DHAKA TRIBUNEWednesday, January 29, 2014
'BCB is confusing people'
Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday accused the Bangladesh Cricket Board of confus-ing people with diﬀerent statements on its stand regarding the proposal placed at the ICC by India, England and Australia.“The cricket board has not disclosed what decision it has made to place at the ICC,” he said in a statement.The cricket boards of India, England and Australia have proposed a structural overhaul to the sport’s governing body International Cricket Council for greater revenue and authority.The BCB earlier said Bangladesh would stand against the proposal. But, board chief Nazmul Hassan Papon, an Awami League leader, said he would “keep an open mind.”“If the proposal is passed, Bangladesh will have to be content playing against Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan, the Netherlands and Kenya in the interconti-nental cup,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
Tajul made opposition chief whip
Jatiya Party Oﬃ ce Secretary Tajul Islam Chowdhury has been made the opposi-tion chief whip for the 10th parliament.The decision was made yesterday afternoon at a meeting of the parlia-mentary committee of the Jatiya Party.“The parliamentary committee has decided to make Tajul Islam the op-position chief whip,” Jatiya Party Pre-sidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid told reporters after the meeting.
EC undecided about entertaining ACC request
Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Election Commission is yet to make a decision on clearing its position over serving the wealth statements of two former ministers, a state minister, and three lawmakers to the Anti-Cor-ruption Commission, a senior oﬃ cial has said.He said the commission had not de-cided on the issue as yet; but had draft-ed a letter where it said it could not provide the certiﬁed copies of wealth statements since none of them were available at the EC headquarters.“After getting approval from com-mission meeting, we will write to the ACC stating our inability to provide them the certiﬁed copies,” he said. The ACC on January 23 served letters to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed, seeking certiﬁed copies of aﬃ davits that six ruling party candidates had submitted before the 9th and 10th parliamentary elections. All of them are now on the ACC’s radar. The six are: former health minister AFM Ruhal Haq, former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rah-man, and lawmakers Abdur Rahman Badi from Cox’s Bazar, Aslamul Haque from Dhaka and Abdul Jabbar from Sat-khira.The ACC is also looking to trace the reasons behind the astronomical rise in wealth of Awami League lawmaker Enamul Haque from Rajshahi. Howev-er, the graft buster has not sought the copy of his wealth statement from the EC. On January 22, the ACC assigned seven oﬃ cials to inquire into the phe-nomenal rise in wealth and assets of two former ministers, a state minister and four lawmakers. The letter that the EC has drafted reads that all the authorised copies of the aﬃ davits are currently with the respective returning oﬃ ces now and therefore EC cannot support ACC with the copies; rather it will request ACC to collect the copies from returning oﬃ ces concerned or collect the wealth statements by downloading them from the EC website.EC Secretary Dr Muhammad Sadiq told the Dhaka Tribune that they were waiting for the commission’s decision regarding the issue. According to an analysis by Shu-shashoner Jonno Nagorik, the wealth statements of the candidates of the last parliamentary election had seen an in-crease of up to 32,985% in their income.According to the aﬃ davits sub-mitted to the EC, the total incomes of ministers increased by 243% and their wealth by 247%, while the total income of state ministers increased by 464% and wealth 459%.
