Friday, November 27, 2009

Police face ruling party pressure to free leader

Friday, November 27, 2009

Police yesterday shifted a detained Awami League leader arrested on charges of mugging and demanding toll to hospital apparently to release him in the face of pressures by the ruling party men.

Mahbubur Rahman, acting AL general secretary of Godagari upazila, was arrested along with his son Rajesh at his home in connection with a mugging case in the early hours yesterday.

Mahbub was admitted to Police Hospital around 5:00pm, while Rajesh was hauled before a court that sent him to jail, said police and court sources.

"Mahbub was admitted to the hospital as his health deteriorated. But we sent Rajesh to the court," confirmed Abdul Kuddus Chowdhury, additional superintendent of police.

"We will decide about him after he recovers," Chowdhury added.

AL leaders including Jubo League President Asaduzzaman were putting pressure on the police for his release since 12noon, sources say.

At around 3:00pm, the AL leaders along with hundreds of activists laid a siege to the Godagari police station. One hour later, Additional Superintendent of Police Chowdhury rushed to Godagari and took both the arrestees to Rajshahi.

Speaking anonymously, a senior police official termed the whole affair rivalry in local AL politics over a bid to capture Sultanganj cattle market.

He told The Daily Star the police arrested Mahbub at the diktat of a ruling party lawmaker and are now digesting the wrath of a senior AL leader holding a state minister's status.

Rajshahi city Jubo League President Asaduzzaman blames Omar Faruk Chowdhury, MP for forcing police to arrest Mahbub.

Contacted, Omar Faruk denied the charges. "Police performed their duty. But look what is happening now. Police complained to me that the mayor [AHM Khairuzzaman Liton] is lobbying for Mahbub's release. How can he side with a mugger?"

Mahbub and his son were arrested after Aminul Islam, an AL supporter, filed a case against them alleging that they mugged Tk 6 lakh from him during an auction of cows on Tuesday.

Aminul alleged that the accused beat up his aide Rofikul and sent him to hospital as he denied them toll of Tk 1.5 lakh after they bought ten cows in the auction.

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