The ongoing drive against the extremely corrupt elements in the underworld who have been running illegal casinos, gambling dens, liquor stocking, yaba trading and arms dealing, has hit them like a big tsunami to say the least.
Law enforcers, imbibed with the ‘zero tolerance to corruption’ policy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, carried out the raids and destroyed some hideouts, without bothering to know the political affiliation or political identity of the dons. Some kingpins have already been arrested and others are either under watch or on the run to save their neck. It is expected that soon they would get caught in the dragnet.
The surprise raids on the dens of the criminals not only revealed black money, illegal casino machines with paraphernalia, untaxed liquor and unlicensed small arms, they also exposed the true faces of the dons who have been hiding so long behind the mask of Jubo League - the ancillary youth front of Awami League. Reportedly, these people originally belonged to Freedom Party and Jubo Dal of BNP but at some opportune moment they joined Jubo League.
Once under the wings of some unscrupulous senior ruling party leaders, these corrupt elements became daredevils and plunged headlong into the mission of making money in every conceivable illegal way. They ran gambling spots in the sports clubs, stored liquor and drugs like yaba among other activities. And for the last three to four years they added casino to their list of “Business” which brought more money.
For smooth operation, these elements brought Nepali citizens expert in running casinos and took their illegal business to a new height. Within the last couple of years they earned in terms of crores every month. Investigations revealed that these corrupt elements were also involved in manipulating purchase and construction tenders in various government offices where they bribed officials for getting the work. There are allegations that they also threatened other tender participants and officials who dared to challenge them.
The news that most of the Jubo League leaders who are now controlling underworld once belonged to Jubo Dal came as a big surprise to the people in general. Questions as to who gave them shelter in Jubo League and who took share from the illegal money are doing their round in the country.
It has been proved that Awami League will be in danger as long as hybrid leaders will get shelter in the organisation. It is being alleged that many Awami Leaguers who have drifted apart from the ideology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are doing such unscrupulous activities without any
The surprise raids on the dens of the criminals
not only revealed black money, illegal casino
machines with paraphernalia, untaxed liquo
r and unlicensed small arms, they also exposed
the true faces of the dons who have been hiding
so long behind the mask of Jubo League - the ancillary
youth front of Awami League
It is worth noting that no such elements dared to infiltrate into the party when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was at the helm. Only dedicated people joined the party to work for the people and the country. They fought against the oppressive Pakistani government’s police and military and suffered in jails. They had one noble mission before them – wellbeing of the people. Doing illegal business to amass money was beyond their imagination.
Unfortunately, today, most of the workers and activists of Awami league, Chhatra League and Jubo League have only one goal before them – to become a crorepati (millionaire) overnight. As a result, today, we see a young man coming from a lower middle class family turns into a multi-millionaire within a couple of years after joining Chhatra League or Jubo League. It happened during the rule of BNP but why should it happen during the rule of Awami League? Is there no check and balance within the party? Who oversees the activities of these student leaders?
The question why local police stations could not unearth running of casinos under their jurisdiction is a pertinent one. We believe the police authority needs to answer this for the restoration of their image.
There is no denying that if the police stops responding to unlawful requests from the ruling party leaders and remains honest and pledge bound to the republic, crime rate would come down drastically. Police should indeed be friends of the people, not of the godfathers.
Shahnoor Wahid is Advisory Editor of Bangladesh Post