President Abdul Hamid greets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with a bouquet at Bangabhaban yesterday as the premier went to meet the president
Previous government to blame for 'ﬂawed probe'
PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) jetty. When the court ordered further inves-tigation in 2008, the judge observed that the two investigation oﬃ cers who submitted charge sheets in 2004 had failed to unearth seven major issues re-lated to the smuggling episode. The issues were: who brought the arms from abroad, for which country the arms were brought; to whom those arms were going to be delivered; by which vessel the arms were brought to Bangladesh from abroad; how the CUFL jetty was used for unloading the arms though it was reserved only for fertilis-er export; how two police sergeants took away two arms from the jetty (later recovered by RAB) and in which coun-try arms were manufactured. The court also observed that the two investigation oﬃ cers had not investi-gated deep into the case.The trial proceedings had been stalled and a new investigation oﬃ cer assigned in 2008 for the further inves-tigation as the court directed to appoint an eﬃ cient and honest IO. During the regime of Sheikh Hasina-led past gov-ernment, the IO was changed as per a court order since the previous one was not much eﬃ cient. The ﬁfth and last IO, Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, submitted supplementary charge sheets in the cases implicating 11 more people including some big-wigs. The number of accused in the arms case went up to 50 and in the smuggling case 52.The last IO came up with fresh chill-ing revelations including the alleged involvement of some former ministers, top intelligence oﬃ cials, bureaucrats and a leader of an Indian separatist group with the smuggling.The question naturally rises why the two IOs could not unearth answers to many signiﬁcant issues involving the scaring smuggling.“The previous IOs could not pro-ceed on the right path of investigation. They had their failures. They could not show their eﬃ ciency,” Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, the IO, observed.But a leading security analyst, Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rashid, thinks the investigation done during the BNPJa-maat regime was incomplete because the administration had a motive to “close the cases keeping the real things undiscovered.”Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune: “It was not merely an ordinary arms smuggling. It was happening with a purpose of disrupting stability in the neighbouring country for the interest of few other countries using the land of Bangladesh.”“So, the arms smuggling was taking place with the involvement of some pol-iticians of the ruling parties and some of-ﬁcials of government agencies,” Rashid said. “Naturally, there could have been attempts to conduct investigation avoid-ing those people when those smuggled arms were caught red handed.”He suggests that the smuggling took place with the knowledge of people in the then administration. When the question of involvement of govern-ment, intelligence oﬃ cials and people in security forces comes forward, this may put the image of the country in controversy.“It is a dangerous allegation against a government,” Rashid said, “and sen-sitive too, undoubtedly.”Possibly, the former investigators conducted the “incomplete investiga-tion” to hide these issues, he observed. The involvements of those have been discovered in further investigation.IO Moniruzzaman said he could not unearth only one of the seven issues. He failed to identity the ship that had brought the arms to the outer anchor-age of the Chittagong port from abroad. Besides this, the weapons which the two sergeants had found were not in the consignment. He found answers of rest of the questions. The arms were being brought for the separatist Ulfa which had ﬁnanced the smuggling. The ULFA was formed in late ‘70s to begin an armed rebellion for independence of Assam, a north-eastern state of India. The Indian government, considering it as a terrorist organisation, banned the Ulfa in 1990. An Indian English daily published an interview of detained Ulfa Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in 2011 where the leader said they had used Bangladesh as a corridor to smuggle the ﬁrearms into Assam. For the ﬁrst time, Rajkhowa ad-mitted that the Pakistani fundamental-ists had long been backing them.The smuggled military weapons were manufactured by a Chinese com-pany in Beijing named Norinco.According to the company’s web-site, China North Industries Corpora-tion (Norinco) is a pioneer and leader of Chinese military trade, and an import-ant team to implement China’s Going Global strategy.“In pursuit of customer-orientation and the demand of revolution in present military aﬀairs for equipment and tech-nologies, Norinco develops high-tech de-fence products for international military trade market and provides systematic solutions in accordance with customer demand,” says the company website.Jane’s Intelligence Review (JIR), a leading global defence magazine, in an investigative report on the Chittagong arms haul said the arms and ammu-nition had been shipped from Hong Kong, and then more weapons were added to the consignment in Singapore before being brought to Bangladesh.Haﬁzur Rahman Haﬁz, an arms smug-gler in Chittagong, is the prime accused in the charge sheet submitted after further investigation. But the alleged involve-ment of 11 bigwigs and Ulfa leader has created much hype about the haul. The 11 accused are: BNP’s former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar; Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former Industry minister Motiur Rahman Ni-zami; Ulfa leader Paresh Barua; former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim; then director of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowd-hury who was later appointed as the DG of NSI; former NSI director wing com-mander (retd) Shahab Uddin; former deputy director of NSI Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain; former NSI ﬁeld oﬃ cer Akbar Hossain Khan; former additional sec-retary of the industries ministry Nurul Amin, ex-CUFL managing director Mohsin Talukder and former CUFL gen-eral manager (admin) Enamul Hoque.Except for the Ulfa leader and Nurul Amin, the rest are in prison.
