February 11, 2017 - 1:39pm
A Facebook video showing a foreigner shouting it out with a traffic constable in Gulshan 2 circle on Friday afternoon has gone viral over claims of alleged bribery.
The person who posted the video claimed the foreigner as seen in the video was protesting police demanding bribe from a rickshaw van owner.
The video shows the outraged foreigner yelling at the top of his lungs, at which the traffic police initially tries to explain but later balks and moves back into the police box to sulk.
The row, as it was surmised from the video, was over Tk1200. The incident took place in front of Gulshan 2 police box around 3pm Friday.
English daily The Dhaka Tribune reached out to the Facebook user and the police, but could not identify the foreigner to independently confirm the claims of both parties.
DMP Traffic Division Deputy Commissioner (North) Probir Kumar told said that the video did not show the entirety of the event which had transpired and lacked veracity.
He said the foreign national in question was a US citizen, whose name he claimed to not know.
DC Probir claimed the rickshaw van was halted and its wheels clamped because it was in violation of a localised regulation which prevents rickshaws and rickshaw vans from passing through certain parts of Gulshan and Baridhara.
He said: “He [the foreigner] was using the rickshaw van to carry supplies to a local school. However, it was in violation of a traffic regulation imposed on the area and we had to wreck [place wheel clamps on] the van.
“The fine was Tk1200, which bystanders and the viewers of the video mistook as demanding a bribe. It is nothing but a simple misunderstanding,” he continued.
DC Probir also said a traffic sergeant had intervened to settle the matter as the constable’s language barrier was impeding the discussion. DC Probir claimed the traffic sergeant had waived the fines, after which the US citizen asked what he should do given he uses the rickshaw van to frequently haul school supplies.
The traffic sergeant asked the foreigner to write an application to the deputy commissioner to ask for an exemption.
A witness asking not to be named siad that shouts could be heard just outside The Westin Dhaka.
The witness claimed the foreigner in question had a yellow-coloured diplomatic license plate on his car.
According to the witness, the police had stopped the rickshaw van carrying supplies and were demanding Tk1200. When the foreigner had asked why, the police claimed it was a fine.
The witness also claimed to have left the scene while the foreign national was still having it out with the traffic police.
Watch the video here