Police stations in the capital have all but become a dumping yard for seized and unclaimed vehicles rusting away for years as nobody with an earnest approach appears to make claim.
Every month police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Detectives and other law enforcement agencies seize a number of stolen vehicles, including cars, microbuses, CNG-run auto-rickshaws, trucks and motorcycles.These vehicles are left uncared under the open sky either within the premises of the police station or in adjoining free spaces.
Most of these vehicles usually came in handy to the criminals for hit-and-run, cheating or theft of any kind, and later were seized by the police, RAB or other law enforcement agencies during checks.
As per the law, police should put the vehicles up for auction after taking permission from the court when claimants are not available.
While visiting several police stations and dumping ground in Agargaon, it was found that most of these vehicles had been rusting away due to lack of proper maintenance and utilisation for long. Some of their condition had become so deteriorated that they could only be sold to scrap dealers.
Sources said law enforcers usually try to find the owner of a seized vehicle. But a vehicle is dumped only when its owner cannot be traced out or a trial involving the vehicle continues for long.
It was also alleged that a section of corrupt police personnel with the help of some car repairmen steal engines and spare parts and sell them out.While this correspondent visited Banani police station area, he found that around 40 to 50 vehicles including car and CNG-run auto-rickshaws were stationed on the road in front of the office.
Noor-E-Azam Mia, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Banani Police Station, told daily sun: “Some of these vehicles had been seized as evidence of the cases after an occurrence of accident. That’s why we do nothing to these vehicles without the instruction of the court.”
It takes a lot of time to settle a case while many cases take much longer time for being disposed of and there is no particular place to keep the vehicles in police stations, he added. He added that “When we seize any stolen vehicle, at first we try to find the owner of it. If we get the owner, we hand it to them through the court order.”
“If we do not find the owner, we send the vehicle’s number to BRTA,” he added.
“After completing all procedures when we become certain that we won’t get the owner of the vehicle, we put it up for auction.”
He also said recently they sent a letter to the court seeking permission to conduct an auction of 10-12 vehicles as their owners could not be traced.
Talking about the deteriorating condition of the vehicles at the police stations, another police official said, “It becomes very difficult to take care of the seized vehicles during rainy season as there is no shade and other logistics support to protect them.”