At the time when the Military backed Caretaker Government and their obedient media are continuing ‘the war against corruption’, a letter about the corruption of an Army personnel has been circulating places. May be the writer(s) thought that it would be really appropriate to send the letter to the very people who tuned up their dreamy vocal against the corruption. So the writer(s) addressed it to the army chief General Moyeen U Ahmed and sent some copies to the Chief Advisor’s Office, The Chairman of the ACC, the DGFI etc. A copy was sent to the national daily ‘Prothom Alo’ too, who claim to be leading the citizen’s movement against the corruption and act as the spokesman of TIB lead by Dr. Mozaffar Ahmed and Dr. Iftekharuzzaman. But may be the sender(s) didn’t want to risk the letter to be sent under the carpet. So the anonymous writer sent a copy to Dr. Anwar Hossain too.
No wonder that the ‘Prothom Alo’, which is publicly established as ‘the parliament’ of this military-backed Government, killed the letter and labelled it red to uphold their so called credibility just to regulate their corporate interests for the time ahead.
But ‘unfortunately’ the letter and the scandal are now flying in the open. Because Dr. Anwar Hossain published it on 28 July in Chittagong while giving a speech to the general people and freedom fighters who gathered to form a human chain in front of the Shaheed Minar demanding the trial of the war-criminals of 1971. It was organized by ‘Ekatturer Ghatok-Dalal Nirmul Committee, Chittagong. The human-chain was a memorable event, because freedom fighter Sheikh Mohammad Ali Aman, who was recently assaulted by the followers of the collaborators of the liberation war for telling the truth about their activities, had participated.
[Speech of Dr. Anwar]
And though the Government have done nothing to console the brave freedom fighter, Dr. Anwar Hossain gave him the honour by disclosing a short description about the corruption at the Chittagong Customs House by some army officers. As we were being told by him, a packet was delivered at his office at the Faculty of Biological Sciences, Dhaka University. It contained the copy of the letter sent by an employee of the Chittagong Customs House.
In the letter the sender(s) says that a group of Army officers who were given the responsibility of reforming the Chittagong Customs House were engaged in severe forms of corruption. The group is led by Brigadier General Nasir Hasan and includes Major Tarikul, Major Quddus, Captain Arif, Captain Moyeen, Captain Delwar etc. This group has already collected over 15 crore Taka from various businessmen, importers, stock holders and CNF Agents of Chittagong in the form of ‘chada’ or extortion.
The long letter told the story about how the face of the crusaders against the corruption has been fading away. It also recalls the nightmares of the past, the long army regime who turned corruption in to the form of an institution. The army-corruption in Chittagong Custom House is in fact tip on the iceberg! We don’t know what the reaction of Gen. Moyeen U Ahmed, his neutral Caretaker Government and their domestic parliament, named ‘Prothom Alo’. But people were really happy to see Hossain’s way of honouring the freedom fighter Aman. He congratulated him for being in the centre of the collaborators like the war days and telling the whole truth about their activities and demanding their punishment.
Dr. Anwar took it as a good omen as people are reacting. But alongside Anwar warned about the Governments real intentions as their recent activities show as if they are actually protecting the war criminals. If so, Aman was only an instance, because a million Amans are there who would do anything to uphold the true spirit of 1971. And the consequence will be vague.
Sushanta Das Gupta is the Editor, E-Bangladesh.