Kamal Hossain Talukder, bdnews24.com
The Rapid Action Battalion has uncovered a room on the top floor of a multi-storey building in Old Dhaka's Chawkbazar, which Erfan Selim, son of Awami League MP Haji Mohammad Selim, allegedly used as a 'torture cell'.
The elite police unit made the revelation after confiscating a handcuff, knives and other objects from the room on Monday.
Erfan himself is a public representative, currently serving as the councillor of Dhaka South's ward No. 30, comprising Old Dhaka's Soari Ghat, Mitford Road and surrounding areas.
He has been in the crosshairs of law enforcement after being charged in a case over the assault of a naval officer.
Hours after Lt Md Wasif Ahmed Khan started the case against Erfan and six others with Dhanmondi Police Station, RAB swooped on Haji Selim's house in Soari Ghat's Devdas Lane and conducted a raid on Monday.
Erfan's residence covers the third and fourth floors of the nine-storey building. The elite police unit seized two unlicensed firearms, a round of bullets and an airgun. They also confiscated 37 walkie-talkies, a handcuff and bottles of liquor.
The law-enforcing agency detained Erfan and his bodyguard Mohammed Zahid before a mobile court sentenced the pair to a year in jail for the unlawful possession of the walkie-talking and drinking.
Erfan and Jahid left the house with law enforcers around 8:10 pm. According to RAB's Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam, they would be taken to the RAB-3 headquarters before being sent to jail.
At the time, Alam spoke about discovering Erfan's 'torture centre' in Chawkbazar's Ashik Tower.
Based on the information divulged by Erfan, RAB raided the room on the roof of the 16-storey building, he told reporters. There, they found hockey sticks, handcuffs, knives, thick ropes, towels, electric wires along with equipment used to consume yaba tablets.
"Erfan used to bring different people here and torture them."
Upon visiting the building, it was found that the lift only goes up to the 14th floor. Two flights of decrepit stairs then lead to a large room on the roof, with a badminton court marked out in front of it.
RAB personnel were listing the various torture weapons and equipment they found there.
Erfan, the second son of Dhaka-7 lawmaker Haji Selim, completed his studies abroad before joining his father's business. He is one of the directors of Haji Selim's Madina Group.
He later contested the Dhaka city elections held in February as an independent candidate and was elected as the councillor for ward No. 30.
On Oct 25, a group of men travelling in MP Haji Selim's car assaulted a naval officer in the capital's Dhanmondi.
The officer, Lt Md Wasif Ahmed Khan, started a case with Dhanmondi Police against Erfan, Haji Selim's protocol officer AB Siddique Dipu, Erfan's bodyguard Zahid and driver Mizanur Rahman along with three unnamed suspects.
They are charged with beating, injuring and threatening to kill a government official after illegally blocking a road.
Police have also arrested Mizanur, the driver of the vehicle.
Wasif, who alleged that he and his wife received death threats, was travelling to Kalabagan with his wife on a motorcycle when a black Land Rover hit the bike from behind, according to case details.
Wasif subsequently managed to regain control of his vehicle after the hit.
As soon as Wasif and his wife got off their bike, a group of men from the car started verbally abusing and beating him.
A video of the incident went viral on social media. Wasif said he and his wife came under attack even after revealing his identity to the attackers.
Shortly after the case was recorded, police arrested Mizanur Rahman, the driver of the vehicle, as RAB cordoned off Erfan's house and launched the raid.
Haji Selim's son Irfan, bodyguard jailed for a year