Do What You Say
The wait seems to have finally come to an end for wealthy businessman and BNP leader Jamal Uddin's wife and sons. As the RAB men dug out Jamal Uddin's skeleton (though the DNA test has not been conducted yet), the flicker of hope to see Jamal Uddin alive again was extinguished once and for all. They must be feeling devastated now, but, perhaps also a bit relieved. Relieved because, for too long -- it has been over two years -- have they been waiting to know his fate. It must have been an excruciating time for them, constantly oscillating between hope and despair, now hoping against hope that he would come back alive and the next moment feeling numb with the dreadful thought of his being killed.
This businessman was kidnapped more than two years back, by people Jamal Uddin's family apparently had a clear idea about, which they apparently conveyed to the local administration, but it failed to stir them to action. After some days, a deal was struck between the abductors and the family members; the latter even gave away a ransom of Tk 25 lakh allegedly via police, but Jamal Uddin was still not released. The next two years, his bewildered wife and desperate elder son would knock every door, the local police and administration, plead with the home minister and even the prime minister to look into the matter; everybody assured them that steps would be taken, but Jamal Uddin remained traceless.
Interestingly, about 24 months into Jamal Uddin's abduction, suddenly investigation into the case was rejuvenated with the RAB given the task of arresting the accused. The RAB readily made a breakthrough in the case by arresting Shahid chairman on August 13, who named Kala Mahbub, who was arrested about 10 months back, along with some others who latter revealed to have strangled him to death and buried him in a remote jungle in Fatikchhari.
RAB then interrogated Kala Mahbub who finally helped RAB find out Jamal Uddin's burial spot. RAB then arrested Shafiqul alam Shafi on August 28, who was also actively involved in the murder and killing. Both Mahbub and Shafi named Kashem chairman who has been absconding and identified Maruf Nizam, a brother of MP Sarwar Zamal Nizam, as the mastermind of the abduction and killing of Jamal Uddin. Shafi also disclosed Maruf's motive behind this act. Jamal Uddin reportedly had conflict with BNP MP Sorwar Zamal Nizam regarding the BNP ticket for Anwara from where Sorwar was elected.
Jamal Uddin's family has raised some very significant questions and we need to know the answers. They pointed out 21 were arrested in the last 24 months but nothing substantial could be found. But everything began to come to light within the last 15 days after RAB arrested Shahid, Shafi and Shajahan chairman in a span of 15 days. But Kala Mahabub was caught 10 months ago, and why the police would not force him to give out information during such a long time is a mystery. And most importantly, if Kala Mahbub's confession helped to trace Zamaludin's skeleton, why not Maruf is being arrested as he (Kala Mahbub), has also named him.
Meanwhile, Sorwar Zamal Nizam also met Shahjahan in jail, without any legal authority, and talked to Shajahan chairman for about 15 minutes discreetly, which makes Kala Mahbub's allegation of Maruf Nizam's involvement in the case all the more plausible. But more than 2 weeks have gone by, but there is no sign of Maruf getting arrested in connection to the murder.
The BNP, the ruling four-party alliance leader, takes great pride in saying how they have strong-handedly controlled terrorism in the country. Whenever the issue of terrorism comes up, BNP leaders fondly recalls how the AL government sponsored state terrorism across the country and readily mentions a long list of 'AL godfathers' like Joynal Hazari in Feni, Shamim Osman in Narayanganj, Maqbul in Dhaka and many more who were patronised and encouraged hooliganism with absolute impunity. Then, they immediately give the example of the arrest of Nasiruddin Pintu, an MP from Dhaka, as an illustration of Deshnetri Khaleda Zia's resolve to root out terrorism by clamping down on terrorists. They end their argument with Khaleda Zia's remarkable dictum, 'no criminal will be spared, not even if he is a BNP man'.
If the BNP government really mean what it preaches it will soon arrest Maruf Nizam and even Sorwar Zamal Nizam if needed and bring the real culprits to the book. We, the general people, want to see BNP translate their words into action.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005