Bashundhara oﬃ cial quizzed
PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman in a money laundering case.ACC Deputy Director Harun-Ur-Rashid questioned the oﬃ cial, also a lawyer, if Motaher had taken any ﬁnan-cial beneﬁt for acquitting the accused of the Sabbir Murder case, ACC sources said.Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Telecommunications Network Ltd, was killed in July 2006. Judge Motaher Hossain of Speedy Trial Tribunal 4 delivered the verdict on December 15, 2011, acquitting all ﬁve accused saying the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.According to an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam had bribed former state minister for home Lutfoz-zaman Babar Tk21 crore to save his son Shaﬁat Sobhan Sanvir.The commission is scheduled to take statements of two bench clerks of tribu-nal 4 – Abul Kalam Azad and Ariful Islam.On Thursday, the ACC took state-ments of two stenographers – M Abu Hasan of the tribunal and M Nurul Is-lam of Special Judge’s Court 3.On January 20, it launched a probe against Motaher Hossain following alle-gations of amassing illegal wealth, abus-ing judicial power, earning wealth contra-dictory to his known sources of income and amassing movable and immovable property in his and others’ names.He left the country for Malaysia on January 8 – 53 days after delivering the judgement on the money laundering case, Harun-Ur-Rashid last week said.On November 17, Motaher Hossain acquitted Tarique Rahman and sen-tenced his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years' imprisonment and ﬁned him Tk40 crore in a money laundering case involving Tk20.41 crore.
PAGE 1 COLUMN 2
“We have enough time to look into the issue,” he said.“We are also conﬁdent that the Roop-pur nuclear power plant will go to trial run in the next ﬁve years,” he added. At a meeting of the reconstituted Fast Track Project Monitoring Commit-tee held at the Prime Minister’s Oﬃ ce last week, the government marked six projects, including the Padma Multipur-pose Bridge and Rooppur Nuclear power plant, as fast-track projects and directed the authorities concerned to implement them with the highest priority.Meanwhile, the government allocat-ed only Tk100,000 in the current ﬁscal year for the country’s ﬁrst nuclear pow-er plant at Rooppur, although the sci-ence and technology ministry sought Tk2.463bn in October to start the ﬁrst phase of the plant’s construction. A senior oﬃ cial at the Finance Division said they had received the ministry’s proposal for the allocation under the prime minister’s fast-track project on July 17, missing the Annual Development Programme for this ﬁscal year. The oﬃ cial said the Planning Division had allocated only Tk50m for non-approved projects for this ﬁscal year. The Finance Division disbursed Tk424m on June 20 in the last ﬁscal, after the revised budget and the ADP had been ﬁnalised, for the consultancy fees of the Russian ﬁrm Atomstroyexport.According to its contract, the Rus-sian government will not disburse its promised loan of Tk10bn unless the Bangladesh government pays 10% of it. The government disbursed the consul-tancy fee to meet that condition. Now the inauguration of the ﬁrst phase of the work on October 2 seems uncertain because of the lack of funds. The govern-ment plans to take ﬁve years – from March 2012 to 2017 – to complete the Tk50.87bn Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, which will produce 2,000MW of electricity.
‘Worst model’ parliament starts today
PAGE 1 COLUMN 3
In 2008, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League joined hands to counter Gen Parvez Musharraf, who in 1999 overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government and sent him to exile.For the ﬁrst time in the history of Pakistan, the elected PPP government handed over state power to another elected civilian government headed by Nawaz Sharif.“This is nothing but a political oppor-tunism of the Jatiya Party. When a party joins the cabinet, it cannot be the oppo-sition anymore,” Professor Nizam Uddin Ahmed, a Chittagong University teacher who wrote several books on parliamen-tary aﬀairs, told the Dhaka Tribune.“Pakistan is not a correct reference as a model for democracy. No democracy in the world has such a model [where the opposition joined the cabinet],” he said. Chief whip ASM Feroz told the Dhaka Tribune that the JaPa would play the role of a real opposition.“It is possible for JaPa to work as op-position, even after sending representa-tives to the government,” he said.Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal, an MP of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, told the Dhaka Tribune that a party could not play the dual role of opposition and ruling party.“Pakistan should in no way be a model for us; it has the worst history of parliamentary democracy,” he said.Political observers say the government had to accommodate the JaPa in the cab-inet as a section of the party led by Raw-shan Ershad brought it to the election.
