arrest a trader at Fortune Shopping Mall in the city's Mouchak area on Saturday night.
Moinuddin Omar Faruq, sub-inspector of SWAT team of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, filed a case against 12 named and 150-200 unnamed people. Mohibulla, an SI at Ramna Police Station, filed the other case against two named and 150-200 unnamed people.
Both the cases were filed with Ramna police station.
In the case statements, the SIs said a SWAT team went to the market to arrest Majharul Islam Iran, owner of Ishwaria Sari Bitan, in connection with credit card fraud. When they arrested Majharul, the named and unknown accused armed with sticks and brick chunks attacked the team. This left five policemen injured and a microbus damaged.
They also tried to snatch Majharul from custody.
Several hundred traders, staffs and locals threw brick chunks at the men in plainclothes as Majharul shouted for help during the arrest on Saturday night.
The incident happened at a time when cases of enforced disappearances have been rattling the nation. In many cases, men in plainclothes took those people, some of whom are still missing. Besides, allegations are rife that police force businessmen to bribe them after picking up them.
Traders yesterday claimed that they had mistaken the policemen as criminals as they were in plainclothes and were not carrying any firearms.
A trader who witnessed the incident said he had seen some six to seven plainclothes men dragging a person away.
Hearing the person's scream, market staffers surrounded the men and asked for their identity, the trader added.
The men, who had no police gear, identified themselves as detectives with only one showing his ID. The agitated staffers thought the lone ID was fake, he said.
“We had asked the plainclothes men to come to our association office, talk to the leaders and clarify the charges against Majharul,” said the trader.
The traders said the crowd let the policemen take away Majharul after Officer-in-Charge Kazi Mainul Islam of Ramna Police Station assured them of the men's identity.
During a visit to the market yesterday, this correspondent found all businessmen were scared as two cases were filed. None of them wanted to talk to media.
In the case statements, police claimed that the CTTC team along with Ramna police had raided the market and had showed their ID cards.
Maruf Hossain Sarder, deputy commissioner of police (Ramna Division), said the cases were filed in connection with the assault on police and creating obstacle to police duty.
“We are investigating to identify the attackers and bring them to book,” he told The Daily Star.