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Bangladesh Railway Minister’S Bribe Scandal

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Bangladesh Railway Minister’S Bribe Scandal

By- Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury | Date- April 14, 2012

Suranjit Sen Gupta’s political career was never clean! It is greatly rumored that he was under permanent payroll of foreign intelligence agency, while his main source of earning is totally dubious. A brief-less lawyer Suranjit Sen Gupta, hailing from Bikrampur district passed his young hood in Sunamganj district as his father, a homeopath migrated from Bikrampur to Sunamganj in search of fortune. From his young age, Suranjit Sen Gupta earned the ill-reputation of being a nasty boy in the locality, who never hesitated in getting involved into any sort of nasty activities. Though in his entire political career, Suranjit Sen Gupta has been a worst form of critic and opponent of Bangladesh Awami League and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, when his political career was almost in the verge of being doomed; Suranjit suddenly dismantled his so-called Gonotontri Party and became a part of Bangladesh Awami League.

By joining one of the largest political parties in Bangladesh, Suranjit Sen Gupta found the road to becoming a prominent figure in country’s politics. While being in Bangladesh Awami League, Suranjit Sen Gupta continued to secretly conspire in staging political coup within the party to oust Sheikh Hasina from the post of party’s president, as the foreign intelligence agency continued to attempt in putting Suranjit in a more prominent post in country’s political arena. When military controlled interim regime snatched power from a constitutional government on January 11, 2007, Suranjit Sen Gupta was one of the very few fortunate, who not only remained untouched by the military controlled regime’s mass arrest drives, but also became one of the masterminds of the political blueprint of Minus Two formula, which was aimed at excluding Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia from country’s politics. During the period of military controlled interim regime, Suranjit Sen Gupta was seen busy meeting foreign diplomats during dark hours of the night as well as some of the top brasses of the military controlled regime.

Despite the fact of having extremely nasty political and personal past, Suranjit Sen Gupta was still included in the cabinet by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while at the time of joining, Suranjit told media that he would identify the hiding black cat in Bangladesh Railway, which incurs loss of millions of dollars. Bangladeshi media gave big coverage to this statement aspiring he (Suranjit) would really exhibit real charisma and commitment during the last tail of his political career. But, in reality, instead of hunting the black cat, Suranjit Sen Gupta has finally been proved to be the same black cat, which he always had been, who got indulged into limitless corruption thus cashing millions of Taka just within the span of four months of becoming the railway minister. Finally he has put the ruling party and the Prime Minister into severe embarrassment when his personal staff was caught along with few officials of Bangladesh Railway carrying large sum of bribe money en route to the Suranjit’s residence. The large sum of money (believed to be TK. 47 million) was bribe money offered to the minister by the job-seekers of Bangladesh Railway.

With Suranjit’s assistant personal secretary Omar Faruq Talukder, Railway’s General Manager (East) Yusuf Ali Mridha and Divisional Commandant Enamul Huq on board, driver Ali Azam of Faruq’s car drove the vehicle into the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters in the capital around 11:30 pm on April 9, 2012 and stopped. When guards at the gate rushed towards the vehicle as it had entered the BGB headquarters without authorization, the driver told them there was bribe money stashed in the car. The guards discovered huge sum of money in the car and they detained the four. The BGB personnel wanted to hand them over to police but police refused to receive them, saying there was no case filed against them. Faruq, Yusuf and Enamul were eventually released but the driver was released at a later stage, though minister’s men abducted him from the court premises right after release and took him to unknown place.

Sources in the railway said Rail Sramik League (labor front of the ruling party), ministers, lawmakers, ruling party leaders and a section of corrupt railway officials were taking bribes from job seekers. The railway ministry recently started recruitment of 7,500 people. Suranjit Sen Gupta was receiving large sum of bribe since joining the ministry through the channel of his personal staffer Omar Faruq, who enjoys the status of the Assistant Personal Secretary of the minister. Since the bribe story became talk of the country, Suranjit Sen Gupta is seen extremely busy in saving his staffers as well as those corrupt officials, who earlier paid him huge amount of bribes.

Though it is speculated in Bangladeshi media that Suranjit Sen Gupta might be ousted from the cabinet, some of the top-grading insiders of the ruling party indicate that the matter will rather be buried by the government, while the Prime Minister and her government will start discovering conspiracy formula even in this incident of bribery. Such indications of ruling party’s actions were clear when Bangladesh Awami League’s deputy office secretary Mrinal Kanti Das said “there might be a conspiracy behind the incident. It could have been staged to disgrace the government.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now in Turkey on an official tour. She is expected to return home on April 14, 2012. On her return, it will become clear if the Prime Minister will punish or reward her cabinet colleague for such broad-day bribery. It is already hinted by many that Suranjit Sen Gupta will use his foreign connections as well as the foreign intelligence agency in salvaging him from this disaster, while others say, Sheikh Hasina may not let the minister go unpunished after such huge bribery incident has been busted to the nation.

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Bangladesh Railway Minister’S Bribe Scandal

By: Times of Assam Bureau Read time: 5 min