Akbar was financially affiliated with muggers, drug dealers
Suspended Sub-Inspector Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan had financial affiliations with muggers and petty drug dealers and also extorted money from sex workers in his area, said a police source seeking anonymity.
Akbar, the prime accused in a case filed for the death of Rayhan Ahmed at Bandarbazar Police outpost, has been absconding for the last seven days. The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has been investigating the case.
Sources from the police said Bandarbazar police outpost is an important spot located between the Sylhet City Corporation's Office and the office of Superintendent of Police in Sylhet.
Policemen find the outpost lucrative for a posting. Not only do they have to have connections with high-ups, they also have to pay bribes to have a posting there.
Multiple sources from police, seeking anonymity, speculated that Akbar was desperate to recoup the money he spent for his posting and cared little about the law.
"Its an age old fact that cops of Bandarbazar Police outpost have financial affliations with muggers, drug dealers and sex workers. It is terrifying that the major part of their illegal income comes from sex workers," police sources said.
"Moreover, it was quite common for officials at this outpost to take bribes from traders on the footpaths. Sometimes, the victims of these officers were taken to the outpost and tortured for money.”
Akbar owned a car despite officers of the SI post not supposed to have one, sources added.
A local from the Barutkhana area of Sylhet city said that their area is filled with addicts. They have made numerous complaints to the Bandarbazar police outpost to no avail. On the contrary, the police outpost officials harassed the accusers and took the side of the drug dealers.
Akbar accused of documenting false information in SUST student Taifur's death case
On January 14 of 2019, police found Taifur Rahman's body from a rented flat in Kajalshah area of Sylhet city. Taifur was a student of the Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.
Being a former SI of Sylhet's Kotwali police station, Akbar was made in-charge of the investigation. On March 13, he submitted a report at court saying that Taifur had committed suicide.
However, Taifur's father rejected the report stating that the picture of Taifur’s body and the information provided in the report do not corroborate. Moreover, Akbar had not collected the CCTV footage of the building where Taifur's body was found.
After the incident of Raihan's death came to light, Taifur's elder sister, also a teacher in Dhaka University, wrote on Facebook accusing Akbar of turning her brother's murder into an incident of suicide.
She wrote: "Raihan was killed for a mere amount of Tk10,000. How much bribe had SI Akbar accepted to stage Taifur's murder as a suicide? And who else are behind it?"
Before Bandarbazar police outpost, Akbar was posted as an SI of Ambarkhana outpost. A number of locals had alleged that Akbar took "fees" from local muggers under his area.
After the death of Raihan, SI Akbar deleted the CCTV footage of the Bandarbazar police outpost. A police official and an associate of Akbar acknowledged the matter.
Azbahar Ali Sheikh, Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP), said the three member investigation team of the SMP initially found proof that the duty officers of the Bandarbazar police outpost were "negligent" in investigating the death of Raihan.
So far three policemen have been closed to police lines and four, including Akbar, have been suspended and the investigation against them is still ongoing, Azbahar added.
However, he refused to make any comment regarding Akbar's financial affliation with sex workers, traders and alleged criminals in the area.
On October 11, Rayhan died in police custody following torture, his family alleged. Police denied the allegation and said Rayhan had been caught by locals while mugging and was lynched.
Police said they found the man wounded in a mob beating and took him to a hospital, where he died.
However, the victim's mother said Rayhan had called her from an unknown number at 4:23am and said that police had taken him to Bandarbazar police outpost and were demanding Tk10,000 for his release.
Earlier on October 12 midnight, deceased Raihan’s wife Tahmina Akhter Tanni filed the case with Kotwali Police Station. But none was made accused in the case. The case has been transferred to PBI following the demand of the family, police said.