Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded exemplary punishment for Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director Khandaker Enamul Basir and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Mizanur Rahman who have been accused of taking and giving bribe respectively. Demanding speedy trial of the accused, the organisation said in a press release that this is not an isolated incident, rather an institutional responsibility of ACC.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman has termed the involvement of a section of ACC officials in corruption as an “age-old problem”, saying that despite multiple initiatives from ACC’s current chairman to curb corruption in the organisation, the efforts have gone in vain.
In the press release, Ifrekharuzzaman says, “In light of these allegations, it would be impossible to restore people’s trust in ACC unless they conduct rectifying drives and ensure exemplary punishment.”
Mizan, who is facing a probe by ACC over amassing wealth illegally, has recently brought an allegation against Basir that the latter took Tk 40 lakh as bribe with the false promise of exonerating him (Mizan) of all charges.
Following the allegation, ACC, on Monday, suspended Basir and began an enquiry into the allegation. Yesterday, Basir denied the allegation against him during a press conference at ACC headquarters in the capital’s Segunbagicha area.
TIB Executive Director also said that ACC must finish the investigation and trial as soon as possible. Transparency and accountability in ACC’s internal operations, adopting a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, and reshuffling the workforce are calls of the time, he added.
“The organisation will not be responsible for the individual – such a stance from ACC has not only disappointed us but also made us anxious about the state of future anti-corruption campaigns in Bangladesh,” said Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
He expressed his surprise over the inaction of police administration even after Mizan’s admission of giving bribe.
“Both parties are equally liable in bribery. When a person gives bribes to get away from corruption allegations, the magnitude of his crime becomes more severe. But we learned from the media that police administration has not taken any steps yet,” he said.
In order to restore people’s faith in ACC and police, both organisations must be held liable for their officers’ actions, said the press release.