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Law enforcers have been holding a factory worker for ransom since rescuing him from abductors around eight months ago, according to a writ petition filed with the High Court yesterday.

Family members of the detainee, Imam Hasan alias Badal, claimed they had given Tk 40,000 to Raju Ahmed, a sub-inspector of Rab-2, at the capital's Agargaon community centre. But the officer said Badal would not be freed unless Tk 1 lakh was paid.

Since then, nearly eight months have passed.

Badal's father Ruhul Amin and rights organisation Odhikar filed the petition seeking HC directives on the government to produce Badal before the court and release him immediately.

Contacted, Rab-2 official Shafiul said the elite crime busters did not know anything about Badal's detention. He also said no one named Raju worked for Rab-2. “One Raju Ahmed served here till 2010. He was later transferred to Rab-9.”

Ruhul, a hawker by profession in Panchagarh, alleged that SI Raju had threatened him with dire consequences including his son's death if he disclosed the incident.

The petitioners said Badal, who used to work at a shutter and grill-making factory in Tejgaon, was abducted from Anwar Park at Farmgate on March 5. Babul, one of the abductors, called Ruhul and demanded ransom for his son's release.

Ruhul immediately contacted Rab-2 seeking help for Badal's release. On March 6, the elite force called him saying they had rescued his son and arrested two abductors -- Babul and Zahid.

The Rab-2 personnel asked Ruhul to come to Dhaka and receive his son.

Ruhul and his wife Minara Begum came to Dhaka from Panchagarh on March 12 and went to the Rab-2 office. However, officers there asked them to lodge a case against the abductors first.

Accordingly, the two went to the Tejgaon Police Station, but the officer-in-charge refused to record a case and forced them to leave the station. Later that day Ruhul managed to file a general diary with the police station.

On instructions from Rab officers, Ruhul went to the office of deputy commissioner (Tejgaon zone police) for help in registering a complaint regarding the abduction.

DC Mohammad Hossain informed him that his son had been in the custody of Rab-2 and directed him to go there.

On March 13, Ruhul went to Rab-2 office and met duty officer SI Raju Ahmed. The SI asked him to file an application seeking release of his son. As Ruhul submitted the application, Raju demanded Tk 1 lakh. He told Ruhul that failure to give the money would cost his son's life.

Badal's father paid the SI Tk 40,000 the same day but did not get back his son yet.

After hearing the petition, the HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Hassan Ariff issued a rule on the government to explain in a week why it should not be directed to produce Badal before the court.

Adilur Rahman Khan appeared for the petitioners.

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