Pakistan high commission staff held, freed later | The Daily Star

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12:00 AM, February 02, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:06 AM, February 02, 2016

Pakistan high commission staff held, freed later

High commission accuses police of harassment

Police yesterday held a staff member of Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka for “suspicious movement” and later freed him.

Maruf Hossain Sarder, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the staff member was carrying 3,500 Indian rupees, and police were interrogating him to know if he was carrying the currency legally.

He was taken to Gulshan Police Station. And after his identity was confirmed, he was handed over to the second secretary of the high commission, the DMP official said.

Meanwhile, the high commission has alleged that a team of the Detective Branch of police threatened to kill one of its employees if he failed to provide them with a huge amount of money.

In a press release yesterday, it said, “Mr. Abrar Ahmed Khan has been working as the Assistant Private Secretary in the Press Section at the Pakistan High Commission, Dhaka since July 2011. This [Monday] morning, around 11:00am, four to five plainclothesmen forcefully picked him up from near his residence, close to Agora in Gulshan-2. Four of these men were wearing jackets marked “DB”. Abrar was on foot at that time. These men picked up Abrar and bundled him in a silver coloured van. The security men then forcefully entered his apartment building and took his motorbike with them.

"Abrar was released this [Monday] evening at 6pm. On his return, he informed the High Commission that he was handcuffed and blindfolded and kept in a moving van for more than four hours before being brought to the Gulshan police station. The DB men constantly asked him to pay Taka 5 crore or else they would implicate him for possession of Indian fake currency. He was also threatened that he would be killed in 'crossfire' and 'dumped' in the river.

"When contacted, the Gulshan police station informed the High Commission that Abrar was being brought to the police station and as if, on cue, the media had already arrived there.

"The Pakistan High Commission strongly condemns this incident and rejects the false and fabricated charges levelled against its official. Unfortunately, the High Commission sees a disturbing pattern of harassment of its officers and officials, followed by a mud-slinging campaign and media trial."

About the threat to frame the Pakistani for possessing fake Indian currencies if he did not pay Tk five crore and get him killed in "crossfire", Maruf said the allegations were false and totally baseless.

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