Father does not believe it | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 26, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 26, 2012

Plot to Topple Govt

Father does not believe it

Says he heard the story before army disclosure

Ishraq Ahmed

The father of Ishraq Ahmed, an alleged key planner of the recent foiled attempt to topple the government, learnt of the involvement of his son in the conspiracy days before the army disclosed the plot.
MA Rakib still does not believe, though, that Ishraq was in any way involved in the plot.
“Although I do not use Internet, I came to know from my relatives and acquaintances before it was made public [through an army press conference] that my son was involved in the coup,” Rakib told The Daily Star in Naogaon on Monday.
“I didn't believe it. It's merely propaganda,” Rakib said about his reaction after hearing about his son's involvement in the plot.
Even though Rakib did not pay any heed to the information he had from relatives, he stopped keeping contact with his son.
“I know that he is fine,” said Rakib, a presidium member of the National Awami Party (Nap-Mozaffar).
Asked whether he had tried to stop Ishraq after learning of the facts, Rakib avoided a direct answer. “Every individual is governed by his or her own conscience. Ishraq is now 60. He is doing what he thinks to be good,” he observed.
Ishraq took up a rifle in hand during the Liberation War in 1971 and he never retreated from his belief his -- power comes from the barrel of a gun, said the father.
Shahriar Kabir, executive president of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said Ishraq was undoubtedly a freedom fighter. “But it's no big deal for a freedom fighter turning into a criminal. All killers of the Father of the Nation were freedom fighters,” he pointed out.
Contacted over phone, Kabir, also a journalist and writer, said he knew Ishraq well. “He used to visit the Weekly Bichitra office in Dhaka. I always avoided him as his movements were suspicious.”
Rakib said Ishraq was termed beyadob (impudent) in Jahanara Imam's Ekattorer Dinguli for his frequent smoking habit in front of her.
Born in Sorishahati of Naogaon town on December 18, 1951, Ishraq enrolled at Guru Training Institute, now Primary Teachers' Training Institute.
Later, he studied at Naogaon Government Krishna Das (KD) Boys High School for two years before enrolling at Foujdarhat Cadet College in class VII.
Talking of Ishraq's talent being his main enemy, Rakib said his son had stood second in the combined merit list of the HSC examinations held under Comilla Board in 1969.
After taking admission in economics at Dhaka University, he joined the Liberation War and fought under Sector 2.
Following his return from the war, Ishraq completed his master's degree and started supplying electronics appliances to different power plant projects, said his father.
Rakib and Ishraq often used to argue over their political opinions when they met each other. Ishraq had faith in pro-Peking leftist ideology. His father was pro-Moscow.
In his university days after the war, Ishraq got involved with the pro-China Biplobi Chhatra Moitree.
Ishraq was vice-president of the central command council of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad, which was founded by the regime of former president Ziaur Rahman.
Ishraq was introduced to president Zia and with him visited Yugoslavia and other countries, said his father, who was elected chairman of Naogaon municipality in 1977.
Ishraq has visited many European countries, especially Germany, on business related trips.
Owing to his relations with former BNP state minister Iqbal Hasan Mahmood Tuku, Ishraq got an opportunity to supply appliances for Ashuganj Power Plant, said the father.
Ishraq is the eldest among three brothers and two sisters. His younger sister Fahmida Jerin is the wife of a retired bank officer and Tanjila Shirin is a teacher at a kindergarten school.
His brother Ishtiak Ahmed is an architect while Itrat Ahmed is an expatriate living in Sweden. Rakib said that Ishtiak and the two sisters live at Uttara in the capital.
Rakib now stays at his house with wife Umme Kulsum, a retired headmistress of Naogaon Government Girls High School and a handful of aides.
In our January 21 issue, we ran a report on Ishraq where inadvertently we gave out some information about him that we later found had not been factual. Ishraq did not study at Rajshahi Cadet College but at Faujdarhat Cadet College. We sincerely apologise for the unintended error.

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