Dhaka – A ruling Awami League politician having alleged link with Dhaka’s underworld has summarily been sentenced to six months in jail for possessing hides of kangaroo, most probably imported from Australia as decorative piece, officials said on Sunday.
An executive magistrate of the Rapid Action Battalion, a crime-busting force, handed down the punishment to Ismail Hossain Samrat, the head of Dhaka south city unit of the ruling party’s youth wing Jubo League.
The sentencing came hours after the lawmen seized kangaroo skins, a pistol, five bullets, yaba pills, bottles of foreign liquor and torture equipment at his office in Dhaka. The lawmen captured Samrat and one of his associates Enamul Haque Arman from the eastern district of Cumilla for his alleged links with running illegal casinos in Dhaka, and conducted the search operation at his office and homes for five hours.
Magistrate Sarwar Alam said Samrat was sentenced for violation of wildlife protection law. His associate Arman was also awarded punishment for drunkenness under the narcotics control law.
Both were sent to jail, he added.
Other charges will be framed against both of them.
Earlier, Benazir Ahmed, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, told a news conference that Samarat was linked with operation of Dhaka’s casino businesses, which was being run by the underworld dons. Samarat was one of them.
The law enforcers has been after Samrat as he went into hiding since a fresh drive against corruption, casino business, drugs and manipulation of government tenders for public works began on September 18. The lawmen arrested three other prominent figures of the Jubo League in last month.
The Raid Action Battalion, acting on a tip off arrested Samrat and Arman at a house in Cumilla a village bordering Indian state of Tripura on Sunday morning and brought them to Dhaka to conduct the search operation at their homes and offices.
Contingents of armed police and RAB members guarded the main road in downtown Kakrail, where the Jubo League leader’s office is located. Several thousand onlookers, including Samrat’s followers, were seen waiting on the street to see until the completion of the drive, which was eventually completed at 6pm.
Most television channels arranged live coverage on the drive.
Samrat has been expelled from the party immediately after the lawmen arrested him.
Earlier on September 24, the government imposed a travel ban on Samrat after his name surfaced as one of the kingpins of the casino business.