Not politics but crime his forte
12:00 AM, September 30, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:59 AM, September 30, 2016

Not politics but crime his forte

The Khan family was always influential in Tangail politics. But they gained more prominence after their old rival, the then lawmaker Abdul Kader Siddique, left Awami League in 1999.

As Kader Siddique launched his own party Krishak Sramik Janata League, the district AL became solely dependent on the Khans.

Aminur Rahman Khan Bappy, the eldest son of the family, began to lead local AL men's turf war with Kader Siddique. In this fight, Bappy had his younger brother Amanur Rahman Khan Rana always by his side.

According to party insiders, the two brothers were brought into AL politics in Ershad era by their now deceased uncle Shamsur Rahman Khan Shahjahan, a former lawmaker and an influential leader of the party since the Liberation War.

After Bappy was murdered in 2003, Amanur took the helm of the Khans. The next year, he became religious affairs secretary of the district AL and Shahjahan became president.

Over a decade after that, Amanur and his three younger brothers stood accused in various cases over grievous allegations such as murder, attempted murder, land grabbing and extortion.

In fact, there have been allegations of criminal activities against Amanur from the start of his political career.

But he has managed to escape charges brought against him in 44 cases. The charges include killings of a Chhatra Dal leader and a municipality councillor in 2004.

Several of the cases have been withdrawn by the AL government after those were labelled as “politically motivated” while police have not found any merit in some other cases, said local police and sources close to the lawmaker.

However, he landed in jail in a case for the 2013 killing of freedom fighter Faruk Ahmed.

After 22 months on the run, the 49-year-old surrendered before a Tangail court on September 18. He was denied bail and sent to jail.

Amanur, now lawmaker from Tangail-3 (Ghatail) constituency, and his three younger brothers are among the 14 charge-sheeted accused in the case.

Earlier in 2001, his elder brother Bappy announced candidacy in the 8th parliamentary election but stepped aside for veteran AL leader Abdul Mannan at the request of party chief Sheikh Hasina, said party insiders.

After BNP came to power in 2001, Bappy, Amanur and another brother Shahidur Rahman Khan Mukti were arrested in the controversial anti-crime drive “Operation Clean Heart”.

In 2004, Amanur and his younger brothers -- Shahidur, Jahidur Rahman Khan Kakon and Saniyat Khan Bappa -- went into hiding after they were made accused in two cases for killing Tangail Chhatra Dal vice-president Abdur Rouf and municipality councillor Rumi Chowdhury.

Local police sources said investigators had submitted charge-sheets against the four in the cases.

The two cases were termed “politically motivated” and withdrawn by the AL government in 2013.

Both Rouf and Rumi were accused in a case over the killing of Bappy. 

Bappy's father Atoar Rahman Khan filed the case with Tangail Police Station accusing 20 people, also including Kader Siddique's two younger brothers Murad Siddique and Azad Siddique,  and Jamilur Rahman Miron, now mayor of Tangail municipality and organising secretary of Tangail AL.

With 17 people charge-sheeted, Bappy murder case is still under trial at the First Additional District and Session Judge's Court in Tangail.

RETURN

After several-year hiatus, the Khan brothers came back to politics following the AL's landslide victory in the 9th parliamentary election in 2008.

The family became more influential after Shahidur was elected mayor of Tangail municipality in 2011.

Following incumbent lawmaker Motiur Rahman's death in 2012, a by-election was announced in Tangail-3 constituency and Amanur sought the AL ticket. But the party gave nomination to its Ghatail upazila unit general secretary Shahidul Islam Lebu.

Amanur was expelled from the party after he decided to contest the by-election as an independent candidate.

He, however, won the polls by a wide margin and subsequently returned to the party. The Khans now got full control over the Tangail AL politics, added party insiders.

The same year, his two brothers Jahidur and Saniyat respectively became president of the district chambers of commerce and vice-president of the BCL central unit.

Amanur again became lawmaker from the constituency following the January 5, 2014 polls, this time uncontested and as an AL candidate.

FARUK MURDER

Faruk, former publicity secretary of the district AL, was found shot dead near his College Para house in Tangail town on the night of January 18, 2013.

A charge-sheet in the case submitted by Tangail Detective Branch (DB) in February this year says that Amanur and his family opposed Faruk's vying for the post of Tangail AL general secretary in 2012.

Amanur's brother Shahidur was a contestant for the position.

After failing to persuade Faruk to quit the race, Amanur and his brothers assigned their accomplices to kill him, it says.

The district AL through a press conference at Tangail Press Club on September 27, 2014, rejected the murder allegation against Amanur and his brothers.

In a press release, the party also alleged that law enforcers extracted confessional statements of two suspects -- Anisur Rahman Raja and Mohammad Ali -- arrested in the case after torturing them on remand.

Ghatail Upazila Parishad Chairman Nazrul Islam Khan Samu claimed that Amanur, despite remaining absent in the constituency for the last two years, is popular among voters.

“He [Amanur] never did anything against the people of his constituency,” said Samu, a close aide to the lawmaker and convener of Ghatail upazila AL. 

The lawmaker's father, Atoar Rahman Khan, said his sons are diehard AL men who faced many cases in their political careers just because of political rivalry.

He claimed the Faruk murder case is a ploy to destroy his sons' political careers and make Tangail AL weak.

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