Traffic Sergeant Mohammad Muhibullah could not differentiate between a “privileged” vehicle and an ordinary vehicle when he saw a BMW X5 drive on the wrong side of a road in Nimtoli.
It was not a hot Sunday afternoon, no reason for tempers to flare. But once Muhib stopped the car, he exposed himself to a world of expletives, threats, and a lot of unwarranted trouble.
Muhib had asked the driver for the car’s papers but only received the tax token and fitness certification. When he asked for the rest of the papers, he was proffered the insurance papers only.
The traffic sergeant had proceeded to file a case for driving on the wrong side of the road when SA Malek, principal of Dhaka Science College, got out of the car and threatened the traffic sergeant with lawsuits, demanding his ID card, and shouting to assert his alpha male status.
The principal’s behaviour was firmly in line with what our country has established as a popular fact. There are always some members of society who let wealth and power go to their head and feel that throwing their weight around is the most natural thing to do, the law having no jurisdiction over them.
Malek proceeded to grab Muhibullah by the collar and kept threatening him. He snatched his walkie-talkie and mobile phone to prevent the traffic sergeant from calling for back-up. Even as Muhib tried in vain to reason with the hotshot principal, Malek began to yell and tore off his nameplate and walked away after snatching the insurance certificate back.
The BMW drove off, leaving Muhib in the dust. He alerted headquarters about the incident and the car was seized near the High Court and taken to Shahbagh police station.
Muhib filed a case, after which Malek was sent to jail.
Shahbagh police station Officer-in-Charge Abul Hasan said the car was registered by a Gulshan-based company called Dhaka Water & Beverages. But registration papers have not been produced yet.
Parts of the heated exchange recorded on the bodycam has been circulating online for the past few days.