The government yesterday imposed a travel ban on President of Jubo League’s Dhaka South unit Ismail Hossain Samrat, meaning he can no longer leave the country.
Talking to The Daily Star over telephone, an official of the immigration police at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport said they were asked to remain alert.
Samrat, one of the alleged kingpins of the “casino” business in the capital, was said to have been holed up in his Kakrail office since September 18 -- the day organising secretary of Dhaka South Jubo League Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan was arrested in connection with running another gambling den at a club in Fakirerpool.
Awami League insiders said Samrat went into hiding when Jubo League leaders’ involvement in the illegal business came to light.
“He [Samrat] allegedly dug himself in at his office in Kakrail until Sunday to avoid arrest and was desperately looking for ways to leave the country. After Sunday, he is nowhere to be found -- neither at his home or at his office,” the insiders said.
Sources within the ruling party said a number of other Jubo League and AL leaders also went into hiding following the government’s drive against “casinos”.
Samrat could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts. His mobile phone was found switched off.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal recently said Samrat would be arrested if police found proof against him.
The drive against “casinos” began days after the Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina expressed her resentment over the activities of Jubo League leaders.
Asked about the restriction on political leaders’ traveling abroad, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said: “I do not know how many leaders have been brought under the restriction. But, many leaders are now under surveillance.”
Talking to reporters at his office at the Secretariat, Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said: “We’ve started with drives in our own house. Many leaders are now under surveillance. No wrongdoer will be spared.
“Now all are AL leaders…why did we take them in our party? They are using the label of our party and that’s why we’ve started drives…,” the AL general secretary said.
He also reiterated that none would be spared if found involved in irregularity or corruption.
KHALID PRODUCED BEFORE COURT
Jubo League Dhaka South organising secretary Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan was produced before a Dhaka court yesterday in connection with a case filed for possessing firearms.
Md Fazlul Haque, an inspector of the Detective Branch of police and also the investigation officer of the case, produced Khalid before the court on expiry of his four-day remand in the arms case.
The IO also sought permission for taking Khalid on a three-day remand granted earlier in the connection with the case filed under the Narcotics Control Act.
The IO in yesterday’s forwarding report said Khalid gave important information which was being verified, adding that he needed to be held until the investigation was completed, the IO added.
Metropolitan Magistrate Debdas Chandra Adhikary ordered Khalid to be sent to jail in an arms case and allowed DB to take him on a three-day remand in the drug case.
Earlier on September 19, two separate Dhaka courts granted Khalid seven days in connection with two cases.
A total of four cases were filed against Khalid, who was arrested on September 18 from his Gulshan residence.
Three of the cases were filed with Gulshan police station, while another with Motijheel police station under the Arms Act, the Narcotics Control Act and Money Laundering Act.
Besides, Rab filed a case against Khalid with Motijheel police station under the Narcotics Control Act.