Inaugural session preparations
According to the order of the day, the House will sit at 6pm with Speaker Shi-rin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. The ﬁrst business of the day will be electing a speaker and a deputy speaker.After the elections of the speaker and the deputy speaker, the house will go for a recess of around 20 minutes. The president will administer the oath of the newly elected speaker and deputy speaker.The new speaker will preside over the meeting as the House resumes. The House will go for another recess of 20 minutes after the adoption of a con-dolence motion on Awami League MP Shawkat Momem Shahjahan, who died on January 20.President Abdul Hamid, according to the constitution, will address the MPs highlighting the performance of the government. The House will then be ad- journed for a couple of days.The newly elected MPs would then discuss on the president’s speech and ﬁnally thank the head of state for the speech.Out of a total of 300, the election commission has already published ga-zettes declaring 297 MPs winners. With Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury be-ing elected unopposed on Tuesday in the Rangpur 6 by-poll, the number of MPs elected uncontested rose to 154.The Awami League commands the House with 231 seats while the JaPa has 34. The Workers Party of Bangladesh and the JSD won six and ﬁve seats re-spectively. Tariqat Federation and Jatiya Party (Manju) got two seats each while Bangladesh Nationalist Front has one.A total of 16 independent candidates were also elected. Jessore 1, Jessore2 and Tangail 8 constituencies are cur-rently vacant.
Hasina alerts MPs to tough ﬁght
PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
Meeting sources said Hasina had asked the lawmakers who had been elected unopposed to deposit Tk10 lakh in the party fund. She also instructed all MPs to deposit their party subscriptions of Tk2,000 each.At a brieﬁng after the meeting, Chief Whip ASM Feroz said the prime minis-ter had instructed them to ensure sin-gle candidate in each upazila election.“The Leader of House has instructed us to work honestly and transparently,” Feroz said.Sources said Hasina had suggested that the MPs highlighted the violence, killings and anarchy carried out by the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami while speaking in parliament on the presi-dent’s speech.She alerted her MPs to conspiracies against the government, saying: “The actors of 1/11 were still active and were trying to harass the government.”The prime minister also observed that her party was more united than ever and praised the way Awami League had faced the BNP and its key ally Jamaat.At the meeting LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said according to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) they had no scope to get directly involved in the upazila election.But Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the BNP would join the upazila polls openly as a party to reinforce its organisation, which was a matter to think about.“It is not always possible to follow the grammar at every step,” Matia told the meeting, according to several MPs.
PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
the ﬁve sacks of bank notes. But the helper of the truck ﬁgured out that there was money in the consignment when the truck had a ﬂat tyre at Nars-inghdi, said RAB oﬃ cials.“Habib gave the helper Tk7 lakh to keep his mouth shut,” said Col Zia. “Al-though Habib had purchased 230 sacks of rice, he kept only eight sacks and sent the rest to the programme of Atro-shi Pir in Faridpur as per his maternal uncle’s advice.”Col Zia said Habib had claimed that another maternal uncle named Siraj had given him the idea of the burglary.The RAB oﬃ cial said a few oﬃ cials of the bank had been linked to the burglary.On Monday, around 45 people, in-cluding Branch Manager Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan and 11 oﬃ cials of the branch, were held for interrogation, said Kishoreganj Sadar police station Oﬃ cer-in-Charge Abdul Malek.Deputy General Manager Sheikh Amanullah ﬁled a case with the police station against unidentiﬁed criminals in connection with the burglary.
Two outlaws killed in ‘gunﬁghts’
Two wanted criminals were killed early yesterday in separate “gunﬁghts” be-tween their cohorts and law enforcers, in Khulna and Jessore.The deceased are Rabiul Islam, 28, the second-in-command of criminal gang Mesbah Bahini, killed in Jessore, and Touhidul Islam Sabuj, 28, a leader of the outlawed Purba Banglar Com-munist Party, killed in Khulna. In Jessore, Police said, members of joint forces with Rabiul, who was ar-rested earlier on Monday in connection to a mugging case, went to Ziadanga village in Abhaynagar upazila to re-cover arms. At the spot, members of Mesbah Bahini opened ﬁre on them, prompting the joint forces to retaliate. During the 20-minute “gunﬁght”, Rabiul tried to escape and came into line of ﬁre. He was rushed to Abhay-nagar Upazila Health Complex in a critical condition, where the duty doctor declared him dead. Four police members were also injured during the gunﬁght, our Jessore correspondent added.In Khulna, Phultola police station oﬃ cer-in-charge Mohammad Elias Fakir said, “Sabuj was killed in a ‘gun-ﬁght’ that occurred in Phultola upazila, after police raided the area.” After the one-hour “gunﬁght”, Sabuj received bullet wounds and was rushed to Phultola Upazila Health Complex where he succumbed to injuries nearly eight hours after the incident, the OC added.