Bangladesh

Bid to trap environmental activist with Yaba

Abdul Qayyum, an environmental activist, has been saved from a heinous attempt to trap him with Yaba in Habiganj's Madhabpur upazila, thanks to the prompt investigation by police.

The victim, also the owner of a furniture shop in Shahpur Natun Bazar area of the upazila, is known in the area as an honest man.

Local people alleged that the authorities of a company named 'Maar Limited' in the industrial area of Madhabpur tried to frame Qayyum with Yaba as he has been protesting against industrial pollution in the area for long.

Qayyum said one Milon, 32, son of Shukur Ali and Jabed, 28, son of Muktar Miah of Shahpur village, came to his shop in the name of buying furniture around 5:00pm on August 28.

Around 9:00pm on the same day, three sub-inspectors of Madhabpur Police Station came to his shop in plainclothes and started searching. At one stage, one of them took out a packet of cigarettes from under the shutters of the shop and showed him 40 Yaba pills.

Locals then rushed to the spot and thwarted the attempt of the policemen to frame him with Yaba. On information, a police team, led by the officer-in-charge (OC) of the police station, rushed to the spot and pacified the angry locals with the help of Qayyum.

After the incident, locals filed a complaint with the police station against the three SIs. However, following a request from the OC, the names of three SIs in the complaint were dropped later.

On the same day, Qayyum filed a complaint against Milon and Jabed, bringing allegation that they tried to trap him with Yaba.

OC Iqbal Hossain said during primary investigation, it was found that there was a conspiracy to frame Qayyum with Yaba.

Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ullah said during primary investigation, it was found that Qayyum is innocent. Someone wanted to trap him with Yaba because he works for the environment.

Tofazzal Sohel, general secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon Habiganj unit, said many industries have been set up at different places in Madhabpur and Sadar upazilas of Habiganj district over the years. Most of the factories are discharging their waste into open space or into canals and rivers without treating it. Abdul Qayyum has been protesting against industrial pollution for several years.

Contacted, Sadiqul Islam, general manager of Maar Limited, refuted all allegations brought against them.

They have set up a central waste treatment plant, he said.

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