OC amasses huge wealth in Dhaka

Ramna police station officer-in-charge Monirul Islam owns this house no. 20, Block-E, Basila Garden City in the capital. The picture was taken recently.Prothom Alo

Ramna police station officer-in-charge Monirul Islam has illegally amassed huge amount of assets including buildings and plots, Prothom Alo investigation has found following an investigation report of a government agency.

An allegation has also surfaced that he grabbed a freedom fighter's building at Mohammadpur Housing Society in the capital.

However, police sources said his assets are much more than the assets already discovered.

OC Monirul has built an eight storey building in Dhaka and is building another duplex house.

He has four plots in Dhaka's Keraniganj and Munshiganj.

There are discussions in the police department as to how, being an inspector, OC Monirul Islam owna such a huge amount of assets. Currently, in the ninth grade with salary scale of Tk 22,000, he draws a net amount of Tk 50,000-70,000.

People concerned suspect he illegally amassed this huge amount of wealth.

It is learnt Monirul Islam joined the police department as a sub-inspector in 1992, at the time this post was class-3.

He was promoted to an inspector in 2012. In his service period of about 30 years, he was in the Dhaka range most of the time. He is from Pangsha upazila of Rajbari.

Eight storey building in Basila

During an investigation, it was found that OC Monirul has worked as SI and inspector for four years and eight months in two phases in Dakshin Keraniganj police station in Dhaka. At the time he built an eight storey building on four kathas of land. While talking to the caretaker of the building Shamsul Alam on 25 June, it was learnt that there are 13 flats in the building.

OC Monirul and his brothers live in four flats. The OC lives on the 3rd floor.

About the ownership of the building, OC Monirul Islam claimed that he does not own the building alone. He and his brothers built the house.

Four plots in Dakshin Keraniganj and Munshiganj

While working at Dakshin Keraniganj police station, he bought plots in his names and in other names.

He bought two plots, one of four kathas and one three kathas in Beara Housing owned by certain Jitu Mia in the locality. Construction of duplex house on three katha is going on.

Prothom Alo correspondent talked to Md Abdul Kuddus who is engaged in land business and land owner

He said OC Monirul bought plots when he was at Keraniganj police station. OC Monirul said he will sell his four katha plot, Kuddus quoted Monirul as saying.

The price of the land being demanded is Tk 5.2 million.

While talking to Abdul Kuddus as Prothom Alo correspondent on 2 August, he said of the two plots, Monirul still has one. But he doesn't know about the other one.

OC Monirul has a 10-katha plot at Teghoria mouza at Ali Akbar Nagar of Dakshin Keraniganj. A tin roofed house was built there and rented out to an organisation named Alfa Ball Pen. Preferring not to be named, an employee said the house is being used as warehouse after renting it from the OC.

Monirul Islam has 60 decimals of land at the last boundary area of Notun Baktarchar village in Dakshin Keraniganj police station and in Venus Lakeview Housing project at Charpania mouza of Sirajdikhan police station in Munshiganj.

Prothom Alo talked to people at the project site. They said former union parishad member Jabbar Mia is the owner of this project. Alongside Ramna police station OC, several more police members have plots in this project.

In the guise of a buyer,Prothom Alo correspondent talked to Jabbar Mia on 23 July. He confirmed that OC Monirul has 60 decimals of land in the project.

Denying the matter, Monirul said, "I have no plots in those areas."

Police department sources said departmental steps have been taken more than once against Monirul on charges of ignoring duties, bad records of performance and negligence in handling cases. He has been admonished often.

Allegations of grabbing freedom fighter's land

In 2005, there were allegations that Monirul Islam grabbed six katha plot of land at Mohammadpur Housing Society belonging to freedom fighter and former senior assistant secretary Soroj Kanti Sarker. At the time he was SI. His brother Shafiqul Islam along with family lives there.

While visiting the spot on 25 June, it was found all the plots have high-rise buildings on Road-7 of Mohammadpur Housing. There is only exception at the house no. 29. The main gate is closed. There are three tin roofed houses on the plot.

Residents nearby said they know OC sir owns this house. They also said a dispute is going on over this land. OC Monirul has established two shops on both sides of the gate of the house and rented those out.

Preferring not to be named, a shopkeeper said at times some vehicles named 'Ramna thana' arrives in this house.

Mohammadpur land office sources said the genuine land owner is Soroj Kanti Sarker. After his death, his children inherited the land.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on 14 July, Soroj Kanti Jyotis Sarker alleged, "Monirul grabbed our land in 2005. We have made a complaint to the IGP allegation cell. We filed a case against nine people including three brothers of Monirul with the Dhaka joint district judge court in 2015. The case has not yet been disposed of."

Jyotis Sarker said, "OC Monirul sent two housing developers to me after the coronavirus had broken out. I did not agree to sit with them."

About allegations, Ramna police station OC Monirul Islam on 23 July said, "A case is going on over the land. My brother along with family lives there."

Former inspector general of police (IGP) Mohammad Nurul Huda said departmental action could be taken if the allegation of grabbing the house is proved true.

He also said if civil allegations are found against him, the matter has to be taken to the court and the administration.

DMP commissioner Mohammad Shafiqul Islam was approached over the phone for a comment about the allegation. He, however, could not be reached. A text message was sent to his mobile phone on Thursday, but he did not respond till Thursday.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Ifthekharuzzaman said a police officer has misused power, cheated the people and amassed a huge amount of assets. As a result, the Anti-Corruption Commission should launch an investigation and take action accordingly."

Top police officials should bring him under accountability and give exemplary punishment.

Keraniganj correspondent has assisted in filing the report.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print and online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.