Vol. 5 Num 1064 Wed. May 30, 2007  
Front Page

Jalil, Babar remanded; Altaf, Patal sent to jail
Joint forces continue raids, pick up ex-AL minister Rafiqul, Barisal Mayor Sarwar

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and former BNP lawmaker and Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem were remanded in custody last night by a Dhaka court for interrogation about alleged corruption.

The three, who were among those picked up in high profile raids Monday by joint forces, were remanded for four days at a crowded court that also sent former minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury and former state minister Fazlur Rahman Patal to Dhaka Central Jail with recommendations for 30 days' detention.

The moves came hot on the heels of the rounding up of AL leader and former state minister for energy Rafiqul Islam and BNP leader and Barisal City Corporation Mayor Majibor Rahman Sarwar early yesterday. Rafiqul was later sent to jail by another Dhaka court with the recommended detention of 30 days.

All of them were arrested under section 16(2) of the Emergency Power Rules.

On Monday morning, the army-led joint forces had also detained former AL lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, former FBCCI president Abdul Awal Mintoo, and Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badaruddin Ahmed Kamran.

The whereabouts of them could not be known as of 7:00pm yesterday as they were neither produced before any court nor handed over to any police station.

Sources said these political leaders and businessmen are still under the joint forces' custody and undergoing interrogation. The sources also said the joint forces are preparing to file graft cases against the detainees.

Meanwhile, the joint forces also raided the residences of a number of political leaders, including BNP leader and former state minister Maj (retd) Kamrul Islam, Dhaka City AL Acting President AKM Rahmatullah, AL leaders and former lawmakers Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Nure Alam Chowdhury Liton and former state minister Shahjahan Omar. None of the political leaders were present at homes at the time of the raids.

The joint forces members also searched the Gulshan house of Water Development Board engineer AKM Fazlur Rahman for three hours and seized a large amount of savings bond and money. Fazlur was not in the house during the raid.

Our Barisal and Patuakhali correspondents report: A joint forces team raided two residences of former Air Force chief Altaf Hossain in Patuakhali and seized a shotgun and a rifle, 99 bullets, and 970 pieces of saree and 160 pieces of lungi of the government relief materials. Altaf was held from his Gulshan residence around 3:40am.

Barisal Mayor Majibor Rahman Sarwar was picked up from his Gulshan residence at about 9:30am. The crack forces raided his residences in Gulshan and Barisal and the city corporation office and seized four bullets, Tk 4 lakh, gold ornaments weighing 50 tola and some documents.

Sarwar and his wife Nasima Sarwar were taken to the Gulshan branch of Dutch Bangla Bank and seized documents kept in their reserved lockers in the bank. The joint forces sealed the lockers. Nasima was later released while Sarwar was taken to Rab-3 camp.

Motijheel police produced AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Shafique Anwar at 8:15pm with a prayer for seven-day remand.

Investigation officer (IO) of the case and Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station Nasirul Alam mentioned in the forwarding report that Jalil accumulated a huge amount of wealth and money through corruption being the party general secretary. He had also been delivering provocative statements over the last few days to destabilise the country's political situation. So, he needs to be interrogated in remand.

The defence lawyers argued for cancellation of the remand prayer.

After hearing both the sides, the court granted a four-day remand for Jalil.

The same court also remanded Babar for four days after IO of the case and Gulshan Police Station OC Obaidul Haque produced him before it with a prayer for seven-day remand.

In the forwarding report, the IO mentioned that when he was in charge of the home ministry Babar acquired a huge amount of money and wealth by means of looting and corruption. Terming Babar corrupt and plunderer, the report said four firearms including an illegal one were recovered from his house during his arrest. He has caused serious damage to the country's economy and disrupted public safety, the report added.

Sub-Inspector Salahuddin of Gulshan Police Station submitted the forwarding report of Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem before the court seeking seven days' remand.

In the forwarding report, the IO mentioned that Hashem accumulated a huge amount of money and properties through abuse of power, irregularities and corruption. The report also accused Hashem of grabbing land properties.

The court granted four-day remand for him.

Jalil, Babar and Hashem were arrested under section 16(2) of the Emergency Power Rules. There were also proposals for 30 days' detention for Babar and Hashem.

Our court correspondent reports: Gulshan police produced Altaf before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Shafique Anwar at 4:10pm.

In the forwarding report, the police mentioned that Altaf acquired a huge amount of money and properties through corruption and using influence when he was the commerce minister. Besides, he violated the provisions of the Emergency Power Rules and got involved in destructive activities.

The report said Altaf was arrested to restrain him from such activities.

After hearing the court ordered to send Altaf to jail.

The same court earlier ordered to send Patal to the central jail after Khilgaon police produced him before the court at 3:00pm.

In the forwarding report, the IO of the case mentioned that Patal disrupted public safety and was involved in destabilising the country, subversive activities and in corruption.

Dhanmondi police produced AL leader Rafiqul Islam before Metropolitan Magistrate MA Salam's court at 3:00pm.

The IO in his forwarding report mentioned that Rafiqul and his associates tried to destabilise the country, violating the Emergency Power Rules.

CBA leader Mollah Abul Kalam Azad, an upper division assistant of the Water Development Board arrested early yesterday, was also sent to Dhaka Central Jail yesterday with recommendation for 30 days' detention after he was produced before a Dhaka court.

In the forwarding report, Gulshan police mentioned that despite being an upper division assistant Kalam acquired crores of taka through unbridled corruption.

Our correspondent in Sylhet adds: Detained Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran was sent to jail yesterday.

The joint forces raided Kamran's residence in Chhararpar area early yesterday and seized some documents, a bottle of alcoholic beverage, Tk 1 lakh and savings bond worth Tk 35 lakh.

Kamran was earlier arrested on April 6 after the District and Sessions Judge's court the previous day issued arrest warrant against 19 people, including the mayor, in the much-talked-about Sylhet kitchen market graft case.

He was released on May 8 after obtaining a two-month ad interim bail from a High Court bench on April 30.

A case was filed against Kamran with the Sylhet Kotwali Police Station yesterday following the recovery of alcoholic beverage from his house.

UNB adds: The police seized two guns and 50 rounds of bullet from the house of former BNP MP Reza Ahmed Bachchu Mollah at Taragunia in Kushtia town on Monday night.

The law enforcers raided Reza's house shortly before midnight but the former lawmaker was not at home at that time.

Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil, left picture, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, centre, and former minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, right, being escorted to the a Dhaka court yesterday. PHOTO: STAR