Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fake Manpower Agency Bamboozled 42 Youths Offering Overseas Jobs & Study

Some 42 youths including 18 of Rajshahi were ripped off their entire money amounting to Tk 1.65 crore by a fake manpower and travel agency that allured them with overseas job and higher education in Namibia.

Universal Consultants Limited, a Rajshahi based agency sent 24 of the cheated youths to Namibia, but all of them had to return home facing inhuman punishment and torture in Namibian custody for false travel and other necessary documents.

Police on Monday arrested Nurul Islam Mandol, a retired additional chief engineer of Power Development Board from his Bhadra residence for his involvement with the frauds' gang following complain of Tarek Ahmed, a swindled student of Shalbagan area.

The police said, the gang has international connection and they used to cheat people setting up a fake college styled International College of Business and Information Technology at Windhoek of Namibia.

The cheated youths and police said, Mondol's son-in-law Atik Shamsuzzoha Neon and his wife Nasima Khatun went into hiding.

As the fake agency started functioning in early 2006 over allurements of job and higher study abroad, some 24 youths including a couple and 16 others from Rajshahi gave them Tk 5 lakh each and flew to Namibia in June. And 18 others were waiting to go giving Tk 2.5 lakh each.

But within a month, the couple somehow returned home somehow to inform the waiting youths that Namibian police arrested 22 of their companions for fake travel, work and study documents.

Mafid, a torture victim told that he was kept in a dark jail on an far island in Namibia and after returning home, Atik and his officials started harassing him with different other allurements.

Tarek said, Atik and Nurul Islam Mondol gave him and some other youths cheques for returning money, but all those cheques were dishonoured in banks.

At one stage, the affected youths lost hopes and went to police as Atik and the agency officials tried to flee away closing their Sutanabad office.

A swindled youth of Naogaon seeking anonymity told that he was still to return home since he was called for flying to Namibia in April and later cheated keeping him in a slum at Uttara. "How can I face my parents when I am cheated of entire money they provided despite hardships?"

Dy minister Dulu sued, Relief CI sheets from minister Aminul controlled BNP offices, Mayor Minu donated relief CI sheets to BNP office

Three cases were filed against the former deputy minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukhdar Dulu, his elder brother and two other house-helps for misappropriating 52 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund in Naldanga of Natore district yesterday.

Sub inspectors Ramjan, Rafik and Mustak of Naldanga police station filed the graft cases under section 406, 409 and 109 of Bangladesh Penal Code.

Dulu and his brother Rafikul Islam Talukhdar were accused in a case for using government CI sheets in constructing drawing room and shallow water-pump house in his village home at Ramsa Kazipur under Naldanga police station.

The two brothers and house-helps Zaharul and Razlu were sued in two other cases for erecting rooms of the house-helps with the government CI sheets at courtyard of the minister's village home.

Police in a raid on Sunday afternoon seized 52 pieces of CI sheets from Dulu's village home and arrested Bazlu.

Sensing the raid, Dulu's brother Rafikul Islam Talukhdar and Zahurul fled away.

However, Dulu is evading arrest since February 4 when the joint forces recovered two firearms and 137 bullets from Dulu's houses in Natore town and at Ramsa Kazipur under Sadar upazila.

Police in a raid seized 63 pieces of Corrugated Iron (CI) sheets of government relief fund from offices of BNP and Zia Parishad controlled by former post and telecommunication minister Barrister Aminul Haque in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi yesterday.

Police launched the raid at local offices of BNP, its front organizations and Zia Parishad at Dayingpara crossing, Achuabhata C&B crossing and Matikata Rail-gate areas in the upazila after the relief officials identified the areas.

Officer-in-charge Aynul Haque told The Daily Star that the operation was still to complete as they have information of many more relief CI sheets that were not used for proper causes.

The upazila Project Inplementation Officer (PIO) Nurul Islam said, the seized CI sheets are part of those total 8 bundles CI sheets that were allocated for Zia Parishad following written recommendation of then Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Hawladar Zakir Hossain (now additional deputy commissioner in Jessor) at the diktat of former minister Aminul Haque in 2005.

