We applaud the government for the recent crackdown on casinos illegally operating in the city by some Jubo League leaders. Rab has raided at least five clubs and detained around 183 people and arrested a Jubo League leader for running such an establishment. In fact, according to a news report of a Bangla daily, there are at least 60 such casinos in the city, most of them run by Jubo League members with some foreigners on their payroll. It has been estimated that around Tk 120 crore worth of gambling takes place in these casinos every day. The PM has heavily criticised these leaders and have asked the law enforcement agencies to clamp down on these casinos and arrest those responsible for it. This is definitely a positive move on the government’s part and seems to be a part of a new plan to root out criminal elements from the ruling party affiliates. Just before these raids, two leaders of the Chhatra League were removed from their positions after allegations of extortion in the Jahangirnagar University development project scandal emerged in the media.
True, it is obvious that these casinos have been operating for a long time and without any hindrance from the authorities until now. Thus it is very likely that errant members of law enforcing agencies have turned a blind eye to these activities carried out by members of the youth front of the ruling party. The elaborate set up of these casinos in various club houses and rented buildings indicates well-planned, well-organised operations. Although it has taken a while to get to this point where the political influential are being taken to task for illegal activities, it is better late than never. The waywardness of members of the various appendages of the ruling party has been reported an umpteen number of times in the media and it’s clear that it has reached unprecedented levels. Eradicating such unruliness and blatant defiance of the law in these organisations, which enjoy the patronage of the ruling party, will require political will. We hope that these raids and removals are not mere cosmetic exercises and that the government will go the whole hog and eliminate all these unruly, corrupt elements who are giving the ruling party a bad public image.