The Rapid Action Battalion on Thursday arrested another city corporation councillor, Moynul Haque Manju, in the capital over his alleged involvement in extortion and criminal activities.

Manju, who was elected councillor to ward-39 of the Dhaka South City Corporation, was arrested following a raid at his office located at city’s Tikatuli.

RAB officials said that they seized liquor, marijuana and other kinds of contraband drugs along with two pistols from his office.

Wari police station’s duty officer Mizanur Rahman said that a man named Muhammad Rony had filed a case against Manju on Wednesday night over alleged extortion by him.

After the raid, RAB-3 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Shafi Ullah Bulbul said that the councillor was arrested in connection with the case, adding that drugs and firearms were seized from his office.

More cases would be filed against him in connection with the arms and drugs seized, he added.

A member of the Dhaka City South Awami League unit, Manju is ‘a leader’ of the party’s Wari unit. 

Replying to questions by reporters, the RAB-3 commanding officer said that none had earlier dared to lodge any complaint against him.

‘It is a suitable time, so he was arrested,’ said Shafi, adding that he was arrested as the part of their on-going drive against ‘casinos’.

In the presence of RAB personnel, a section of people were seen distributing sweets among people while chanting slogans for exemplary punishment of Manju.

Aktar Hossain, a trader of the nearby market, told reporters that Manju was the self-declared president of the owners’ association of the market and they had to pay him Tk2 to 5 lakh in extortion for renting or selling any shop there.

After he was arrested, the RAB officials took Manju to his house ‘Globe Nibas’ on Hatkhola Road in capital’s Tikatuli to conduct another raid there.

Manju was among the 21 DSCC councillors who were served show-cause notices for absenting from more than three city corporation board meetings.

He did not attend 15 of the 20 board meetings.

Manju is the third running councillor arrested after the so-called ‘anti-casino’ drive begun on September 18.

On October 11, the RAB arrested Habibur Rahman Mizan, ward-32 councillor of the Dhaka North City Corporation, and Tarequzzaman Rajib, DNCC ward-33 councillor, on October 19 on allegations of extortion and encroachment of others properties.

Since September 18, a total of 20 people including eight politically and socially influential persons and a top government contractor were arrested.

According to the RAB headquarters, about Tk 8 crore 45 lakh in cash and eight kilograms of gold were seized in the raids.

Besides, the RAB so far seized 21 firearms – mostly for using legal weapons in illegal purpose – in the operations.

The elite force has filed some one dozen cases related to the drives in the capital.

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