AL leader, his son kidnap businessman for Tk 4.5 million

Selim Molla (L) and Rajibul Islam

A gang led by ruling Bangladesh Awami League leader Selim Mollah and his son has allegedly kidnapped a Manikganj businessman, Zafar Iqbal, and his friend Miraz Gazi for a ransom of Tk 4.5 million.

Selim Mollah is the vice president of Manikganj’s Harirampur upazila AL and his son Rajibul Islam is the general secretary of the upazila unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League aka BCL, the student wing of the AL.
Selim Molla (L) and Rajibul Islam

The businessman’s nephew, Hafizur Rahman, made the allegation against the ruling party men in the statement of the case filed with the Tejgoan police station in connection with the kidnapping.

Businessman Zafar Iqbal, 40, and his friend Miraj Gazi, 35, were kidnapped from capital’s Farmgate area Friday morning. The kidnapping gang did not release them even after getting a ransom of Tk 285,000.

Two days later on Sunday night, a team of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-2) rescued the victims from the house of Selim Mollah of Kaloi village under Harirampur upazila in Manikganj district. The law enforcement also arrested Selim Mollah, his son Rajibul and eight others. They also recovered arms, sharp weapon and the ransom money of 285,000 from their possession.

As the news of the BCL leader’s arrest spread, the Bangladesh Chhatra League expelled Rajibul from the organisation on last Monday.

According to RAB, the kidnap victims – Zafar Iqbal and his friend Miraz Gazi are currently undergoing treatment at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College hospital in the capital.

A kidnapping case was filed with Tejgoan police station and an arms case was filed with Harirampur police station in Manikganj on Monday over the incident.

According to the statement of the kidnap case, the kidnappers asked Zafar Iqbal to phone his wife and mother and then they talked to them and demanded a ransom of TK 4.5 million from his mother. The kidnappers told the businessman’s mother and wife that the businessman will be killed on their failures to give the ransom.

Upon getting the threat, the businessman’s family members lodged a complaint with RAB-2 in the capital.

RAb-2 deputy director major Mohammad Ali, who conducted the operation to rescue the businessman and his friend, said RAB would investigate the two cases and would arrest all of the members of the kidnapping gang once they get the responsibility of investigation into the cases.

When contacted, the Harirampur police station officer-in-charge, Lutfur Rahman, said that the 10 accused who were arrested in the arms case were taken into three days of remand.

A number of Manikganj AL leaders and locals told Prothom Alo that Selim Mollah amassed a huge amount of wealth in a short span of time even being a Class 4 employee in the public works department of the government and that’s why the AL leader and his son show off their wealth to exert influence in the neighbourhood.

When contacted, Manikganj district Awami League general secretary Abdus Salam said the party has asked its upazila unit to immediately take disciplinary action against Selim Mollah.