More urgent for police is to produce Nur Hossain alive12 May 2014 Editorial Desk
As the saga of 7 "forced disappearance" which later turned out to murders and dumping bodies into rivers unfolds, police, all of a sudden, discovers that Nur Hossain - the vice chairman of Siddhirganj upazila unit Awami League was a nefarious criminal having deals with virtually all kinds of crime ranging from drugs to river encroachment. Also, Awami League, Siddhirganj upazila unit only now decided to dismiss Nur as its vice-president. According to investigative reports in national dailies, once a truck helper, Nur Hossain, has garnerd huge wealth at home and abroad with the blessings of major political parties since late 80s. He has businesses and assets in India and Malaysia, according to locals and some of his followers. He resorted to extortion in the transport sector, drug peddling, vulgar Jatra -a form of traditional drama, tender manipulation, river encroachment and illegal sand trade in Siddhirganj and Fatullah of Narayanganj. It is worth mentioning that immediately after the taking over of office by the BNP-led government in 2001, both Shamim Osman -the de facto "Godfather of Narayanganj" and his confidante Hossain fled the country. They were on the run till the end of 2008. Hossain was on the list of criminals during the tenures of the BNP and the caretaker governments and Interpol issued an arrest warrant against Hossain in 2007.The Chief Executive Officer of Narayanganj City Corporation on April 16 served a notice to Hossain, asking him to stop anti-social activities. Copies of the letter were sent to the Home Ministry, the District Superintendent of Police and the deputy commissioner. In response to a petition in April last year, the High Court asked the authorities concerned to immediately stop all anti-social and illegal activities at the truck terminal. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority wrote to Siddhirganj Police Station 22 times after it failed to stop Hossain's men from extracting sand in the Shitalakkhya river and evict his illegal establishments on the river bank. But, allegations have it that, nothing could deter Hossain, as he had the blessing of influential AL lawmaker Shamim Osman.Now, as the events of gruesome seven murders that shook the whole country in awe is revealed, we are seeing that police can actually recover drugs and arms from Nur Hossain's properties. Around 33 illegal sand traders have desperately cleared piles of sand and stones from the river Shitalakkhya over the last few days as Nur Hossain is not in the scene. All these episodes make us face one question: What exactly was the police doing before? Why could they not know the fact that everyone else seems knew? This implies that there must have had a long standing nexus of cooperation among the organs of state and the gang of Nur Hossain and which definitely involved the bigger fish Shamim Osman. The complicity of police and administration in these crimes must come to an end.As it is feared by the relatives of assassinated Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam that Nur Hossain might have been put in "crossfire". Now police are very busy revealing his various crimes. By such activities police have earned no credit, only their weakness is being exposed in not doing their duties of preventing crimes and saving lives. What is now important for the police is to produce Nur Hossain alive, so that the whole story of involvement of others in his misdeeds does not remain untold.