Vol. 5 Num 384 Sun. June 26, 2005  
Front Page

BNP top brass mourn 'criminal' Sagir

Law enforcers are hesitating to take action against notorious criminals holding portfolios of ruling BNP and its front organisations as many ministers, including prime minister herself, showed sympathetic concern for slain Jubo Dal leader Sagir Ahmed who was accused in over a dozen cases including murders.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia went to the party's Naya Paltan office yesterday to see Sagir's body and placed wreath on his coffin wrapped with the party flag. She offered fateha, seeking peace for the departed soul of Sagir and talked to his family members and consoled them.

Ministers, MPs and senior leaders, including Senior Joint Secretary General of BNP Tarique Rahman and the PM's Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury, were present at the time.

A top police official seeking anonymity said the way influential ministers, including even the prime minister, are treating Sagir even after his death, the law enforcers will think twice in future to arrest any notorious criminal holding important posts in the ruling party and its front organisations.

"It is an open secret that Sagir had links with several infamous gangs in Dhaka and we were looking for them. But from now on, will anybody dare to arrest such criminals?" said a top police official requesting anonymity repeatedly.

An accused in the sensational doctor Milon and police sergeant Farhad murder cases, Sagir was gunned down by assailants near his Nasir Uddin Sarder Lane residence on Friday. The law enforcers intercepted the killers while they were fleeing and shot dead one of the assailants named Shaon after the gang had shot and wounded one police havilder.

LGRD and Co-operatives Minister Mannan Bhuiyan, Housing and Public Works Minister Mirza Abbas, Dhaka City Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka, and State Minister for Labour and Manpower Amanullah Aman rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Sagir's body was taken.

Dhaka city (south) unit general secretary of ruling BNP's youth front Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal Sagir was buried at Kolta Bazar graveyard in Sutrapur after his namaj-e-janaza in front of the party office yesterday. BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Tarique Rahman, cabinet ministers, party lawmakers and many party leaders and activists attended the janaza. They also wore black badges to mourn Sagir's death.

Sources said Sagir used to lead a criminal group in Old Dhaka that included dangerous criminals such as Hamid, Aga Shamim, Nirmal and Kajol, the last one being the prime accused in the killing of Old Dhaka businessman Shamsul Islam, his son Russel and their driver. The bodies of the father and the son were found sliced in over 200 pieces.

Earlier, following the arrest of two Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leaders of Dhaka College unit for mugging Tk 12 lakh from a jewellery shop at Paltan on June 19, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan on June 21 told the Parliament, "The government is determined to take tough action against hijackers, robbers and killers, no matter whatever party they belong to."

Meanwhile, the police could not arrest anyone in connection with the killing of Sagir despite taking measures in the city and the adjacent areas of Keraniganj, the place police are suspecting that members of the "killing squad" were from.

Keraniganj police said they could not find out the address of Shaon in the area until last evening.

Family members of Sagir did not file any case until last evening.

The Old Dhaka residents, particularly businessmen of Sutrapur area, expressed mixed reaction over the death of Sagir.

Some businessmen wishing anonymity said the death of Sagir will lessen extortion in the area, but also feared that if police do not arrest Sagir's associates, such offences might increase in future. However, some businessmen expressed shock at the killing of Sagir.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia along with her party top brass attends a prayer for slain Jubo Dal leader Sagir Ahmed in the capital yesterday. PHOTO: PID