Party men demand trial of ex-BNP MP in Jhenidah | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 09, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 09, 2008

Party men demand trial of ex-BNP MP in Jhenidah

Shahidul Islam Master faces 8 cases for 'extortion'


Shahidul Islam Master

Party men now demand punishment of former BNP lawmaker Shahidul Islam Master for amassing illegal wealth and misappropriating relief goods. Shahidul, elected from Jhenidah-3 constituency (Moheshpur) in last parliamentary polls, is on the list of 80 corruption suspects announced by the National Committee Against Corruption.
He faces seven cases including five for extortion and two for misappropriation of relief goods.
Talking to this correspondent, several leaders of BNP and its youth and student fronts accused Shahidul of amassing crores of taka through tender manipulation, extortion and other illegal means and tarnishing the image of the party.
“We do not won his illegal activities and the party will not defend him (Shahidul). He was involved in various illegal activities including tender manipulation and extortion while BNP was in power”, Jhenidah BNP vice-president and its Sadar upazila president Alaol Huq Alo told The Daily Star.
District BNP president former lawmaker from Jhenidah-2 Moshiur Rahman, its senior vice-president former lawmaker from Jhenidah-4 Shahiduzzaman Beltu and organising secretary of the same unit former lawmaker from Jhenidah-1 Abdul Wahab could not be contacted as they are on the run. District BNP joint-secretary Abdul Alim is in jail.
“So far as we know Shahidul amassed huge amounts of money through extortion and other illegal means and also grabbed relief goods that have defamed the party”, district unit Jubo Dal president Zahiduzzaman Mona said.
“We will never own the irregularities done by him”, he added.
President of Jhenidah district Jatiyotabadi Chattra Dal (JCD) Ashraful Islam Pintu said, “He (Shahidul) should be punished as he amassed huge resources through corruption”.
Party in power came as a magic lamp for Shahidul, once a physical instructor at a school in Maheshpur.
Sources claimed that Shahidul built a luxurious house at his native village in Valaipur in Maheshpur upazila at the cost of about Tk one crore and half.
Talking to Daily Star Correspondents, Maheshpur upazila JCD president Md. Selim Hossain also echoed the same sentiment.
Joint forces in a raid last year recovered more than 100 empty boxes of gold ornaments from his house. Allegations gave it that he got these gold ornaments as 'gifts' for giving power connections in his area.
Shahidul formed a syndicate that manipulated tenders of different government departments including LGED (Local Government and Engineering Department). His men occupied water bodies and markets in the name of lease.
He distributed work for development project, markets and water bodies among his chosen men in exchange of money, locals and some contractors alleged.
“In last five years, we could not buy tender schedules without permission of the syndicate led by Shahidul Master”, complained Anisur Rahman, a contractor in Maheshpur upazila.
These correspondents recently visited Shahidul's residence. The lone inmate-- domestic help Mira-- said she does not know whereabouts of the former lawmaker and his family members.
Jhenidah Police Superintendent Abul Khayer, when contacted, said they are trying to arrest Shahidul as he is wanted in seven cases.
According to Moheshpur police, one of the extortion cases was fled by Sheikh Shamsul Islam of Fatehpur village in Maheshpur upazila on July 21. Islam alleged that in October 2001, Shahidul demanded Tk 2 lakh from him and on refusal, his men on October 10 looted fishes worth about Tk 50 lakh from his project.
On July 7, a fish trader Kartik Halder of Solaimanpur village filed another extortion case. Kartik alleged that on May 4, 2004, the then lawmaker Shahidul demanded Tk 5 lakh from him and as he refused, his men occupied his Solaimanpur Baor (water body).
Three other extortion cases against Shahidul were filed with Maheshpur police station.
On February 22, Sub-Inspector (SI) Monirul Islam filed a case with Maheshpur police station after joint forces recovered relief CI (corrugated iron) sheets from Shahidul's possession.
SI Mortuza Ali of the same police station on February 23 filed another case against him after joint forces recovered 200 sarees, 80 blankets, 100 pieces of lungi 18 pieces relief CI sheets.

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