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Notorious jail conspiracy

Notorious jail conspiracy

Pavel Reza                                                                            

When Islamic radicals from Iraq and Afghanistan planned a terrorist attack on a US  intelligence centre that trains military interrogators for Guantanamo Bay and other detention centers, some of the top corrupt BNP and AL men in prison are conspiring a deadly offensives in Bangladesh targeting the US marines, who arrived for participating in relief and rehabilitation works in cyclone affected areas.

It is learnt from several sources that, as part  of such conspiracy, corrupt BNP men have assigned newspapers and television channels owned by them to publish misleading information so that liability of such deadly offensives could be shifted to a third party. With this target, a vernacular daily newspaper owned by one of the top corrupts of past BNP-Jamaat Coalition government published a front page news item with imaginary story saying Indian intelligence agency RAW and Israeli Mossad are conspiring to stage a massive offensives in Bangladesh in next three months. The newspaper said, Israel is willing to turn Bangladesh into ‘Palestine’, which according to experts is nothing but a very nasty propaganda against a country, which extended its support to Bangladesh right in 1971, when the country won the liberation war against Pakistani occupation forces. It is further learnt that, many of the corrupt politicians in prison are holding regular meetings in finding ways and means in putting the present interim government into sever challenge. An earlier conspiracy by the same elements were foiled by the members of law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh, as the intelligence agencies were able to gather necessary information on such plan.

Intelligence sources opine that such commentary in the newspaper owned by corrupt BNP man was published with the ulterior motive of misleading government’s attention. It also exposes the inner thoughts or inner minds of the corrupt BNP men, who are conspiring to do anything to put the present interim government into uncomfortable situation. They also wish to draw global attention towards Bangladesh as a ‘terror affected’ country. Following publication of such misleading stories in newspapers owned by corrupt BNP men, it is suggested by many quarters that the government really needs to do something in seizing such media strength from the grips of some bad elements. But, possibly such initiatives are not going to get momentum as one of the influential advisors in the present government already took shares in the media company owned by the corrupt media man. This advisor is trying to do everything possible in making sure that government does not take any action against these media outlets owned by the corrupt BNP man.

Meanwhile, there is allegation of dubious behavior by a number of top diplomats working in Bangladeshi missions abroad. According to information, committed BNP men are continuing to work in sensitive posts in a number of Bangladeshi missions abroad including the United States. Such people are regularly providing information on various activities of the government to foreign press. In many cases, they are suppressing publication of negative reports and commentaries in foreign press on Bangladesh. The matter turned clear when the matter of publication of an article in New York Times titled ‘After cyclone Bangladesh faces political storm’. Bangladesh mission in Washington initially tried to keep the matter suppressed with Dhaka as well tried to get a rejoinder published with The New York Times defying facts of this article. But, prestigious newspapers like New York Times only publishes materials after thorough investigation. In this case, publication of any rejoinder to the article by Bangladesh mission in Washington may not be ultimately possible. Moreover, the article contains serious information on as to how a leading business in the country had been harassed by the law enforcing agencies, which now pressed him in deciding to withdraw his investments from the country.

In the article, Somini Sen Gupta wrote, “The political storm that preceded nature’s latest assault on this country still swirls overhead.

Nearly a year into an army-backed state of emergency, basic freedoms remain suspended, a sweeping anticorruption drive has stuffed the jails with some of Bangladesh’s most influential business leaders and politicians, and a fragile economy is tottering under the pressure of floods at home and rising oil prices abroad.

The soaring cost of food is potentially the most explosive challenge facing the military-backed government that has run this country since Jan. 11, when, after debilitating political protests, scheduled elections were scrapped and emergency law was imposed. Climbing inflation was compounded by an unusually harsh monsoon, which destroyed food crops along the flood plains in July.

Then, the Nov. 15 cyclone destroyed acres of rice paddy, ruined the shrimp farms that dot the southern coast, and, according to the World Food Program, left roughly 2.3 million people in need of urgent food aid.

Commenting on Election Commission, Somini wrote, “According to a monthly public perception survey by a consortium of civil society organizations called the Election Working Group, the share of Bangladeshis who expressed high confidence in the caretaker government fell between March and September, while the share of those who had low confidence sharply increased. This was true of respondents from “ordinary” and “elite” socioeconomic groups.

In the latest survey, conducted in face-to-face interviews in late September, the rising price of essential commodities was identified as the biggest concern, and even as the government got good marks for cracking down on corruption, respondents were divided about whether the government had any bearing on their daily lives: 42 percent of them said they were “better off” but about the same percentage said they were “worse off or that there has been no change in their personal situation.”

The government’s anticorruption crusade continues to be seen as a turning point for Bangladesh, which has consistently ranked at the bottom of the annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.

Bank accounts have been frozen. Luxury cars have been impounded by the state, or hidden indoors by their owners for fear they will be taken. Nearly 100 prominent politicians and business people have been taken in for questioning, and an unknown number of people have been detained without charge, which is legal under the new emergency laws. A little more than a dozen have been convicted by anticorruption courts, and how quickly, or fairly, the other cases will be tried is unclear.

If entrenched corruption was seen as damaging the economy, the crackdown has also sent shocks through the private sector. The government appears to be retreating from its initial wide sweep and has in recent months, released some detainees.

Bringing the issue of eminent businessman Abdul Awal Mintoo, the New York Times article said, “Mintoo, the chairman and chief executive of Multimode Group, was among the most prominent millionaires taken into custody in May on a vague charge of destabilizing the government, then released six months later. Mr. Mintoo said that while he was in custody he was interrogated less about his own assets than about what evidence he could furnish against Ms. Hasina, the Awami League leader and a former prime minister with whom Mr. Mintoo was friendly.

A naturalized United States citizen, Mr. Mintoo returned to his native Bangladesh 27 years ago and established a number of businesses, from dealing in agricultural seeds to real estate. He estimates his assets in Bangladesh to be $30 million.

Mr. Mintoo, 58, insists that he did not bribe anyone in government in exchange for contracts. But he concedes that he did what he says everyone else has long had to do in this country: grease the wheels of politics and government to get basic things done, including installing a telephone line and getting imported machine parts out of customs. If that were the grounds for his arrest, he said, then “50 million people, every adult male” should be arrested.

It may be mentioned here that, Mintoo was acquitted from all charges except only one where an individual lodged a complaints against him for taking US$ 700 by force. Most of the countrymen consider this charge as funny and ridiculous.

It is learnt that, the actions of the present interim government is getting controversial very quick in the international arena because of a number of reasons. Main reason behind many of the ridiculous actions was the government had been receiving suggestions from a number of senior editors and journalists, who are now a days considered to be most powerful during this government. Such editors and journalists in most of the cases are providing misleading and wrong suggestions to the government, which is one of the key reasons for this government to get controversial soon. It may be mentioned here that, the present government refrains from having exchange of views and dialogues with neutral journalists and editors in the country. Most of the neutral newspapers are also barred from attending any state functions.

Posted on 29 Nov 2007 by Root


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