Over the past eleven years, a large number of criminals belonging to Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jamaat e Islami, Jatiya Party, Freedom Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal etc., had infiltrated into ruling Awami League and its front organizations by bribing some of the extremely controversial leaders.
Where is Casino don Samrat?
When the Bangladeshi and international media were reporting Awami League’s youth front Jubo League leader Islami Chowdhury Samrat alias Casino Samrat to have been arrested or was under the radar of the law enforcing agencies, proving everything false, this controversial man has published a status on his Facebook ID at 11:53 am on September 28, 2019 congratulating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her birthday. Over 7,500 people have already liked the status, 512 shared while there are over 1,500 comments. Another status was posted by Samrat on September 27, praising Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Ismail Chowdhury Samrat’s Facebook status has generated confusion into the minds of people, especially local and international media. On September 29, 2019 prominent Indian newspaper The Business Standard in a report titled ‘The rise and fall of Dhaka’s casino kingpin Samrat’ wrote, “According to intelligence sources, Samrat then took shelter at an influential politician’s residence to delay his arrest as long as possible”.
But, following Samrat’s consecutive two statuses in the social media, a number of anti-government news media are making frantic bids of spreading rumor stating Ismail Chowdhury Samrat will not be arrested as the “high-ups” of the ruling party are not giving “green signal” in doing so, “considering his previous organizational capabilities and contributions towards the party”. Such media propaganda is being led by a vernacular daily owned by a Jatiya Party lawmaker.
The government won’t show any mercy to the criminals:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the members of law enforcing and intelligence agencies to show zero tolerance to tender manipulators, extortionists, criminals, illegal casino operators, drug dealers, money launderers and corrupts in the society and has strictly asked to uproot such evils for the sake of national interest. Under such circumstances, it is impossible for individuals such as Ismail Chowdhury Samrat in getting any undue favor from the administration.
Criminals from other parties infiltrated into Awami League:
Jubo League and Chhatra League, youth and students fronts of the ruling party had earlier contributed greatly in any of the pro-democracy movements in Bangladesh. But the scenario had dramatically changed ever since some black sheep managed to infiltrate into those fronts thus turning both the fronts into a safe haven of criminals.
According to Dhaka’s largest vernacular daily the Prothom Alo, “Jubo League was also a haven for many criminals who paid for positions in the organization. They used the ruling party label to amass huge amounts of wealth. Office assistants, hotel waiters and even bus ticket sellers become wealthy almost overnight after joining Jubo League.
“Most leaders of the organization were well aware of the criminal activities of these persons but indulged rather disciplined them. Many leaders received a cut from the illegally procured profits. At times, under various pressures, one or two of the underhand leaders were expelled but were very soon drawn back into the fold.
“Dhaka City South Jubo League’s president Ismail Hossain Chowdhury alias Samrat took control of the criminal world in the area. He was known to be the closest associate of Jubo League’s top leader Omar Faruk Chowdhury. In 2017, Omar Faruk Chowdhury declared Dhaka City South Jubo League to be the best organizational unit in the country and Ismail Hossain Chowdhury (Samrat) to be the best organizer”.
Among two Jubo League leaders who had then gained control over the criminal activities, Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan was arrested on 18 September this year. His arrest was followed by the crackdown on casinos and gambling in the capital city on the very same day. Mominul Huq alias Sayeed was in Singapore at the time and has not returned. Prior to becoming Jubo League leaders, both Khaled and Sayeed were with the opposition political party BNP.
Enamul Huq alias Arman came to Dhaka from Feni in the nineties. He would trade in electronic goods in the Baitul Mukarram area. During the BNP rule, he got involved in the gambling racket of the Motijheel clubs with the blessings from a local BNP leader. But in 2013 he clinched the post of Dhaka South City Jubo League vice president. After that, under the patronage of Samrat, he took over control of the casinos and gambling business in the area. He even became a film producer and would arrange all sorts of ‘parties’ and entertainment for Samrat and his special guests.
Morsalin Ahmed of Kalapara, Patuakhali worked at a bus counter as a ticket seller. He was involved with Freedom Party for a spell. In 2001 he went to the Middle East and returned in 2007. He would live in a mess in Motijheel. In 2013 he became a vice president of Dhaka South City Jubo League.
Arman and Morsalin amassed massive amounts of wealth through extortion and tender manipulations and are said to be preparing to contest in the next parliamentary election.
There are dozens of such infiltrators into Awami League and its front organizations.
Sarwar Hossain alias Mona of Barisal was originally with Jatiya Party. He too is now a vice president Dhaka South City Jubo League. Becoming a member of the Dhaka South City Jubo League working committee had made restaurant worker Zakir Hossain a rich man, and well known as the ‘casino cashier’.
The notorious criminal of Motijheel-Arambagh, Sohrab Hossain alias Swapan, who now is a vice president of Dhaka South City Jubo League was originally a member of Jatiya Samajtantri Dal (JSD).
Dhaka South City Jubo League organizing secretary Maksudur Rahman had been expelled for super-imposing the prime minister’s picture but still continues to use that position to wield his power over the casino, gambling and tender business.
Criminals have not been restricted to the Dhaka South City Jubo League, but have entered the central committee of the youth wing too. Many say that Jubo League office secretary Kazi Anisur Rahman is instrumental in making leaders. Kazi Anis was an office assistant in Jubo League and then went on to become a leader in the organization, and has amassed huge wealth. He is known as the ‘collector’ of Jubo League chairman Omar Faruk Chowdhury.
Emran Hossain Khan, a BNP man would work at a cloth store in Old Dhaka. In exchange of a good sum of money, he became Jubo League central organizing secretary. Many others have gained such posts in Jubo League in a similar manner.
Shafiqul Islam alias Shafiq was originally with Jamaat-e-Islami’s student front Islami Chhatra Shibir. From there he joined ruling Awami League’s student front Chhatra League. He was expelled from there on charges of criminal involvement, only to now become the science and technology secretary of Jubo League.
Taslim Uddin and Kaiser Ahmed were involved in BNP politics in Cumilla and Mymensingh respectively. Now Taslim Uddin is the labor affairs secretary of Jubo League central committee. Kaiser is the secretary, liberation war affairs.