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Photo: bdnews24.com
Photo: bdnews24.com

Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya has issued a statement, using his ministerial letterhead, claiming none of his family had any role in the crime that has shaken the nation. He is surely trying to protect his son-in-law, the now-disgraced – not yet convicted as the case hasn’t reached the courts – former lieutenant colonel Tarek Sayeed Mahmud.

The disaster management minister is clearly failing to manage the crisis his family is in.

First, the investigation is on. And anything that can have any bearing on the process mustn’t be allowed. The minister, unfortunately, thought otherwise. He simply forgot that his son-in-law had lost his job as head of the Narayanganj-based unit of RAB even before the bodies of the seven unfortunate souls were found floating on the Sitalakhyya river. That made Tarek Sayeed Mahmud a party to the process, and instantly threw him on the wrong side of the fence. By issuing the statement, the minister has simply interfered in the process.

The April 27 abductions of the Narayanganj City councilor and a senior local lawyer and five others were reported almost immediately after the “abduction” and “return” of the husband of a well-known environmental activist. The 36-hour drama hangover was still there when the old river produced the bodies – disposed of, according to forensic experts, ‘with professional precision having been killed immediately after abduction’.

TIK 4The father-in-law of the slain councilor Nazrul Islam didn’t even make the startling claim (on May 4) that RAB officers were paid 60 million takas to kill the seven men. The privileged son-in-law had been sent packing out of the elite force to his own– the army – on April 29. Another major and a lieutenant commander were booted out of RAB at the same time.

The army acted in supersonic speed. It sacked the lieutenant colonel and the major in no time. The navy wasn’t falling behind, firing the RAB-11 deputy to the minister’s son-in-law on the same day. For once, the armed forces’ public relations outfit was quite efficient in disseminating this small piece of information that the three had been sent home unceremoniously.

The government has so far appeared convincing in its actions. The district’s police chief was removed on the same day as the RAB-11 boss. The following day, the district’s top administrator, the DC,  was ordered out. And then, days later, on May 7, 81 police officers with the slightest ability to influence the course of the investigations were moved out of Narayanganj. A day after, on Friday, the RAB man in Rajshahi – believed to have had a better track record as an enforcer – rushed to the city to take charge at RAB-11.

All looked good, until Friday afternoon, when, suddenly, Maya sought to flex his ministerial muscle. His statement gave all the reasons for one to argue the minister too ought to have been shown the door along with those officers.

Maya said in his statement that he was deeply saddened by media reports linking his family to the murders which “defamed me and members of my family” and that he really wanted the perpetrators to be brought to justice …

“But I would like to state categorically,” the minister was quick to try to drive home his key point, “that none of my family has ever been linked or involved in any business dealings with any of the accused in the murder case.”

Minister Maya failed to take note of the fact that he was making the statement just two days after his son-in-law was summarily sacked by the army!And the army, unlike its tradition and character, made no effort to hide it and did in fact take some pride, as one would recognise, in doing what it did so fast if one had the faintest idea about the way ISPR functioned.

The decorated freedom fighter – even if he was not one – has every right to protect a member of his family, his daughter’s husband in this case (only one, at least for now; because one has to ignore some other credible information being held back due to lack of evidence admissible in courts). But here he has created a conflict of interest – a cabinet minister is trying to save his son-in-law being investigated for abuse of power of an extreme nature.

Maya claimed in his statement that he had been restraining himself from making any comments ‘until now’ because he didn’t want to “influence” the proceedings. Ironically, that is exactly what he has done by firing the salvo under the garb of a personal statement at the several committees formed by police, Rapid Action Battalion and the home ministry – DO NOT dare touch any of my family members. They are innocent.

Maybe they are. Maybe they are not. The fact remained that they were being investigated.

Barely twenty-four hours earlier, senior RAB sources had admitted to bdnews24.com Chief Crime Correspondent that the on-going RAB investigation had already found evidence of involvement of their own officers in the murders.

The sequence of events has spelt disaster for the minister. He survived 1996-2001 as a junior minister, despite all the allegations including ones levelled against his prodigal sons. His boss – the prime minister – will do a huge disservice to herself if he does this time.

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Toufique Imrose Khalidi is the Editor-in-Chief of bdnews24.com

Toufique Imrose Khalidiis the Editor-in-Chief of bdnews24.com.

21 Responses to “Maya must go now”

  1. mzamanmd

    Maya has not gone yet.
    PM does have a lot of “MAYA” for the bad and nefarious …

  2. probashi

    Dear Editor, How could you ask Maya to go now? He has 5 more years to serve the nation, ok? 5th JAN Rejection already gave him that right to kill anyone to maintain the atmosphere of fear all over the country, ok? You (news-media) are expected to become shameless like the whole administration, especially Police/RAB and Judiciary did, ok?

