Vol. 5 Num 972 Fri. February 23, 2007  
Front Page

Jamuna's Babul, ward commissioner Alam arrested
CBA leader Bakir mysteriously slips away

Police detectives arrested Jamuna Group Chairman Nurul Islam Babul in the capital yesterday while BNP leader and influential DCC Ward Commissioner Chowdhury Alam surrendered to a Dhaka court that later sent him to jail.

Babul, owner of the Bangla daily Jugantor, was arrested immediately after he came out of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office at Segunbagicha after submitting his wealth statement.

Meanwhile, mystery shrouded over the arrest status of Sonali Bank trade union leader BM Bakir Hossain as intelligence officials spying on visitors at the ACC office initially admitted to having arrested him at the Matsyabhaban intersection but later denied it saying he dodged the security personnel.

Accompanied by his company officials, Babul went to the ACC office at noon and submitted his wealth statement. A few minutes after he came out of the ACC office building, the detectives deployed on the ACC premises stopped Babul and asked him to go with them.

Witnesses said the intelligence officials picked up Babul on a microbus parked outside the ACC premises and took away with them.

Police sources said Babul was first taken to Gulshan Police Station and was later shifted to Cantonment PS on security reason.

Sonali Bank CBA leader Bakir Hossain went to the ACC with his lawyers and others around 11:30am to submit his wealth statement.

As he came out of the ACC office and attempted to leave the spot by a microbus, an intelligence official stopped Bakir's vehicle.

Reporters waiting there, however, saw the four-wheeler leaving after another intelligence official got into it and took a rear seat.

A few minutes later, news spread that Bakir was arrested at the Matsyabhaban intersection and intelligence officials at the ACC confirmed it to newsmen. But later around 2:30pm they said they are not confirmed of Bakir's arrest.

Sources said a team of an intelligence agency, not assigned to arrest Bakir, caught the wanted CBA leader when he was returning from the ACC but later released him as he convinced them that he should not be arrested since he submitted his wealth statement as per ACC requirements.

The sources also said a team of a law enforcement agency was assigned on the ACC premises to arrest Bakir, but he left the area before the team could reach the spot.

The joint forces raided Bakir's house last night but failed to arrest him, sources added.

Our court correspondent adds: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka yesterday ordered to send Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Ward Commissioner Chowdhury Alam to jail after he surrendered before it for taking him into safe custody.

Alam was also shown arrested in a criminal case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Mir Ali Reza passed the order when Alam along with his lawyers appeared before the court at 10:00am and submitted a petition for safe custody as there was no case filed against him.

But Ramna PS Sub-Inspector Kamal Hossain, who is also the investigation officer of the case, submitted a petition to show him arrested in the case.

The case was filed against DCC Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and 2,000-2,500 unknown people for damaging and setting ablaze a motorbike and a microbus in front of the returning officer's office at Segunbagicha on December 26 last year.

The magistrate asked Alam's lawyers if they will submit a bail petition. The lawyers refused to submit any bail petition.

After hearing, the magistrate granted the petition for showing Alam arrested in the case and ordered to send him to Dhaka Central Jail at 2:30pm. Following the order, Alam was taken to jail on a prison van.

Alam, also president of Ramna unit BNP, allegedly earned huge wealth in the city as a ward commissioner who looked after construction and allocation of most markets constructed by the DCC.

Businessmen and DCC sources said Alam took around Tk 1 crore from Karwan Bazar business leaders for his role in persuading the DCC top executives to construct a wholesale vegetable market in a children's park.

Alam is also one of those who whitened black money amounting several crore during the rule of the BNP-led four-party coalition government.

There are also allegations against him for collecting tolls from more than 4,000 hawkers in Gulistan area.