Suranjit gets ‘clean chit’United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka
The inquiry committee formed to probe the railway cash scam submitted its report on Sunday without taking statement of Ali Azam, the driver of the APS to ex-railways minister Suranjit Sengupta.
The two-member committee, headed by the railway DG, Mohammad Abu Taher, handed over the report to the railway secretary, Fazle Kabir, at his office at about 3:00pm.
Talking to the news agency, the railway secretary said they would make the 7-page report public either today or day after tomorrow (Tuesday) after consultation with the communications and railways minister, Obaidul Quader.
Prior to submitting the report, the probe body chief told reporters that the committee did not find any involvement of Suranjit in the alleged bribed money of Tk 70 lakh believed to have been collected from job seekers at the railway.
Asked if the committee has found the involvement of any railway officials in the scam, he said whatever involvement was found had been stated in the inquiry report.
About the source of Tk 70 lakh found in the APS’s car, Taher said APS Omar Faruk Talukdar claimed the money to be his own. Besides, he said the Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating the source of the money.
Asked whether the report would be considered incomplete as there was no statement of the APS’s driver Ali Azam, Taher said the committee gave advertisement in the newspapers asking Ali Azam to appear before the inquiry committee, but he did not turn up.
He said they could not wait for long for the driver’s statement since the committee was asked to submit its report within the stipulated time.
Taher said the committee was given four terms of reference: to investigate whether the railway officials were arrested at the BGB headquarters; whether the railway officials — GM (East) Yusuf Ali Mridha and Commandant Enamul Huq — came to Dhaka with the permission of the authorities concerned; whether they have any involvement with the Tk 70 lakh; and whether the accused railway officials violated the official order.
The committee was formed on April 9 to submit its report within 15 working days. Later, the time was extended by another five working days.
On April 9, APS Omar Faruk, Yusuf Ali Mridha, Enamul Huq and driver Ali Azam were detained at the BGB headquarters at Pilkhana with Tk 70 lakh.
It was alleged that the railway officials were going to Suranjit’s Jigatola residence to give him the money as bribe. Amid a row over the scam, Suranjit had to stand down from the railways ministry to ensure appropriate investigation into the midnight episode.
A day after his resignation from the post of railways minister following the April 9 midnight cash haul, Suranjit was made a minister without portfolio on April 17.
Besides, on April 18, the communications minister, Obaidul Quader, was given the additional charge of the railways ministry.
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