Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

From piracy to parliament
Case against Shahidul Alam Talukder of Patuakhali for looting police outpost was dropped

Alleged corruption by former BNP lawmaker Shahidul Alam Talukder and atrocities by a section of his party men is a talk of the town in Baufal.

The lawmaker from Patuakhali-2 (Baufal) constituency, now on the run, faces two cases for keeping illegal arms and relief goods and also several general diaries (GDs) with Baufal police station allegedly for torturing officials, journalists and minority community people. The two cases were filed on February 17 this year, police said.

Shahidul was elected from Patuakhali-2 (Baufal) in 2001 election with BNP ticket.

Sources in law enforcers said, after proclamation of emergency, they raided Shahidul's house to nab him for his alleged corruption and protecting musclemen and listed terrors.

Joint forces raided his residence at Baufal town on February 16 and recovered two magazines of a pistol, two pistol covers and some relief goods including 19 pieces of Sharee, 18 pieces of T-shirts, 9 blankets, 4 sacks of sports goods including football, volleyball and cricket sets.

SM Miazur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Baufam thana filed two cases in this connection, one of them under the Arms Act.

Investigation officer (IO) of the arms case SI Rafiq said, “We will submit charge sheet (in the case) as early as possible.” The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating the other case for misappropriation of relied goods.

Joint forces demolished Shahidul's three storied market cum residence at Kalishuri Bazar in Baufal upazila as it was built by occupying 15 acres of government land, official sources said.

Joint forces recently arrested two of his close aides. They are Baufal upazila Jubo Dal president Salauddin, arrested on February 28 from Mirpur in Dhaka and and its secretary Giasuddin, held from Kalaiya Bazar in Baufal on February 13.

Both are in Patuakhali jail now.

Shahidul started his life as an alleged pirate leader on the Tetulia river in the upazila, police told this correspondent showing records. He had formed a gang named 'Talukder Bahini' with 25-30 armed members. The gang attacked Dhulia police outpost in Baufal in 1973 in which two police men were killed and all 22 rifles looted, police said. Shahidul was the prime accused among the 14 people sued in the case.

He joined Jagodal, a political party floated in late 70s by Ziaur Rahman. The case for looting police outpost was withdrawn after he joined Jagodol, police and other sources said.

When HM Ershad came to power, Shahidul joined Jatiya Party and was elected Baufal upazila chairman. After fall of Ershad, he joined BNP in 1991.

Sources claimed that Shahidul had also links with Hawa Bhaban in Dhaka, which opened up the scope for him to establish his supremacy in the area.

On May 29, in 2004 Shahidul assaulted ASM Feroz, former Awami League lawmaker from the same constituency, at Upazila Nirbahi Officer's (UNO) office. He also assaulted Kazi Hanif, officer-in-charge of Baufal police station on October 7, 2004 at his office room. The OC filed a GD (no. 205) with the police station but the record was missing from the GD book after Hanif was transferred, police said.

On August 9, 2005 Monjur Morshed, Baufal upazila correspondent of daily Jugantar, was beaten by Shahidul as he reported on alleged fish looting by his cadres.

Kamruzzaman Bachu, upazila correspondent of the daily Janakantha filed a GD (no. 208) with Baufal thana on May 8 in 2002 against Shahidul as he threatened him for another report published in the daily.

Paris-based international organisation Sans Frontiers (RSF) listed Shahidul on its list of people who 'tortured' journalists.

Allegations have it that his men collected percentage from all development works and tool from businessmen in the area.

Shahidul and his men snatched arrested Giusuddin from police on October 29 last year at Kalaiya Bazaar and also assaulted the then OC Nur Mohammad of Baufal thana and SI (Sub-Inspector) Shah Alam. Giasuddin was arrested on charge of corruptions, police said.