A farmer named Fulkamal Roy (40) was allegedly detained for three hours at Kaliganj Police Station on Friday (October 7, 2022) night after having an argument with Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed’s driver Atiar Rahman over plucking grass from land in Kaliganj upazila of Lalmonirhat.

When contacted, Fulkamal told The Daily Star yesterday (October 8, 2022) evening that he was picking grass from a roadside land at his village on Friday morning.

Fulkamal is a resident of Srikhata village of Dalgram union in the upazila. While picking grasses, Atiar Rahman, the Social Welfare minister’s driver, who was walking down the road told the farmer not to pluck grass, reports our Lalmonirhat correspondent quoting the victim farmer.

The owner of the land is S Tabassum Raihan Mustazir, a lecturer in the English department at Kakina Uttar Bangla College and a resident of Kashiram village, said Fulkamal

“I told Atiar that the land’s owner is someone else and inquired as to why. At the moment, Atiar became enraged by my words and threatened me with consequences,” said the farmer.

“Later, on the instruction of Sub-inspector Nuruzzaman of Kaliganj Police Station, two village policemen picked me up from my house and took me to the police facility at 9:00 pm on Friday,” he added.

“The SI ordered me to hold Atiar’s feet and demanded an apology,” Fulkamal explained.

“I did not comply with the SI’s order, later they released me around 12:00 am,” he also said.

The farmer expressed concern that the police may falsely accuse him.

Tabassum, the landowner, stated that she has never prohibited local farmers from picking grass from her property.

She said the minister’s driver Atiar Rahman is not her relative. “He (Atiar) misused power and harassed the farmer in collaboration with police,” she said.

Atiar told journalists that the farmer harassed him.

“The farmer was plucking grasses off the road alongside the land. I told the police about the situation verbally. I didn’t tell them to take him to the police station,” he claimed.

According to SI Nuruzzaman, Fulkamal was taken to the police station based on the verbal complaint of the minister’s driver and was released later.

“All I did was question him why he misbehaved with the minister’s driver,” the SI said.

According to ATM Golam Rasul, officer-in-charge of Kaliganj Police Station, the farmer was released after being clearly informed of the situation.

The OC also said the farmer was summoned to the police station rather than being picked up from his home.

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