Kazi Shahid Islam alias Papul
Kazi Shahid Islam alias PapulFile photo

Lakshmipur- 2 constituency MP (independent) Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Papul was not well-known in his village before 2016.

He drew attention of the people setting up a charity organisation for his mother during the Eid-ul-Azha that year.

He spent a lot of money for the people and then backed by local Awami League leader was elected as a member of the parliament from Lakshmipur-2 (Raipur upazila and a section of sadar upazila) independently.

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On 6 June, Shahid, known as a philanthropist in his village, was detained in Kuwait for human trafficking and money laundering.

Shahid’s wife Selina Islam too was named an independent MP of a reserved seat for women. The locals consider that influential leaders of Awami League had contributed for the couple being MPs.

On 6 June, Shahid, known as a philanthropist in his village, was detained in Kuwait for human trafficking and money laundering.

According to locals, Shahid went to Kuwait in 1989 for a job of supervisor at an institution. He was almost penniless at that time. However, he had to return home after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Shahid favoured Awami League men more and bought some youths motorcycles before the election, said Anwar Hossain from Tawapatti, Raipur, adding that the lawmaker would often come to the area on helicopter.

After the situation in Kuwait turned normal, Shahid went there again with the assistance of his brother Kazi Monzurul Alam, general secretary of Kuwait BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party).

Shahid left the village around 30 years ago, said Mohammad Shamsu from Moddho Keroa village of Raipur. His financial condition was below par at that time, but it suddenly swelled after he began human trafficking, he said.

The lawmaker began sending hundreds of people to Kuwait from Lakshmipur and Cumilla on the promise of employment. He started manpower export using the name of Marafie Kuwaitia Group where he had worked once.

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The MP used to donate a lot of money before the election, but stopped once being elected as the MP, said Rubel Uddin, a student of Raipur Government College.

Shahid favoured Awami League men more and bought some youths motorcycles before the election, said Anwar Hossain from Tawapatti, Raipur, adding that the lawmaker would often come to the area on helicopter.

"Awami League had left the constituency of Lakshmipur-2 to a Jatiya Party candidate who became inactive 9 days prior to the election. We had then worked for Shahid according to the order of party alliance,” said Ismail Khokon, mayor of Raipur municipality, adding, “Shahid spent millions to become an MP. But we were no longer in good terms after he was elected.”