ACC conducting probes against Benazir, could investigate Aziz if wants: Quader

Bangladesh Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader talks to the media on 28 May, 2024BSS

The government is not embarrassed over former army chief Aziz Azmed and former police chief Benazir Ahmed issues at all, said governing Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader Tuesday.

He said the government has the goodwill to bring all the corrupt persons to justice. Everyone would have to face justice. No criminal will be spared. The head of government is showing ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption.

The AL general secretary said this at a press conference held at AL president’s political office in the city’s Dhanmondi.

Quader told the media that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is unearthing information freely on the issue of former IGP Benazir Ahmed. ACC is independent. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given this freedom. ACC said investigation is going on about Benzir Ahmed’s illegal assets.

The road transport and bridges minister further said the investigation is going on means he will have to face trial if any case is filed. No criminal will get relief during the tenure of Sheikh Hasina. ACC could carry out an investigation against former army chief Aziz Ahmed if he was involved in corruption. Every wrongdoer, whoever he is, will be brought under justice.

The AL general secretary asserted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is well-known as an honest prime minister across the world. Honesty and hard work are the main reasons for her huge popularity in Bangladesh. The government is always ready to take action against corruption.

‘Mass uprisings was in BNP’s voice’

Speaking about the demand of the BNP for changing government, the minister said there are two ways to change the government - mass uprisings and election. BNP could not wage any mass movement as the people were not with them… Despite their boycott of the last parliamentary election, the voter turnout was over 42 per cent. Neither they could stop the election nor the people’s participation.

Obaidul Quader said BNP is engaged in negative propaganda against the government to conceal their crimes. No criminal faced legal actions during their regime. Today, the BNP leaders say how would the government punish Tarique Rahman?

The minister said Tarique Rahman is already convicted. He was sentenced nine years of imprisonment in a case filed by ACC. Bangladesh has got back some of the laundered money from Singapore. Tarique Rahman has been sentenced seven years of imprisonment and Tk 200 million in fine in a money laundering case. Besides, he has been sentenced to life term jail in a case filed over the 21 August grenade attack. Now this has to be implemented. He has to be brought back home to implement the sentence. The government has been trying that. The sentences of Tarique Rahman must be implemented.

‘Politics of forced disappearance started during BNP’

The politics of murder and forced disappearance started in the country through Ziaur Rahman, the founder of BNP, Obaidul Quader claimed.

He said over 3,000 political leaders and activists, with most being from the Awami League, were killed and made victims of enforced disappearance during the regime of Ziaur Rahman. Has the BNP forgotten that? The people of this country have not forgotten that. At whose time, over 62,000 opposition leaders and activists, including those from AL, were in jail?

The AL leader further said that Ziaur Rahman freed the people accused in crimes against humanity. Of them, 703 were convicted. Many say Bangabandhu pardoned the war criminal but this is not true.

Quader said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul and other leaders are now making statements over the corruption of the former IGP. “But, I would like to ask them - did they carry out any trial against former IGP Ashraful Huda or Rakibul Huda, who was involved with a plot to kill Sheikh Hasina in Chattogram, or SP Kahinur, who tortured scores of political leaders? Did BNP carry out any investigation against them?” he said.

Obaidul Quader said none but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the only incumbent politician after 1975 who does not pardon a criminal even from her own party. She proved this. Were the Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders who were involved with the killing of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) student Abrar Fahad released? Everyone knows about the trial of Biswajit murder.

PM to visit cyclone-hit areas

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit cyclonic storm Remal-hit areas in Patuakhali on Thursday. She would go to Khulna as well if she could manage time, Quader added.

Speaking about the embankments, the minister said you cannot guarantee that no embankment would collapse at the face of a storm and tidal surge induced by the storm. Four states of the US were hit severely. None can stop those. The force and storms have increased due to climate change.