Golden' Monir is being taken away after arresting from his house at Merool Badda in the capital on Saturday morning.
Golden' Monir is being taken away after arresting from his house at Merool Badda in the capital on Saturday morning.Photo: Sazid Hossain

‘Golden Monir’ forged documents to grab innumerable plots of land in the capital city Dhaka, but he is not the only one to resort to such duplicity. Such villains exist within the social system, within and outside of the administration.

The manner in which the reports about ‘Golden Monir’ are being highlighted, it is as if he is the major villain on the scene. He has corrupted government offices and officials. It seems so wrong of him to have given a state minister a car worth Tk 15 million (Tk 1.5 crore). The fact that the state minister accepted the car has been glossed over. The challenge before the state now is to point out that those accepting these ‘gifts’ are also to be condemned by the law, just as those who proffer the ‘gifts’. Instead, as soon as measures were taken up against the corruption, there was a hurried reshuffling in the ministry.

After Monir had established his reign within RAJUK, the country went through three changes of government – BNP, the military-backed caretaker government and Awami League. Awami League has been in power for around two and a half terms. Only now three cases have been filed against Monir for possession of illegal arms, liquor and foreign currency and remand has been granted. There are at least a dozen government agencies and departments involved with Monir in his corruption and misdeeds, but it has not been possible to specifically challenge any one these.

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The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Monir on the basis of a report from an intelligence agency. It was hardly RAB’s responsibility to come forward to deal with land grabbing. This incident reveals the mismanagement, disorder and anarchy within RAJUK. Steps must be taken against this authority that is in charge of the capital city’s development. No one can be so naïve as to believe that Monir alone managed to resort to corruption and grab 200 plots of land in the city, mostly in Badda. The million dollar question is, who had aided and abetted Monir in forging the land documents.

The government administration needs to show that the law proceeds at its own pace against corruption and anti-social elements. Measures against corruption must not prove to be farcical displays of justice

The RAB spokesperson said that Monir had built up close ties with various officials within RAJUK. So the people want to see that Monir is not the only one being nabbed, but that the concerned officials are identified and brought to book too. They are the ones who created ‘Golden Monir’. And they did not create just him alone. When will the other ‘Monirs’ be caught too?

There is the apprehension that there will be no thorough investigation in RAJUK’s corruption. If investigations had been carried out a year earlier when the executive magistrate had intervened, Monir could have been caught sooner. Now perhaps there will be a speedy trial for the possession of illegal arms, liquor and foreign currency. But the RAJUK-centred forgery and corruption actually demand priority. And it is political will that is imperative to uproot the deep-rooted corruption of RAJUK.

We certainly are pleased that measures have been taken against Monir, albeit late. But if just such isolated cases against individuals pop up now and again, questions will undoubtedly arise in the public mind. The government administration needs to show that the law proceeds at its own pace against corruption and anti-social elements. Measures against corruption must not prove to be farcical displays of justice.

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