The family of a businessman has accused a Rab team of arresting him in a false arms case because of his rivalry with a business partner in Anwara upazila of Chattogram.
However, the elite force officials said the arrestee, Md Nasir Uddin Shah, 43, son of late Abdul Sabur Shah, is a criminal and used to extort money from people.
They also claim to have recovered seven machetes, one Chinese axe, one shotgun and two cartridges from his bedroom on the third floor of Imam Shopping Centre in Battoli area of the upazila. However, the family alleged that a young man in civil clothes placed those under the bed during the drive.
Talking to The Daily Star on Friday, Nasir’s younger brother Nazim Uddin Shah said, “My brother has the showroom of Malai Sweet on the ground floor of Imam Shopping Centre and he also has a fish farming project with Akhtaruzzaman Khan Mizan for the last eight years in Anwara’s Lusai Park area.
“Recently, a rift started between the two over a financial issue of the fish project and some influential locals were trying to settle the matter through discussion.”
Around 11:00am on August 18, an arbitration was arranged to solve the issues between Nasir and Mizan at Lusai Park. A team of Rab appeared all of a sudden and detained Nasir, said Nazim, a grocer by profession.
“We asked for the reason but they [Rab members] did not answer. When they left, we also asked Mizan where they had taken my brother.
“A few minutes later, the Rab members came back and said Nasir was arrested as his partner Mizan lodged a complaint against him with Rab. They then took my brother to his house.”
He added, “My brother’s residence was locked from outside as his wife had gone out for shopping. On hearing the news, she rushed to the spot.”
At the press conference the day after the arrest of Nasir, his wife Sharmin said, “The Rab members entered our house and sent me to another room during the search.
“With the Rab team, a young man in civil dress and carrying a bag entered our house. We had nothing in the room but Rab said they found the arms under our bed.
“It’s a drama to frame my husband so that Mizan can take over my husband’s fish farming project. The young man placed the bag under the bed.”
Nazim added, “Mizan is a land grabber and because of his suspicious behaviour, my brother had become alert while doing business with him.”
Mizan told this newspaper yesterday, “It’s true that he was my business partner earlier. He had leased out the fish project from me but resorted to fraudulence.
“As I tried to take over the project after the leasing period ended, he threatened me with his goons and that’s why I filed complaints with Rab and Anwara police. Nasir is a Jamaat man and the allegation brought against me is false and baseless.”
But Md Emon, Anwara upazila Shwechchhasebak League’s joint secretary, said, “Nasir is a good man. We do business at the same building, Imam Shopping Centre, but never found him involved in criminal activities.”
“I also went to the arbitration as the president of local union Awami League told me to represent him.”
Talking to The Daily Star, Additional SP Sohel Mahmud of Rab-7, who conducted the raid, said, “Nasir is a criminal and his business partner Mizan has lodged a complaint against him, saying Nasir threatened to drive him out of the fish farming project.
“When we arrived at Nasir’s residence, it was locked from outside. We called two shopkeepers of the market and the owner of the building as the witnesses. The owner managed to get a key to the house by calling one of Nasir’s relatives. Within minutes of opening the door, his wife arrived.”
Sohel also said, “We found the arms and sharp weapons under the box bed of his bedroom. It is quite impossible for outsiders to lift the box bed and put arms under it.”
The official added Nasir was accused in a case filed with Anwara Police Station in 2013 and “he has long been involved in criminal activities and using the weapons”.
Nasir’s family members said the 2013 case was filed by a neighbour over a land dispute.
Contacted, Anwara Police Station’s Officer-in-Charge (OC) Dulal Mahmud told The Daily Star, “Rab handed over a man with a firearm and sharp weapons to the police station. Now we will investigate the case.”
Rab has filed an arms case over the recovery of the weapons.
Nazim said his brother is innocent and the family will go to court to set his brother free and demand justice.