BNP’s Politics of Destruction
Recently, one of the organizing secretaries of BNP, Mr. Ilias Ali disappeared. The government has been trying best to find out his trace and recover him alive. Investigation is already under way. The elite force RAB carried several rescue operations taking his wife in one of the rescue drives. But the opposition BNP and its partners have capitalized the Ilias Ali issue and already they have observed five day countrywide Hartal (general strike) leading to huge loss to human life, economy and public property. The BNP and its alliance leaders have been casting blame upon the government stating in public that it is the Government that has abducted Ilias and created the situation of his forced disappearance.
Crime including abduction, disappearance and killing is challenge for any country. Interest of the government lies in ‘prevention’ and ‘detection’ of crime and keeping this in mind, Government has been making structural and functional improvements of the law enforcement agencies. Blaming by some quarters in relation to the event is not only irresponsible but also diverts attention from the actors and players responsible for the incidents. As already mentioned, the Government has taken a number of steps to recover Mr. Ilias.
However, some of the events of the past as came out in the media regarding Mr. Ilias are worrying. Certain quarters have expressed concerns that past events may have been haunting him and may have to do with the sad event that has occurred recently to him and may have been impending the Government’s effort for his recovery.
One of the leading newspapers in Bangladesh, namely Daily Shamokal, carried out a report on 29th April, 2012 which indicates to an internal conflict of BNP behind such disappearance. The report has unfolded that the law and order forces have carried a rescue operation in Kamolganj Upozila under Sylhet district adjacent to Bangladesh-India border.
According that press report, Indian insurgent groups were active in that particular locality during the last BNP-Jamaat rule. On May 05, 2005 six persons were killed in a gun-fight in Manditia area under Kamolganj Upozila where Illias’s opponent group’s leader’s tea garden is situated. Besides, residence of a former leader of Chatro Dal is also located in that remote hilly area. On the other hand, Ilias Alis’ relation with BNP’s closest alliance, i.e. Jamaat was reportedly cold. Now, the law enforcers are trying to look into all these factors behind Ilias’ disappearance. On the suspect list are leaders of opponent groups of Ilias from BNP and Jamaat in Sylhet.
Another press report carried in the Dailiy Janakantho on 29 April, 2012 reveals similar facts. It further indicates the complexity of relations of Ilias Ali with local BNP and Jamaat leaders concerning terrorist camps of dissident groups of the neighboring state. This report also hinted upon a recent speech by the opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia during the road march in Sylhet after which Ilias was engaged in a conflict with local Jamaat leaders. Moreover, following that meeting, Ilias Ali became involved in a tussle with a former MP from Sylhet concerning illegal collection of money After the public meeting Ilias became sick due to internal BNP and alliance leaders various pressure.
All these reasons might have linkage with the missing of Ilias Ali. Devoid of all these considerations, the analogy of the BNP is totally unfounded, baseless and full of political motive and stunts. The Government has no interest in taking such blame on its own shoulder. Rather, it is in the greater interest of the State and the nation, that the Government is trying its best to find him out and recover him at the earliest.
Some other information regarding Ilias Ali
· During his student life, Ilias Ali was known to be one of the heinous armed cadres of the Jatiotabadi Chhatro Dal - JCD (student wing of BNP).
· He was implicated in several cases of illegal toll collection, murder, abduction, and tender-terrorism.
· In 1981, he joined the newly formed Chhatro Shomaj backed by the then military ruler General Ershad. He became an active player of the armed student politics.
· Later on, he changed party and joined the BNP backed Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Chhattro Dal (JCD) and established a stronghold terror group infamously named as ‘Ilias Group’.
· During that time a number of political murders took place in the Dhaka University Campus. In many of the cases, Ilias Ali was accused to have committed the murders and was eventually arrested.
· The Dhaka University authorities, On 17th September 1987 rusticated him from the institution due to his involvement in terrorist activities.
· On 11th December 1988, Ilias killed JSD leader Bazlur Rahman alias Pagla Shahid.
· On 29th November, 1989 he ransacked the DUCSU (Dhaka University Central Students’ Union) office at the DU campus.
· On 25th February 1990 he killed a student leader of Awami Chattro League namely Shahidur Islam Chunnu who was vice president of the students union of the Zahrul Haque hall.
· On 3rd August 1992, Ilias took part in a gunfight against Ratan group of JCD, in which one person died.
· On 4th September 1992, he killed Mamun and Mahmud (two JCD leaders) who’s dead bodies were found from a water tank.
· He was arrested in 1991 on the accusation of murdering JCD leader Mirza Gallib and Bangladesh Chhatro League (BCL) leader.
· He became general secretary of JCD on 16th June, the executive committee of which was dissolved after three months.
· On 10th September 1993, he was again arrested for murdering Mahmud and Mamun, taken into remand and got bail after two years.
· He became member of parliament for the first time in the 1996 farcical election.
· Renowned political figures like Abdus Samad Azad (former Foreign Minister from AL), M Saifur Rahman (former Finance Minister from BNP), S A M S Kibria (former Finance Minister from AL), Humayun Rashid Chowdhury (former Speaker from AL) faced irritation and vandalism by Ilias Ali many times.
· In 2000, he was reprimanded by British police for his ill behaviour at the JOYOPUR restaurant in the Milton Kaynes City in London.
· After 2001, he became MP from Biswanath-Balaganj and created a reign of terror in the entire locality. He formed a terror force named Ilias Bahini.
· He was also named in the bomb charging case against former British High Commissioner Anwar Chawdhury at the Hazrat Shahjalal Shrine in Sylhet.
· On 11th December 2011, there was a news item titled “Where is Ilias: At Home or Abroad?” Later on, he himself stated that he went to Bangkok.
In addition to his enormous properties and wealth in Sylhet, he has built a 6-storied palatial building in Banani, Dhaka, namely “Sylhet House”.