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     Volume 6 Issue 22 | June 8, 2007 |


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News Notes

Criminals in Our Midst
The recent arrests of some politicians and businesspersons have opened a new can of worms. We have come across a political leader who regularly took money from shady businesspersons, of them include alleged murderers, extortionists, land-grabbers and suspected criminals. It is not only the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, but the then main opposition leadership too, it seems, is infested with corruption. The excuse that Sheikh Hasina, the leader of Awami League, has given for taking money from these goons is no less than ludicrous. Money have been taken from businessmen to run the day-to-day activities of her party, Hasina claims; but she forgets to explain why a bunch of criminals will love to give her crores of Taka just like that without asking for any favour. What is particularly disturbing is that she has called these thugs well-wishers of the AL, a party that has a glorious history of leading the nation towards our independence.

In fact, Sheikh Hasina has a lot of explaining to do. Party funding has been a major source of corruption in both the political parties. Politics, to a very good extent, has become a new kind of business for some criminals who have regularly bribed corrupt politicians for economic and political favour. A criminalisation of politics has thus taken place, and it is little wonder that a majority of the MPs in the last parliament have had criminal pasts. Armed with the blessings of Khaleda and Hasina, some opportunist businessmen have kept the country and its people hostage to their insatiable hunger for money and muscle-power. Five months ago one actually did not need anything else if one had both the Begums in one's pocket.

Our politics under the leadership of both Khaleda and Hasina have become synonymous with corruption. When their followers were busy looting the nation, they either fiddled or, at times, gave a helping hand. We now know it for sure that all the major political parties are mired in improbity and gangsterism. Now that the interim government wants to free the country of corruption, it is high time that both the Begums' involvement in nepotism, corruption and misrule should be probed. The ongoing drive should not spare anyone because he or she happens to be the leader of a particular political party. The new Bangladesh that the government talks about can only be achieved if all the major graft suspects are brought to book.

Protecting the Criminal?
In mid-March of this year, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed's asylum appeals, thereby beginning the process of deporting him back to Bangladesh, where a death sentence issued in 1998 was waiting for him. Mohiuddin was one of the 14 army officials charged with the murder of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975. In the last few months, Sheikh Hasina and her supporters have waited with bated breath for the return of the murderer of her father and family members. Until recently, the United States government was waiting for the Bangladeshi government to issue a travel permit to Mohiuddin, and the deportation date set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was June 2. However, Mohiuddin's lawyer arranged a hearing for Tuesday, June 5, in the US District Courts, to consider a stay of deportation. Because the lower court does not have the jurisdiction to override the Court of Appeals' asylum case, Mohiuddin's lawyers are asking whether the court can deport Mohiuddin while there is a private bill pending on his behalf in the US Congress. Private bills are used in immigration cases for individuals who are in unusual circumstances. Congressmen Jim McDermott has introduced this specific bill for Mohiuddin, not only enabling him to get a green card, but also staying the deportation order against him and releasing him from custody of the DHS. It is disturbing and highly suspicious that a US Congressmen can consider the murder of a political figure and his entire family not severe enough to deport Mohiuddin so that he can face the consequences of his actions.

Housewife Brutally Raped and Murdered
Housewife Farjana Jahan Shashi, 21, wife of engineer Hasnat Reza of East Kazipara in Kafrul and student of first year honours student of Home Economics College, was brutally raped and murdered in her home on Monday, June 4 by her friend Shajib and her domestic servant, Majnu Miah, 18. Majnu was attempting to get rid of the body in Dhaka Udyan Housing in Mohammadpur, when the locals caught him and notified the police. Shajib, once realising that Majnu was caught, fled the scene and is still at large. According to Majnu, the incident took place at about 10 in the morning when Shashi's friend Shajib came into the flat. After a brief conversation, Shashi went to the bathroom and Shajib proposed that the two of them rape her, to which Majnu agreed. When Shashi came out of the bathroom, she was gang raped by both men. Once done, Shajib took a knife and slit her throat and cut her legs. According to Majnu the victim died instantly and her body was cut up and put into polythene bags. The two of them set off in two separate rickshaws before Majnu was caught by the police. He is currently undergoing more interrogations at the police station. Meanwhile, the body was taken to Dhaka Medical College morgue for an autopsy. Kafrul police also picked up the victim's husband, Hasnat Reza for interrogation after he went to identify his wife's body at the morgue.

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