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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 913

Untold story of powerful ministers in Bangladesh

By Peter Snowman

Bangladesh is gradually approaching towards another general election, which stories of misdeeds by the members of the ruling party are becoming public everyday, which might not be very good for Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s political fate. Now-a-days, some of the ministers and their siblings have become desperately aggressive and they are continuing to commit numerous types of crimes and corruptions.

Just here we will get a few.

It was midnight of 6th June 2006. A man named Mirza Khokon, who is the brother of Mirza Abbas, a powerful and corrupt minister in Bangladesh government; entered Motijheel Police Station in the capital. Khokon was drunk and was accompanied by one of his trusted man, both were carrying field hockey sticks. Officer-in-charge of Motijheel PS Abdul Motaleb was waiting to welcome this VIP guest. He led Khokon to the lock up, where they keep all arrested persons.

Being instructed by Khokon, OC Motaleb ordered his men to bring Bulu (a director of Dhaka Bank and eminent business figure) to the first floor of the police station. Once Bulu was at the first floor, Khokon and his man started beating him mercilessly. This inhuman torture continued for a couple of hours, before, they were panicked to witness that Bulu was almost dead.

The officer-in-charge of Motijheel Police Station was laughing just by standing at a corner of the room. He was desperate, even in allowing outsiders to be inside the police station and physically torture any arrested person. Because for him, it is important to keep Mirza Abbas and his palls happy. This will ensure his uninterrupted stay at Motijheel police station, which is one of the worst corrupt places within Dhaka Metropolitan area.

Bulu, is the latest pray of Mirza Abbas and his palls. According to Dhaka’s press, he is a leading entrepreneur, successful businessman and share holder of Dhaka Bank, a private bank in Bangladesh. He is also one of the directors of Baishakhi TV, a private television channel owned by BNP’s minister Mirza Abbas. The feud between Abbas and Bulu began a few months back, when Bulu denied transferring the ownership of a number of very expensive plots at city’s Gulshan area, which were grabbed by the minister Mirza Abbas, using Bulu’s name. Mirza Abbas is the minister for housing and public works, which has already given him the grand opportunity of making several million dollars in past five years.

Dhaka’s leading English newspaper Daily Star, reporting on Bulu’s case says: “Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station Abdul Motaleb was suspended apparently for torturing Boishakhi TV channel 'director' MNH Bulu while on remand.

Bulu, admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital after a cardiac attack, was sent to jail due to 'political pressure'. He had bruises in his chest, back and knees, a physician said seeking anonymity.
Meanwhile, Bulu urged journalists to help him and his family as loyalists of a ‘minister’ was threatening them of death.

Dhaka Metropolitan Commissioner (DMP) SM Mizanur Rahman however denied that suspension of the OC was linked to this matter. "We had some reports on the OC's involvement in activities in violation of discipline," he said when contacted.

Earlier, a five-member medical board headed by Prof Sirajul Islam was formed for Bulu after he was hospitalized.

Bulu was released from the hospital at 2:30 pm and sent to Dhaka Central Jail at 5:00pm.

Prof Islam told reporters that Bulu's condition was better yesterday than the day he was admitted to the hospital. "He is well now."

But a member of the medical board said they were compelled to release him under 'political pressure'.

Bulu's eldest daughter Noushin Laila Bulu said, her father's condition is not well and that they want to send him to Singapore for better treatment.

Asked about Bulu while he was at the hospital, four police men guarding the ward said they could not allow newsmen to talk to him because of a minister's order. In reply to questions, one of them said, "Do we need to name him (minister)?"

Bulu's family and police sources said the OIC and two sub-inspectors (SIs) -- Shahidul and Akbar -- tortured him at the police station.

Police tried to pull out his nails with pliers, and as he was screaming in pain, they relayed it to the 'godfather' behind this through cell phone, his family told journalists quoting Bulu.

Asked about the godfather, a family member said, "Every one knows him."
He went on, "Even after expiry of remand on Monday, police kept him (Bulu) in custody for 24 hours and tortured him."

Sources at the police station said one Motin, known to be an associate of Mirza Khokan, younger brother of Housing and Public Works Minister Mirza Abbas, and Abbas' private secretary visited the police station while Bulu was on remand and asked the OC to torture him.

Besides, the OC did not allow Bulu to take food and medicine sent by his family, ignoring orders from his seniors, said police sources.
A group of people have been threatening the family members not to proceed anymore on the issue and asked them to refrain from talking to newsmen, they alleged.”

This is not the end of the entire story of abusing power by the minister. Using his official influence being the minister in charge of housing and public works ministry, he has managed to get four notices sent to Bulu’s business house from the Capital Improvement Authorities (an organization entrusted to approve all designs of building in Dhaka city.

According to the notices, this organization has decided to demolish four multi storied commercial complexes owned by Bulu with the excuse of ‘fault in design’. It is wondering to witness that, all of these buildings were constructed several years back and there were no complaints from this organization on the design of the buildings, unless Bulu went under ‘yellow eyes’ of the influential minister.

Before the Dhaka’s media would get too tired in publishing lots many news and commentaries on detained Bulu, which anyway do not make any change in the attitude of those ministers or the government; there is another piece of ‘great’ news. Son of the Chief Whip in the Parliament was arrested by Detective Branch of Police with snatched car. This young man was earlier arrested in connection to a number of serious crimes, and every time, he was released from prison, just because his father is an influential member of the ruling party. Right after arrest, the Chief Whip’s son was virtually commanding the police and he were rather being treated like a VIP. Although another person, who was also with him in the car, was taken on remand, the young VIP hooligan was simply sent to prison without interrogation. Why?

If someone will remember the political yesterday of Bangladesh, same thing happened with Awami League rule too. During that time, home minister’s sons entered Dhanmondi police station to severely beat a person who was arrested under their instruction. Or, the son of chief whip or the shipping minister was all got into notorious crime. Dipu Chowdhury was one of the most talked about names in Bangladesh during AL rule. He was seen everywhere. In extortion, smuggling, grabbing of private and government land, murder, rape and what not. But, this young man too, was always ‘excused’ by the state power, just because he was another VIP hooligan belonging to AL.

What would now happen to Bangladesh’s future politics with these growing and nourishing VIP Holligans? Can the people of Bangladesh afford to see such things in the days to come? Or, Is There Anything Else In Their Mind? Ask anyone in Bangladesh! They are all fed up with the politicians. They want to get rid of these people. Aren’t they openly talking of Third Force?

- Independent News Service -

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