AL not to protect former army, police chiefs: Quader

AL not to protect former army, police chiefs: Quader

The ruling Awami League on Friday said that it would not protect former army chief and former police chief who have been accused of wrongdoing.

‘The government does not protect any criminals regardless of their positions, whether they are a former inspector general of police or former army chief,’ AL general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said at a press conference at the party Bangabandhu Avenue central office.

His remark came when he was asked if the government is embarrassed by  the seizure of assets of former IGP Benazir Ahmed and US sanctions against former army chief General (retired) Aziz Ahmed.

‘An influential person can commit crimes, but the question is whether the government has the honesty and the courage to punish them,’ he said, ’Sheikh Hasina’s government has that honesty and courage.’

No one will be exempted after committing a crime because the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Commission are working independently, he said.

‘If someone is found guilty, we will not protect them. Whether he is a former IGP or a former army chief, whoever commits wrongdoing should be punished under the existing laws,’ said Quader.

Pointing out that the government was not on the side of the Chhatra League leaders who murdered Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology student Abrar, he said that the government also did not protect those who received death penalty in the Biswajit murder case.

Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge’s Court on Thursday ordered to freeze 33 financial accounts, including 27 bank accounts, of former IGP

Benazir and his family members, to facilitate proper investigation into graft allegations against him.

The court also ordered attaching the properties of the former IGP and his family members under 83 deeds in Cox’s Bazar and Gopalganj districts following a petition submitted by the ACC.

The media have recently reported that Benazir and his family allegedly amassed illegal wealth and also highlighted the lavish lifestyle of the Benazir family and his holding of shares in different companies.

Following media reports, on April 18, the ACC decided to carry out an inquiry against Benazir, and a three-member inquiry team, led by ACC deputy director Hafizul Islam, is now conducting an inquiry over the allegations of amassing illegal wealth.

In April 2020, Benazir was made IGP after serving as commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and director general of the Rapid Action Battalion. He retired in September 2022.

On December 10, 2021, the United States declared then IGP Benazir ineligible for entry to the country for ‘gross violations of human rights’ while serving as the RAB director general.

Meanwhile, the US imposed sanctions on May 21 on former Bangladesh army chief General (retd) Aziz Ahmed and his immediate family members for what it said was his involvement in corruption.