50 lakh taka as extortion realizes from selfie transport monthly

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Mafizul Islam Bondon

The Gabtoli bus terminal in the capital has been accused of extorting half a crore taka every month from selfie transport alone against an identified influential group and extortionist clique. Selfie is a popular mode of transport for travelers traveling from Gabtali in the capital via Paturia-Daulatdia ferry terminal to greater Faridpur, Rajbari, Kushtia in South Bengal. Taking advantage of this huge opportunity, multiple identified influential quarters are engaged in innumerable extortions every day. Owners, drivers and workers of selfie transport victims of extortion at the ports have become helpless and restless.

The owner of a bus of Selfie Paribahan, who did not want to be named, said, “I have to pay Tk 950 per day at Gabtoli bus terminal only when my car is on the road.”

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Although there are about 200 vehicles under the banner of selfie transport, on an average 150 buses ply on the road every day. About 15 lakh taka is collected from each car at the rate of 950 taka per day. At the end of the year, the amount goes up to about six crore taka.

A transport helper said, “We were forced to stop at Gabtali to Paturia Ghat from dawn till late at night and return home empty handed.” Yes. Even after working so hard, the wife does not have to eat with the child. But there is no chance to give them less than a penny. It needs a remedy.

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One of the drivers of the transport said that according to their rules, each bus has to leave the counter on the return trip within three minutes of reaching the counter of Gabtoli bus terminal. Whether passengers or not. During this time, inside the luxury counter, two persons named Babul and Liton had to pay 200 taka and two persons named Mamun and Ibrahim had to pay 600 taka. You have to pay 50 taka more when leaving the car.

Another driver, who did not want to be named, said not only in Gabtali. After leaving Gabtali, one has to pay tk 50 in Savar, tk 50 in Nabinagar, tk 50 in Bathuli, tk 160 in Manikganj and tk 280 in Paturia Ghat.

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Although the search for the truth of the incident could not be found on the spot, the accused Mamun, while collecting the money, admitted the truth of the matter and said, “We collect 900 tk per day from the car and deliver it to the directors of Selfie Transport.” That is true. However, it is not a subscription; GP’s money. Mentioning that they only get attendance money as day laborers, Mamun further said, “We took the GP’s money and handed it over to Selfie Paribahan’s managing director Jalaluddin, director BNP leader Deen Islam, Rafiqul, Sanaur and labor leader Abbasuddin.” I can’t say anything else. They find out from them in which sectors the money is spent.

Although BNP leaders Deen Islam and Abbasuddin could not be found after repeated contacts, Director Rafiqul Islam denied charging Tk 950 per car per day, saying, “We carry 300 taka per bus instead of 950 taka per day.” We do not eat it alone. Employees have to be paid and sent to different departments.

However, Sanaullah, another director of Selfie Paribahan, admitted that he had to pay 900 taka for GP.

Ittekhar Bappi, Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) of the Darussalam Zone of the DMP’s traffic police, said the matter was beyond the jurisdiction of the traffic police. The job of the traffic police is to maintain order on the road and manage traffic. If the allegation is true, then the police and the concerned department should take appropriate legal action.

Tofail Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Darussalam police station (DMP), said, “We have not received any such complaint.” In case of complaint, appropriate legal action will be taken.

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