Impersonation can be just a fun but at times a most serious business. In Chhadmabeshi, a comedy, mahanayak (super hero) Uttam Kumar plays the role of a taxi driver at the stately residence of a man. The man is none other than his brother-in-law (husband of his newly married wife's elder sister). They were supposed to visit the brother-in-law's place together but Uttam stays back when his wife arrives there alone. But in a planned way he manages the job of the driver of the family. Humorous and light-hearted, the film proceeds with twists and turns until the Gour Hari, the driver reveals his true identity to bring a happy denouement to the film.
However not all cases of impersonation are innocent. Some are used for the gravest of crimes. How dangerous such incidents can be is best illustrated by the arrest of an eight-member gang of muggers or robbers. They impersonated officers and constables of the detective branch (DB) in order to carry out their heinous mission. The chief of the gang is said to possess two houses in old Dhaka. Inspired by a Hindi film Boss, the man organised his team where members were assigned roles according to ranks. They had their like-alike DB vests and hand-cuffs imported from Singapore.
It is difficult to differentiate them from a genuine DB team in action. They come riding motor cycles, stop a bus or a private car by putting barricade at some point of a road and drag down their target/targets before whisking them away. They then take the victims to an isolated spot to rob the latter of their valuables and money -often of big amount because they swoop on someone on prior information from their informers. The informers also get a share of the booty -40 per cent to be precise. Their task is to be on the lookout of who carry a large sum of cash and how. On the prowl, the fake DB team then comes like a commando troop to take care of their targets.
Impersonation of this type was quite exciting for the members of the gang -risks notwithstanding and until they were not caught. The dare-devilry thrilled them and did not require much labour. Also the lording over the victims and others present gave them a sense of superiority. Life went in a regal way. The arrest of the team should have given a sense of security to the residents of Dhaka but for the presence of seven other such gangs. Common people cannot distinguish between the genuine and fake DB personnel. Even two policemen travelling by a bus from which two businessmen were forced to get down were bewildered when they were charged by the gang for travelling without doing duty. The cops were pleading for mercy instead of challenging them. This is proof enough that the fake DBs may enjoy a sporting time in carrying out their vile mission. It is in the greater interest of public security and image of the DB, the branch should go all out to nab their fake counterparts.
As for the arrest of the gang, it is a happy tiding but the country's law is not stringent enough to keep them behind the bar for long. It has been noticed that criminals imprisoned on charges of mugging come out within six months to two years and then they go back their old ways. So, there is need for making the law more stringent and imprison the villains for longer terms so that other such gangs learn a lesson or two and dare not impersonate the DB members.
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