Trader at Palashi saved as top BCL leader bars Chhatra League extortion

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Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders of Salimullah Muslim (SM) hall of Dhaka University (DU) allegedly demanded Tk 100,000 as extortion from a juice corner at BUET market, known as Palashi Bazar, nearby SM hall on DU campus.

But the owner of the shop, Md Iqbal, did not have to pay the extortion due to the intervention of a top BCL leader.

It is learned that three BCL men went to Palashi on Monday at around 10:00pm on behalf of SM hall Chhatra League president Tanvir Sikder and general secretary Mishat Sarkar to collect extortion from the juice corner.

They threatened the owner of the shop, Md Iqbal. But later they went back without taking money.

Several shopkeepers of the market claimed the BCL men went to the shop on Monday night and started threatening Iqbal. After a while, the businessmen contacted a top leader of the ruling party's student wing through a student. The top leader asked SM hall’s Chhatra League men to leave Palashi Bazar. Then, they left.

Md Iqbal told Prothom Alo, "SM Hall Chhatra League president and general secretary demanded Tk 100,000 (as extortion) from me on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. At a stage of bargaining, they said Tk 80,000 will have to be paid. They sent three persons to me last night to collect money, but I didn’t pay."

Refuting the allegation brought against them, Tanvir Sikder told Prothom Alo, "We didn’t demand any money from anyone. There are various groups and sub-groups among the traders in the Palashi market. We do not know what happened there."