POST TIME: 7 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 September, 2018 01:26:12 AM
Jatri Kalyan Samity secy gen on 1-day remand
BJKS leaders slam arrest
Staff Reporter

Jatri Kalyan Samity secy gen on 1-day remand

A Dhaka court placed Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury, secretary general of Jatri Kalyan Samity, a welfare body for public transport passengers, on one-day remand following his arrest in an extortion case yesterday.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mazaharul Haque passed the order after Bazlur Rahman, sub-inspector of Mirpur Model Police Station, produced Mozammel before the court seeking seven-day remand.

The court also rejected the petition filed by Mozammel’s lawyer Barrister Jotirmoy Barua seeking his bail.

Dadan Fakir, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mirpur Model Police Station, told The Independent that Mirpur police had arrested Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury from his home in Narayanganj around 3am early yesterday.

“A man named Dulal had filed an extortion case against recently,” he said.

On Tuesday, Md Dulal, secretary of Mirpur Road Workers’ Committee, filed the case against Mozammel with Mirpur Model Police Station alleging extortion.

Regarding the arrest, a colleague of Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury posted on his own Facebook page: "All of a sudden Mirpur police arrested him (Mozammel) and took him to the police station. No idea what is the matter happing here. I am a computer operator of his office (sic),” he said.

Talking to a news outlet, Shamsuddin Chowdhury, an executive member of Jatri Kalyan Samity who was present during the arrest, alleged that the charges brought against Mozammel were false. “He (Mozammel) is vocal against road accidents and irregularities in the transport sector. This arrest was made to silence him. Police is just making charges up,” he told reporters.

Jatri Kalyan Samity published statistics on road and transport-related accidents and other public interest issues. They regularly render data on road crash fatalities during the Eid vacations. This association describes itself as a non-profit, non-political and passenger welfare organisation.

At a briefing last Friday, the association said 259 people were killed on roads during Eid-ul-Azha holidays. It said the figure indicated a rise in the number of accidents over previous years. The body publishes road accident data after every Eid. Mozammel Hoque made 10 recommendations to reduce road accidents after enumerating seven major reasons of such crashes.

Meanwhile, leaders of Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (BJKS), a passengers' welfare platform, yesterday condemned this arrest, reports UNB.

In a statement, the leaders alleged that police arrested the secretary general of their organisation, which what they is the biggest stakeholder of the transport sector representation 16 crore passengers, in a 'false' case just ahead the passage of the draft Road Transport Bill in parliament as the government wants to 'gag' passengers' voice.