Money seizure mystery deepensMuktadir Rashid
Driver Azam remains untraced
The whereabouts of the driver of the railways minister’s APS Omar Faruk Talukder, who was detained along with Faruk and two others after he drove straight into the Border Guard Bangladesh headquarters with a large amount of money stacked in a microbus on Monday night, could not be known even four days after the BGB had reportedly released them.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police, however, said that they had not received any complaints from the family of the driver, Azam Khan.
Azam, 38, son of Dudhmiah Khan of Nayagaon village in Dakkhin Matlab upazila of Chandpur, used to live along with his wife and an eight-year-old daughter at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar near the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, his family said but could not give his address.
His father, who lives along with the family in Chandpur, said he was worried as his son remained untraced since he had reportedly been released by the BGB authorities.
The BGB authorities remained tight-lipped after they had released Omar Faruk, two railway officials and Azam hours after detaining them for ‘possessing’ more than Tk 70 lakh.
When contacted over mobile, the BGB director general, major general Anwar Hossain refused to say anything other than that the BGB had released them.
On Tuesday, the BGB authorities released railways minister Suranjit Sengupta’s assistant private secretary Omar Faruk Talukder, railway’s general manager (east) Yusuf Ali Mridha and Railway Nirapatta Bahini (Dhaka division)commandant Md Enamul Haque hours after they were detained by troops on duty after the microbus (Dhaka Metro Cha 13-7992) carrying them drove straight into BGB headquarters at Peelkhana in the city in a microbus before midnight Monday.
The event which caused a huge stir in the country, jolted the chequered political career of Suranjit Sengupta spanning more than half a century.
On Friday, the railways minister in a talk-show on the private television channel, Maasranga, reiterated that he would not hesitate to quit if the probe found him guilty.
Since then, the BGB authorities did not explain how the microbus had passed through the gateway to the BGB headquarters avoiding the guards and how and on whose orders they were released without informing the police station concerned. Why the microbus drove straight into the Peelkhana also remains a mystery.
The Dhanmandi police officer-in-charge, inspector M Moniruzzaman, told New Age that the BGB had not informed the police after the incident.
Suranjit Sengupta on Thursday in a press briefing said the episode of the seizure of Tk 70 lakh from the microbus of his APS at the BGB headquarters was part of an ‘orchestrated plot.’ He claimed that his officers were not detained by the BGB authorities but were ‘supervised’ there overnight.
Suranjit could not specify the sources or amount of the money seized by the BGB and the whereabouts of the driver of the microbus.
The veteran Awami League leader asked journalists to approach the BGB authorities to know actually what had happened.
But the BGB director general or other officials concerned could not be reached for comments on the incident until 9:00pm Friday. No press statement was issued either.
Officers-in-charge of nearby police stations – New Market, Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh and Lalbagh –said that no cases or general diaries were filed with the police over the incident.
They said none was detained by the police in connection with the incident until 9:00pm on Friday.
After the incident, the government hurriedly appointed two probe committees – one for investigation into the involvement of railway officials Yusuf Ali Mridha and Enamul Haque and the other, a one-member committee comprising the railway minister’s private secretary Akhtaruzzaman – to investigate the involvement of Faruk in the scam.
The two-member committee led by Bangladesh Railway director general Abu Taher served notices on the two officers and directed them to appear in the committee at the Railway Bhaban on Sunday morning, said railway ministry joint secretary (administration) Shashi Kumar Singha, also the member of the committee.
The minister’s private secretary, tasked with investigating the involvement of the minister’s assistant private secretary, also asked Omar Faruk to meet the body on Sunday with a written explanation.
Shashi Kumar told New Age, ‘After he explains his conduct, I will summon the others for the investigation.’
He said BGB troops concerned would also be called for the sake of investigation.
The two probe committees were asked to submit their reports in 15 days, said officials.
Mridha and Enamul could not be reached by phone for comments after the government started investigation of the incident.
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