Bari deserter, faces now court-martial | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 15, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 15, 2009

Bari deserter, faces now court-martial


Brig Gen fazlul Bari

The military authorities have recently declared Brig Gen Chowdhury Fazlul Bari a deserter who defied repeated government orders to return from the US where he had been posted to the Bangladesh mission.
“As he was declared a deserter last month, he can now be arrested at any time if he returns home," says an army source.
After the declaration, he automatically lost his job in the army and has not been paid any salary or allowances.
Besides, the source added, he would be court-martialled once he is in the country.
Earlier in May, the authorities declared Bari an officer absent without leave, more commonly known as abscondee.
As he was absent without leave for 60 consecutive days, he was adjudged a deserter as per the Army Act.
Bari, who had served as the second man at DGFI since the last BNP-Jamaat rule, was appointed military attaché of the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC towards the end of the caretaker government tenure.
The new government of Awami League-led grand alliance in February asked him to hand over charge and return to Dhaka.
As he did not respond, he was called back again in April. This time, he handed over charge but did not return home.
Talking to The Daily Star over phone in June, he said he would not get back to the country anytime soon.
When the newspaper tried to reach him on the same number yesterday evening, someone on the other end said it was "wrong number."
The same evening, Chowdhury Ashraful Bari Noman, Bari's brother and Habiganj BNP leader, told The Daily Star that his brother calls him and that's how they have been in contact.
Noman said, "Bari told me he was never involved in any subversive activities or corruption, and [that] he will come home in future.
“He lives in Washington with his family. His in-laws are US citizens.”
Meanwhile, the army sources said if he was clean and had not done anything wrong, why he chose to be a deserter despite holding a top rank.
They, however, declined to say if they had any specific allegations against him.
About a month back, when Bari was still an officer absent without leave, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence suggested that the foreign ministry cancel his diplomatic passport.
Now that Bari's diplomatic passport has been revoked, the ministry needs to take diplomatic measures to bring him back to the country, said some other sources.

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