A day after former Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta claimed his hands were clean in the much-talked about railway cash scandal, the BNP on Sunday said the allegations raised against him by the driver of his former APS were “correct”.
“A driver just cannot make up an allegation as big as involving bribe money against a minister in the government. The people of the country won’t believe it if it was made up. It will then be unacceptable to everyone,” Standing Committee Member Rafiqul Islam Mia said at a programme in Dhaka.
Suranjit who became a minister for the first time in his long political career, was flung into controversy after the Border Guard Bangladesh men recovered a large amount of cash from a car carrying his former Assistant Personal Secretary Omar Faruk and former Railway General Manager Yusuf Ali Mridha on the night of Apr 9.
Barely four months into the Cabinet, the veteran politician stepped down on Apr 16 taking ‘responsibility’ for the scandal. He was later reinstated as Minister without Portfolio.
Faruk’s driver Azam Khan had been missing after the incident. After a nearly six-month absence, Azam suddenly appeared in an interview with a private TV channel at an undisclosed location. He alleged, in the interview telecast on Thursday, the source of the seized money was “bribe for appointment in the railway”. Azam added that “Faruk got caught while taking the money to the former minister’s residence”.
At a rally on Saturday, Suranjit claimed his innocence and alleged the cash scandal was a ‘nationally and internationally hatched plot’ against him. BNP leader Rafiqul Islam Mia alleged that apart from the railway cash scandal, the ruling Awami League had looted billions of taka from Hallmark and the capital market.
He also seized the opportunity to come down hard on the government over the recent communal attacks on Buddhists in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar. Mia accused the government of trying to divert attention from the attacks that has shaken communal harmony in the country.
BNP’s women’s front, Jatiyatabadi Mahila Dal, organised the human chain in front of the National Press Club.
Uplod, 7oct, newsroom