Nur Hossain: From trucker's helper to mafia don | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:22 AM, January 17, 2017

Nur Hossain: From trucker's helper to mafia don

Born at Simrail of Siddhirganj upazila in Narayanganj, Nur Hossain used to be a helper to a trucker in late 70's.

But since the late 80's, Nur, now convicted of the abduction and killing of Narayanganj City panel mayor Nazrul Islam and six others, amassed huge wealth at home and abroad with blessings from major political parties.

Nur was the vice-president of Siddhirganj AL unit and had businesses and assets in India and Malaysia, said locals and people who knew him. They said Nur was ruthless in making money through illegal means.

In the 70's, he became a truck driver from a truck helper within a few years. He then joined Narayanganj Truck Drivers' Union and became its president.

He indulged in extortion in the transport sector, drug peddling, tender manipulation, river encroachment, and illegal sand trade in Siddhirganj and Fatullah of Narayanganj.

He had a rivalry with Nazrul over the control of these illegal businesses since the late 80's. Their rivalry reached its peak when Nazrul defeated Nur in the panel mayor election of 2011 by a single vote.

After the gruesome seven-murder, Nazrul's father-in-law Shahidul Islam alleged that some officials of Rab-11 had killed Nazrul in exchange for Tk 6 crore from councillor Nur and his accomplices.

In 2013, Nur organised indecent stage shows in the name of jatra, a traditional form of theatre, at Simrail Truck Terminal in Siddhirganj, said locals.

It drew huge flak from locals but he continued with the show under the nose of the police and the administration.

The chief executive officer of Narayanganj City Corporation on April 16, 2014, served a notice on Nur, asking him to stop the anti-social activities.

Earlier in April 2013, the High Court in response to a petition asked the authorities concerned to immediately stop all anti-social and illegal activities at the truck terminal.

 Locals claimed that nothing could deter Nur, as he had the blessing of influential AL lawmaker Shamim Osman and the local administration.

Before joining the BNP in 1992, he was involved in HM Ershad's Jatiya Party.

On behalf of the police, he collected illegal toll from vehicles plying in the Narayanganj area, alleged elderly people of the area.

After joining the BNP, he started extorting money from transport owners on his own, and gradually got involved in other criminal activities with support from local BNP leaders, they claimed.

Later, he became the chairman of Siddhirganj union parishad.

After the AL assumed power in 1996, Nur changed his political platform and joined the party in 1998 with the help of Shamim Osman. This allowed him to continue with his criminal activities such as extortion, land grabbing and illegal sand trade, locals claimed.

As the BNP-led government assumed power in 2001, both Shamim and Nur fled the country. Nur was a listed criminal during the tenures of the BNP and the caretaker governments.

Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Nur in 2007. He returned to Bangladesh after the AL-led grand alliance government assumed power in 2009, and got Shamim's backing to run illegal activities again, according to locals and AL sources.

A total of 22 cases, including six murder cases, were filed against Nur with Siddhirganj and Fatullah police stations.

Using the influence of Shamim and his name, Nur occupied pavements in Narayanganj city and in Simrail in 2013. He illegally built ticket counters and passenger sheds, and launched a bus service, ABS Paribahan, on Simrail-Narayanganj route, locals said.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority wrote to Siddhirganj Police Station 22 times after it failed to stop Nur's men from lifting sand from the Shitalakkhya and evict his illegal establishments on the river bank.

Nur, who held the post of vice-president of Siddhirganj AL unit since 2007, was elected ward-4 councillor of Narayanganj City Corporation in 2011.

Immediately after the seven-murder in 2014, he fled to India. However, he was arrested in Kolkata in June, 2015, and charged with trespassing and possession of an illegal firearm.

A West Bengal court on October 16 that year ordered that Nur be deported to face trial in Bangladesh.

The government on November 12, 2015, brought back Nur from India.

Despite repeated attempts, Shamim Osman could not be reached over the phone for his comment.

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