    Look around you, you will hear that during 5th JAN election period so many people disappeared and are still missing. You don’t have to go too far from Dhaka. Last night I was watching TV news about 6 abducted (by RAB) boys from Uttara are still missing and their family still fervently waiting to get them (or their body) back.

    I am sure Hasina as the Home Minister take pride of this lawlessness and disorder, as her own handwritten constitutional obligatory 5th JAN Rejection gave her that right to bring the whole country down.

    Hasina’s government has to go right now taking responsibility of this anarchy done by her law enforcing agency.

    Simple way out is one immediate credible election.

  3. amar desh

    Maya was just acting the way the powerful in this country act. They can do anything and get away with anything.

  4. Imteaz Tishad

    এই দেশের মানুষের নিরাপত্তা বলে কিছু নাই। সব গড ফাদারদের

  5. Yousuf Bappy

    এই লেখা কি আমাদের প্রধানমন্ত্রী পরবেন। তিনি কি আসলেই জানতে চান দেশবাসী কি চায়?

  6. Nurunnabi

    এই দেশ হল সন্ত্রাসী দের।

  7. golam arshad

    Mr Editor you are absolutely RIGHT! MINISTER MAYA SHOULD RESIGN! Madam Prime Minister, this is The Painful Outcome of a forced farcical ELECTION! THE WAR OF ATTRITION STARTED NOW WITHIN YOUR PARTY! A FRESH ELECTION UNDER A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT IS THE ONLY OPTION LEFT FOR YOU!

  8. Opu Masud

    I shudder to think what role the RAB actually played. This case needs to be resolved. We have to know the truth.

  9. Prokash Mondal

    আমি মায়া দের চেয়েও অনেক বেশি চিন্তিত রাব কে নিয়ে।টাকা দিয়ে যদি আমাদের সবচেয়ে ভয়ংকর আইন শৃঙ্খলা বাহিনি কে কিনে ফেলা যায় তাহলে তো কেউ মাটির নীচেও নিরাপদ না।

  10. Tafsirul Alam

    Isn’t the same Maya whose son unleashed the reign of terror in Uttara field a few years ago?

  11. Mamunur Rashid Sonnet

    Apni ami chailei to hobe na sir. Netri ke chaitey hobe.

  12. Imran Waliullah Khan Shagor

    That Maya has to go is the demand of general people too. Is the prime minister listening?

  13. Kartic

    I think Mr. Khalidi, the editor-in-chief, bdnews24.com, has indicated rightly. I am in a position to believe that the Honorable Prime Minister will personally look into the matter.

  14. mzamanmd

    Fine – Maya can go … however, inconsequential his departure be!

    How about the home minister who holds the real power?
    No I am not talking about the little one!

    Thank you TIK for the opinion.

  15. গীতা দাস

    I fully agreed with above written column.

  16. Mashuk Chowdhury

    So far the PM has approached the issue quite decisively as you have outlined in your article. Now she must weigh the usefulness of her minister caught in the controversy against the much greater need of serving the public interest to the fullest, not to mention the need to outmaneuver the opposition who are already out to score political mileage from this horrific incidence. She must remember that the public reaction to the multiple murder can only be one of outrage among the reasonable and that of hysteria among the more emotionally driven. It does not matter if these murders were the predictable results of a turf war over such gangland crimes as drug and extortion more because because one of the victims and the alleged mastermind of the crime wear the badge of her party. To think here that seven gored and floating bodies do not signify a deteriorated law and order situation and the public reaction is overblown and the storm of criticism will soon pass would lead to irreparable damage to the image of her administration. With her retaining power in a less than regular election, more than ever she must rely on the goodwill of the people and so far she seems to be enjoying a reasonable level of popular support for her honesty and good intentions. Since this minister by issuing a prejudicial statement on a subjudice matter has clearly disqualified himself for the job and has in fact now tarnished the image of the government, he must not be allowed to stand in PM’s way. And I agree with you that he should be fired from his job forthwith.

  17. Omar

    The government is in for big trouble if lets its minister talk like this. The law and order has gone down the drain. No one feels safe, even when they are in their home. The fear of kidnapping, abduction are increasing every day.

  18. Hamid

    hahahaha….maya will go? have we forgotten the way awami league came to power on jan 5? just wait and watch what happens next.

  19. Shimana Chowdhury

    Do you honestly think Sheikh Hasina will get rid of his trusted awami member?

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