"Allocating CI sheets of relief funds to Zia Parishad was illegal as these were meant for poor and destitute people. Our resistance were discarded by the minister", he said.

With the allocated CI sheets, local BNP, its front organisations and Zia Parishad captured different government lands including that of Roads and Highways at Dayingpara, Bamnail, Gogram, Achuabhata, Matikata and some other areas to set up their office.

Godagari Zia PArishad conveynor Abdus Salam Sawal, member secretary Sarwar Jahan Dablu who received the CI sheets went into hiding after the raid.

In another operation, Police yesterday arrested a close associate of former BNP lawmaker Nadim Mostafa from Durgapur upazila in Rajshahi.

The arrestee -- Choyen Uddin alias Murgi Choyen was organising secretary of Durgapur municipal unit of Jatiyatabadi Sechchasebak Dal.

The police said, he was accused in several cases of murder, extortion and cheating.

The joint forces yesterday seized 32 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund from a BNP leader's house in Bholahat upazila and found abandoned 18 CI sheets in Sadar upazila of Chapainawabganj district.

Tipped off, the joint forces raided the house of Habibur Rahman, a neighbour of Bholahat upazila BNP conveynor Nasir Uddin and seized 32 CI sheets from the house.

Habibur Rahman told joint forces that Nasir Uddin kept the CI sheets at his house two days ago.

Joint forces arrested Habibur, but Nasir managed fleeing away.

Police seized 18 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund at a mango orchard at Chalk Alampur of Ranihati union of Sadar upazila last afternoon. These CI sheets were left abandoned.

Police Monday evening seized 26 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund from a mosque at Southern Bakhrabaj area in the city.

These CI sheets were allocated for Kathakhali municipal BNP office by Rajshahi Mayor and former BNP lawmaker Mizanur Rahman Minu, said sources.

But duty officer of Motihar police station said, the CI sheets were found unclaimed.

Local people informed police and journalists, Minu donated the CI sheets for constructing Kathakhali municipal BNP office several months ago.

The sheets were taken off from the office in the dark of Sunday night and kept at the mosque, said witnesses.

After the seizure, a police source, however, told this correspondent, Minu requested Motihar police for reconciliation and so police recorded the CI sheets as unclaimed.

When contacted, Kathakhali municipal BNP president Mahfuzur Rahman said, he was unaware about the CI sheets that went missing from the BNP office roof. "Ask the general secretary".

Local BNP general secretary was not available on phone and at his home.

Police filed three cases against former deputy minister for land Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, his elder brother Rafikul Islam Talukdar and two house-helps for misappropriating 52 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund in Naldanga of Natore district yesterday.
On Sunday, the joint forces recovered government CI sheets that Dulu and his brother used in their village home at Ramsa Kazipur in Naldanga.
Dulu had been evading arrest since February 4 when the joint forces recovered two firearms and 137 bullets from his houses in Natore town and at Ramsa Kazipur.
Police seized 63 pieces of CI sheets meant for government relief from BNP and Zia Parishad offices in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi yesterday. Former post and telecommunications minister Aminul Haque allegedly controlled the offices.
In another drive, police seized 26 pieces of CI sheets of government relief fund, which Rajshahi mayor and former lawmaker Mizanur Rahman Minu allocated to Kathakhali Municipality BNP office, from a mosque in Rajshahi city yesterday.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mashud far from maddening crowd

The Daily Star
Vol. 5 Num 968
Mon. February 19, 2007


Mashud far from maddening crowd

Staff Correspondent, Rajshahi

Distressed over his omission from the World Cup squad, long-serving wicketkeeper Khaled Masud has decided to skip the two four-day Tests against touring England A.
"I don't want to deceive my countrymen playing for Bangladesh A when I am very upset. I would not be able to play with full commitment at this moment. So I came to Rajshahi to take some rest," Mashud told The Daily Star yesterday.
The frustration drove Masud back to his hometown in Rajshahi with certain captive zeal for bringing himself back on track.
AS soon as he reached his Kumarpara home last afternoon, he jumped out in company of local cricketers to devote in rigorous practice at the Rajshahi Government College ground.
During a break in the practice, the former Bangladesh skipper -- ignored by the selectors who themselves believe Mahsud remains to be the best keeper in the country -- said, "I want to go back to my position. So I am keen to set up my mind for the National League. I have taken it as a challenge."
Masud and two other Bangladesh discards, Mehrab Hossain and Mohammad Sharif, have been named in the Bangladesh A team for matches against touring England A.
Meanwhile, five cricketers -- captain Tushar Imran, Nazmul Hossain, Enamul Haque, Mehrab and Sharif yesterday reported to coach Shaun Williams. The reporting deadline ends this morning.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Litany Of Allegations

Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu

Former BNP state minister for land Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu allegedly helped the rise of militant kingpin Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai in greater Rajshahi area in 2004, while the ex-minister also raised a gang of criminals led by his cousins and nephews, who terrorised the people of Natore and gradually took over the district's underworld.
Dulu reportedly met with Bangla Bhai several times in 2004 and maintained the contact until the militant leader was arrested on March 6 last year. Several newspapers reported that on April 18, 2004, Bangla Bhai and his aides visited Dulu's house in Natore after openly holding a rally in front of an adjacent mosque. The then Natore Sadar assitant superintendent of police escorted Bangla Bhai back to his den allegedly under Dulu's direct instructions.
Dulu also allegedly sent a number of his hired hands to protect Bangla Bhai during the March 16, 2004 gunfight between the police and Bangla Bhai's gang on Sadhanpur Bridge, Rajshahi. When the police captured several of the criminals, they introduced themselves as the state minister's men. All but one of them were released that very night.
When Dulu's nephew Sabbir Ahmed Gama, who was notorious for criminal activities in Natore, was killed on February 7, 2004, Dulu's another nephew Dalim led a band who ransacked villages and burned down at least 40 houses with gunpowder.
Most of the victims were reportedly Natore Awami League leaders or activists, who later fled the district. When these attacks were reported, Dulu's men led by Natore Jubo Dal General Secretary Babul Chowdhury brutally attacked the daily Janakantha correspondent GM Iqbal Hasan on February 9, 2004.
According to a police report released in 2005, at least nine cases were filed in Natore in connection with the violence but all of the cases were closed as no-one dared to testify as witness. Locals even became scared to talk to the newsmen as Dulu's men had already assaulted several people for talking to the press.
Dulu was allegedly involved in the murder of Naldanga Chhatra League leader Afsar on the very night of October 1, 2001, when the BNP-led coalition won the national election. In 2002, Dulu's aide Dumbell's men killed two other AL men. In July 2004, another AL leader Ibrahim Hossain was picked up from his house and shot.
A number of others, including leaders of district AL and its front organisations, were seriously injured as they were beaten up, hacked and shot in public by Dulu's men throughout the course of 2005 and 2006.
Dulu's aides including Dumbell, Sohel, Tipu, Dollar and Ferdous led the attacks. District investigative officers said probes into all the incidents were stalled by the end of the BNP-led coalition government's tenure in late 2006.
Dulu is also reported to have made inactive the 'Lathi-Banshi Samity', an organisation of the Natore traders, when it took initiative to stop extortion in the district.
The former state minister chaired a meeting in 2003 where the Natore deputy commissioner banned the organisation for a month. After the organisation was allowed to function on condition of accepting the leadership approved by Dulu, it began to be used against the political opponents in the area.

Firearms, ammo seized from Dulu's house

Mon. February 05, 2007
Front Page

Firearms, ammo seized from Dulu's house

Staff Correspondent, Rajshahi

Joint forces raided former deputy minister Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu's Natore residence as well as his village home at Ramsa, Kazipur and seized two firearms and 137 bullets early yesterday.
The army-led forces found a .22 bore rifle along with its 76 bullets, and 50 more different rifle bullets from Dulu's residence at Alaipur in Natore town.
A shotgun along with its 11 bullets was also found at his village home at Ramsa, Kazipur.
People from surrounding villages of Ramsa, Kazipur, Naldanga, Basila, Patul, Khajura and Madhnagar expressed their joy at Dulu's arrest and exchanged sweets.
BNP leader Ruhul Quddus Dulu is known to have patronised vigilante gangs of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) led by Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai in their action against communist outlaws in 2004.

