Salman Hossain with his mother at their home in Burwan in Murshidabad
Burwan (Murshidabad), Aug. 19: A mechanical engineer has accused a police officer in Murshidabad of demanding Rs 1,000 to clear his passport verification, claiming he had recorded the conversation.
Salman Hossain, the 22-year-old son of a farmer in Burwan who completed his engineering course this year from Jadavpur University, said the sub-inspector of the district intelligence branch in Kandi told him that his verification process would be stalled if he did not pay the bribe.
Sub-inspector Sanjiv Dhar denied the allegation. “I did not ask for any money to be paid for clearing the verification. The allegation is false.”
Hossain said he had “recorded the conversation” in his cellphone.
The complaint against a police officer comes a day after an assistant superintendent of police in the same district was accused of making indecent proposals over the phone to a woman he had advised during her divorce.
Hossain, who teachers in his Murshidabad school said was a brilliant student, did not get any job in Bengal, a pointer to the lack of employment opportunities in the state. He said he wanted to get the passport done quickly for opportunities that may come from the foreign companies he had been applying to for jobs.
“I have not got any job in Bengal as yet. So, I decided to look for opportunities abroad. I applied for a passport on July 2 in Behrampore,” said Hossain, who had ranked 459 in the joint entrance examination.
According to the youth, a man who identified himself as Rintu Sheikh came to his house on July 29 and told him that he had been called to the district intelligence branch office at Kandi police station for the regulation police verification.
Hossain met sub-inspector Dhar on July 31 with the required documents. “After taking the documents from me, the officer asked for Rs 1,000. When I refused, he told me that everybody paid the amount for police verification. I left his office immediately but I had recorded the conversation in my cellphone,” Hossain said.
The youth went to the district police chief’s office in Behrampore on August 7 and submitted his complaint. Hossain said he e-mailed a copy to the passport office in Calcutta.
“I have requested that the passport be issued to me at the earliest and also demanded strict punishment for the officer,” the youth said.
Praising Hossain for battling odds to achieve his engineering degree, district superintendent of police Humayun Kabir said: “We should encourage him to do better in life. If his complaint is true, we will not tolerate any such act by a police officer. I have ordered an inquiry.”