The BNP on Tuesday asked the government to reveal the whereabouts of Ali Azam, the driver of assistant personal secretary to railway minister Suranjit Sengupta who resigned over cash scandal.
“Three persons caught with Tk 7 million of unaccounted cash by the BGB were released on the minister’s intervention. However, the vehicle’s driver Ali Azam cannot be seen anywhere, where is he? We want to know,” the party’s standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Miah said.
“It is the prime minister and home minister’s duty to search him out,” he added at a human-chain demonstration organised by the Labour Party demanding arrest and trial of ‘the corrupt’ in front of the National Press Club.
Suranjit’s assistant personal secretary (APS) Omar Faruq Talukder was detained by the Border Guard Bangladesh personnel in the early hours of Apr 10 with unaccounted-for cash in the car carrying Faruq and two top railway officials.
The officials are Railway Division (east zone) Yusuf Ali Mridha and Government Railway Police (GRP) (Dhaka zone) commandant Enamul Haque. However, Ali Azam went missing after the incident. His family could not also say about his whereabouts.
In a rushed press briefing in the morning of Apr 10, Suranjit had said the driver entered the BGB headquarters attempting to ‘blackmail’ and ‘hijack’ Faruq. However, in face of intense pressure, Mridha and Enamul were temporarily suspended and Faruq was fired on Sunday. The ministry also asked the Bangladesh Bank to freeze Faruq and his wife Marzia Farhana’s bank accounts and to investigate their banking transactions.
Although Suranjit ruled out chances of him stepping down, he resigned on Monday, only a day after meeting the prime minister for an hour following her return from abroad.
The BNP leader continued: “We are worried. Did the driver meet his fate like all the murders carried out in the past?” “The BGB even files a case if it finds five to ten bottles of Phensidyl on the borders. And they did not file a case after recovering so much cash – this question has popped up in the minds of the people,” Miah said.
“The people want to know on whose phone call those detained with the cash in the APS’ car were let go.” “The railway minister’s corruption came out in the open. There is no way the prime minister can avoid responsibility for this,” the BNP leader said. He added that ‘sedition’ cases would be filed against prime minister Sheikh Hasina and members of her cabinet for corruption once the BNP returned to power.