'Corrupt Politicians'

Mon. February 05, 2007

Front Page
Midnight crackdown on 'corrupt' politicians
SQ Chy, Nazmul Huda, Falu, Iqbal Hasan, Saifur's son, Nasim, Salman among the big fish netted

Staff Correspondent

The joint forces finally made a move against the hitherto untouchable corrupt bigwigs of BNP and Awami League (AL), detaining seven former ministers and several other top politicians of both the parties, the names of which have become synonymous to unbridled corruption over the years.
The high profile detainees include Nazmul Huda, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Mohammad Nasim.
The arrests, which came three weeks into former central bank governor Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed led caretaker government's declaration of war against corruptionists and criminal godfathers, were made in the first three hours of yesterday.
Preparations are on to bring graft charges against the detainees, according to sources.
The joint forces also have the names of 41 other top politicians and businessmen on their wanted list and will soon make an announcement for them to surrender, the sources said.
Apart from former communications minister Huda, and former prime minister Khaleda Zia's parliamentary affairs adviser SQ Chowdhury, other detainees from the BNP fold are former state minister for civil aviation Mir Nasir Uddin, former Dhaka-10 lawmaker and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's political secretary Mosaddak Ali Falu, former state minister for power Iqbal Hasan Mahmud, former state minister for labour and employment Amanullah Aman, former deputy minister for land Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, former lawmaker from Khagrachhari Abdul Wadood Bhuiyan, former lawmaker from Sylhet Naser Rahman who is also former finance minister Saifur Rahman's son, and former lawmaker from Comilla Manjurul Ahsan Munshi.
Arrestees from AL are former home minister Mohammad Nasim, Adviser to AL and Beximco Vice-chairman Salman F Rahman, former state minister for planning Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, former member of parliament (MP) Lotus Kamal, and Swechhasebak League General Secretary Pankaj Devnath.
The security forces also raided the houses of Ali Asgar Lobi, a former BNP MP, Hasnat Abudullah, former chief whip and cousin of AL President Sheikh Hasina, Jubo League Chairman Jahangir Kabir Nanak, and its Secretary Mirza Azam, but did not find any of them.
The forces seized two firearms and 137 bullets from Ruhul Quddus Talukder's house at Alaipur in Natore town and his village home at Ramsa, Kazipur early yesterday.
None of Jamaat-e-Islami however was arrested during the drive and none of the detainees were produced before the court or handed over to police till filing of this report yesterday evening.
According to well placed sources, the detainees are being interrogated in army custody but details of it could not be learnt immediately and the government did not make any official statement in this regard.
However, advisers to the caretaker government Barrister Mainul Husein and Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said the detainees were arrested 'most probably' on charges of corruption.
Although military governments cracked down on politicians in the past, successive political governments miserably failed to rise above narrow party interests, and rather arrested and harassed only rival politicians.
Former military ruler HM Ershad however was punished for corruption and served time in jail, creating the lone exception in the political culture.
Since assuming power on January 12, the seemingly resolute interim government uttered strong words promising curbing of corruption, and depoliticisation of the administration and public institutions.
Saying that pervasive corruption and plundering of national wealth by a handful of dishonest people pushed the national economy, society and politics into a disastrous state, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin said in his January 21 address to the nation that tough actions would be taken soon in a methodical way to curb corruption.
THE DRIVE Although the joint forces detained over 41,000 across the country since the declaration of emergency, top corrupt politicians and businessmen, excepting BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tareque Rahman's business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun, remained untouched until yesterday.
The operation to apprehend the big fishes began after the clock had ticked zero hours. Split in several teams, the joint forces comprising members of the police, armed forces, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), having the power to arrest anyone without a warrant under the rules of emergency, raided the houses of the 'corrupt' top politicians and businessmen.
The combined forces picked up Mohammad Nasim around 1:30am yesterday from his Dhanmondi residence in the capital, his family said.
