Tighten security, no more Shaheds please!
July 16th, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Tighten security, no more Shaheds please!

Nadeem Qadir;

Bangladeshis woke up on Wednesday with the news that a man accused of being the king of fraud has been arrested as he tried to flee to India and could have been a security risk. But like all crimes, he too is now being grilled by the law enforcers to track down his alleged forgery tentacles.

Thanks to our cool Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, who speaks sense, and his elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for netting this alleged notorious fraud before he could escape with all the money he had looted over the years.

This man is Shahed Karim, chairman of the Regent Group, and came to limelight after the forgery with COVID-19 tests at his Regent Hospital. One elderly neighbour commented “It is Allah’s punishment finally as his fake test certificates might have killed some people who had come to the hospital with trust.”

Yes, crime never pays. Sometimes it is short-lived, sometimes takes longer, but one has to pay for the crime one does. If any patient died due to his fake certificates, then it is murder.

The big but is there has been such characters in the past and will there be more? No, thank you.

These characters slowly make inroads into the corridors of power and Shahed is a unique example. He made sure of taking photographs with the powerful and posted them on his Facebook account.

He made it into the list of invitees to state functions, and is photographed both inside the Bangabhaban presidential complex and Ganabhaban, the premier’s official residence.

He met India’s ex-president Pranab Mukherjee and a leader like Advani. He hoodwinked officials and more worryingly the intelligence outfits of both Bangladesh and India.

As a fraud, he buys people off with money and can sell himself too the enemies if the state. Thus the lives of the president and prime minister were at risk.

His activities have not only tarnished the image of the country, but very much that of our Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. Two things require special attention after this incident.

First, all those linked to him, especially in the health sector, must be probed in depth as all are responsible for the image problem and fake COVID-19 negative certificates. Some 130 Bangladeshi-Italians are now stranded after being refused entry into their adopted home, while the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh has been blacklisted for carrying passengers with fake certificates.

Two, a separate intelligence unit must be set up immediately to keep a tab of new faces hobnobbing with the powerful and famous. In a democratic set-up and random graft, such characters emerge from regime to regime.

Ugly comments and comics have flooded the social network which is a shame for the ruling Awami League government and the premier, who has taken Bangladesh to new heights that nonce ever imagined.

The premier is a woman which the world community, including Pakistan, bow their heads for her great achievements. She is now a woman to reckon with.

As the home minister told the press on ensuring toughest punishment for Shahed and associates, we would like to see that happen and he does not escape using his corrupt practices.

We cannot put the lives of our president or the premier at risk, neither can we afford to allow anyone tarnish the image of our beloved Bangladesh as these hurts those who fought and sacrificed their lives to earn the blood-soaked independence.

Nadeem Qadir is a senior Bangladeshi journalist and a Dag Hammarskjöld fellow,- newsnextbd.com