Protector turned predator
Taking crores of taka in bribe and saving killers and smugglers, Lutfozzaman Babar, the most talked-about figure of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, established himself as a controversial and infamous politician.
The most junior minister (state minister for home) in the Khaleda Zia-led cabinet, Babar turned out to be a symbol of corruption through land grabbing, tender manipulation, purchase procedures, promotion and recruitment in the police administration.
A pioneer in forming the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), he was widely criticised for introducing extra-judicial killings of hundreds of alleged criminals by using the elite force in the form of crossfire, encounter or shootout.
He enjoyed the blessings of Tarique Rahman and the Hawa Bhaban, which was considered as the alternative powerhouse during the BNP rule.
Babar was censured for his role after the August 21 grenade attack. He influenced the investigation and staged Joj Mia drama to divert the probe to save the real culprits.
He came to limelight for taking Tk 21 crore as bribe from Bashundhara Group for saving Shafiat Shobhan Sanvir, son of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam, from a murder case. Sanvir was accused in IT engineer of the company Humayun Kabir Sabbir murder case.
The matter remained in the dark until the army-led joint forces arrested Babar on May 28 in 2007. He was later awarded 17 years' rigorous imprisonment for possessing illegal arms and ammunition. He was also sued for hiding wealth information worth around Tk 7.6 crore in the wealth statement.
Babar studied up to class X but succeeded in moneymaking allegedly through illicit means and established himself as a politician.
He had a Casio watch business at Uttara Bank building during HM Ershad rule and used to call Roushan Ershad "mother".
As Babar became controversial and declared incompetent by the election commission, BNP did not nominate him for the ninth parliamentary elections. He was ousted from the party as he decided to contest the polls as an independent candidate in Netrakona-4 constituency.
The grand alliance candidate Rebeka Momin routed Babar in the ninth elections.