"Entering our house, the forces asked him (Nasim) to go with them. As I asked why and where they are taking him, they gave no explanation and said they had orders from their bosses," wife of the former home minister told reporters. The forces searched the chest of drawers of Nasim and took away some of his diaries too.
"When I asked, from where we'll get information about him, the officers remained silent for a minute and suggested us to contact the local police station," Nasim's wife added.
Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was taken into custody from his Dhanmondi house at about 2:30am. His family moved to another house after his arrest, Salauddin's personal assistant Mujibur Rahman told The Daily Star. "We are totally in the dark about where he is being kept," he said.
The joint forces last night arrested Falu from his house in Old DOHS in the capital.
Sources said the forces picked him up at 10:45pm after he had returned from Biswa Ijtema. Before his arrest, Falu met Khaleda in Hawa Bhaban.
Falu surrendered to the joint forces after calling them asking whether they had been looking for him as they had raided his house the night before. He asked the forces to come and pick him up from his DOHS residence if they wanted to arrest him.
Falu had gone under the shelter of immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia since the start of the current anti-crime drive. The joint forces were in communication with him over the last few days warning him that the consequences would be dire if he did not surrender, which led to his surrender last night.
Falu has amassed a huge amount of wealth during the five years of four-party regime and was also one of the main conspirators behind the scam of siphoning crores of taka from Oriental Bank.
UNB quoted Nazmul Huda's family as saying that the forces picked him up from his Dhanmondi residence at about 1:15am.
Meanwhile, Mohiuddin Alamgir's wife Sitara Alamgir told reporters that the security forces detained her husband at 3:00am.
The joint forces arrested Naser Rahman from his Banani residence in the capital around 1:00am, according to a family source.
Wadood Bhuiyan was picked up from his residence in Khagrachhari hill town in the early hours of yesterday, according to sources.
Pankaj Devnath was picked up around 2:30am from his Dhanmondi flat, according to his family.
After arresting them, the joint forces took them to undisclosed locations for interrogation.
The family of Salman Rahman expressed concern, saying they do not know the whereabouts of Salman.
Meantime, family members of some of the arrested BNP leaders expressed concern about the whereabouts and conditions of the arrestees.
Talking to reporters after their meeting with Khaleda Zia in Hawa Bhaban last night, Humayun Quader Chowdhury, son of SQ Chowdhury, Sabera Aman, wife of Amanullah Aman, Barrister Mir Helal, son of Mir Nasiruddin, Javed Helal Mahmud, son of Iqbal Hasan Mahmud, Rezaul Hasan Munshi, son of Manjurul Ahsan Munshi, and Barrister Nazmul Huda's daughter expressed the concern.
CRACKDOWN TO CONTINUEThe caretaker government will continue the crackdown on corruptionists irrespective of their positions in the society or in political parties, adviser Mainul Husein and MA Matin said yesterday.
"If evidence of corruption are found, the government will not hesitate to take steps against the top politicians," Mainul told reporters yesterday.
"Only proofs of corruption will matter in taking such actions, neither the identities of the persons nor their positions in parties will be considered," said Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Matin adding that actions will be taken even against those at the highest levels in political parties.
Hours into the declaration of the state of emergency, security men arrested former AL lawmaker Kamal Majumder in Dhaka. Among those who were arrested later are Giasuddin Al Mamun, Chittagong BNP leader Dastagir Chowdhury, and Tangail transport leader Murad Siddiqui.
Security men recently also barred Gias Quader Chowdhury, Salman F Rahman, and Tanjim Ahmed Sohel from going abroad.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Letter of Prof Taher's Son

Fri. January 26, 2007
Letters to Editor
Prof. TaherSanzid Alvi Ahmed, HR Manager-Talent, British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Dhaka

I would like to introduce myself as the son of late Prof S. Taher Ahmed.
On January 17 an article on the murder of Professor S. Taher Ahmed was published in your daily. My father was murdered on 1st February 2006. He was a true scholar. He did his PhD. from Germany and later on he did his post-doctoral research from the University College of London. He was known for his honesty, hard work and dedication throughout his teaching career. I still cannot understand how a fellow human could even think of killing him.
From the very beginning, The Daily Star has been providing us amazing support. My family is an ordinary one. We don't have any connection with the high-ups. It's only for the media support that the case has progressed so far. I cannot thank you enough for your continuous support.
I really hope that DS would continue to give coverage to this case until it's resolved and prove that such a heinous crime cannot go unpunished.