Railway bribery scam
High-power panel should probe ‘graft’ against MridhaBdnews24.com . Chittagong
A platform of the railway employees on Friday demanded institution of a high power committee to investigate the ‘cash scandal’ involving the railways minister’s aide Omar Faruq Talukder and Railway Division (East) general manager Yusuf Ali Mridha.
Leaders of Railway Sramik-Kormachari Sangram Parishad at a press conference in the Chittagong Press Club also asked for removal of Mridha.
They alleged that Mridha had taken at least Tk 10 crore in bribes promising appointments to the railway during the Chittagong division’s recent recruitment.
Even though they have been complaining for the last six months, the higher authority did not care about it, the leaders alleged.
Claiming the bribes were taken in railway minister Suranjit Sengupta’s name, the protest platform’s central chief coordinator Mokhlesur Rahman said they had complained to the higher officials including the railway secretary about this.
Asked whether he thought the minister was also linked to the bribery, he said, ‘We don’t know that. If he is connected, he must be tried. And those who are using the minister’s name to save themselves should also be tried.’
Border Guard Bangladesh personnel seized Tk 7 million in cash from a car carrying Suranjit’s assistant personal secretary Omar Faruq and Mridha in the early hours of Tuesday.
Suranjit, who took over the newly-created ministry barely five months back, had initially blamed the driver who he said had driven the car into the BGB headquarters near Jigatola to ‘blackmail and hijack’ his aide.
Facing widespread criticism, the minister, however, suspended Faruq on Wednesday and said on Thursday he would not hesitate to resign if investigation finds him guilty.
The Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the incident in addition to the two separate inquiries ordered earlier by the ministry amid media reports saying the money was taken as bribe in return for appointments in the ministry.
The platform’s Chittagong division convenor Mohammad Harunur Rashid said they had been trying to draw the attention of the higher officials through fax, memorandums and protest programmes for the past six months.
‘The railway staff would not have to feel ashamed of this incident if the ministry had taken steps in time. After the railway ministry was created, Yusuf Mridha had been saying the minister was involved with the bribery.
‘We had informed the ministry about this.’
Rashid said, ‘Our 14-strong delegation also met the minister on March 28 and informed him about the issue.’
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Date:Saturday, 14th April, 2012