Bangladeshi ex-ministers, officials arrested amid high drama

May 19th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, May 19 (IANS) Brawls, barricading and slogan-shouting marked the arrests of some of the dozen former ministers and officials against whom warrants were executed Sunday night in connection with a corruption case. The court had declared them ‘absconding’ and some were not home when police reached Sunday night, media reports said.

Among those arrested amid “high drama”, as per media reports, was Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami.

Police had a tough time detaining Nizami and then to leave the premises as his supporters had barricaded the place.

Representing Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, Nizami had been a minister in the government of Khaleda Zia (2001-06).

Like his former colleagues detained Sunday night, he said the case against him was politically motivated and that he would fight it “politically”.

Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and M. Shamsul Islam, senior leaders of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), were sent to jail on surrender to a Dhaka court.

At Bhuiyan’s residence, a brawl broke out between his lawyers and the court officials who had come to arrest him.

BNP leader M.K. Anwar was not home, the Daily Star said Monday.

Two former ministers M. Saifur Rahman and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury are abroad for medical treatment.

The case pertains to a contract awarded to Global Agro Tech Corporation (Gatco) in which Zia and her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, both already in jail, are among the accused.

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