Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Shamsul: Rise to whip from scalper, smuggler

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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Shamsul: Rise to whip from scalper, smuggler

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The life sketch of Shamsul Haque Chowdhury, the lawmaker from Chattogram-12 constituency (Patiya), is tainted with stigma.

He has become the Jatiya Sangsad whip from a humble background as he had been involved in selling cigarettes and cinema tickets in black market, smuggling saris and brokering land, according to a former Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader.

Shamsul Haque was never affiliated with Awami League. Rather, he was involved in the politics of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of Ziaur Rahman and Jatiya Party of HM Ershad. He is so opportunist that sense of bread and butter overrides his sense of ethics and political loyalty.

Avijit Dhar Bappi, the then steersman of BCL at Chattogram University, said, “Bichchhu (a name of Whip Shamsul given by local people for his cunningness) is known to me since long. He was a cigarette black marketeer, sari smuggler, manpower exporter and land broker.”

Shamsul is so notorious that he named a road in Patiya after Prof Nurul Islam Chowdhury, a member of infamous cabinet of Bangabandhu’s killer Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, said Avijit.

The background of Shamsul has been elaborated in Facebook posts of Avijit Dhar, the former president of CU unit of BCL and now an expatriate living in the UK.

Avijit Dhar was very much active against the autocratic rule of HM Ershad and fundamental politics. He faced innumerable cases and untold persecution. The hostile situation prompted him to go abroad and settle in the UK. But his voice against any irregularity or misdeed remains stereotyped.

After a hiatus, he came to the fore by criticising corruption, irregularities and nepotism committed by Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) Administrator Khorshed Alam Sujon.  Khorshed was appointed as CCC administrator for six months. Now, Avijit has opened the Pandora’s box of Whip Shamsul’s darkest past.

“It was an incident of 20/22 years ago. I was startled to see cigarette and ticket scalper Bichchhu at the office of former MES College VP Mamunur Rashid. I wanted to know the reason for Bichchhu’s arrival. Mamun told me that Bichchhu switched to our party. Shortly afterwards, Shamsul took me outside the office and showed his Pajero jeep. That Shamsul is now whip!” he said.

Terming the lawmaker from Patiya a disturbing element, Avijit said, “He (Shamsul) blocked every good initiative in the constituency. Zamal Uddin, an officer of Department of Narcotics, wanted to establish isolation centre for Covid-19 patients. Such initiative did not see light due to obstruction created by Bichhhcu. Besides, Ekushey Award winner Haider decided to distribute food among distressed people, but Shamsul did not let him do it. Whip and his family members sold Covid-19 vaccines which were imported by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for vaccinating people for free.”

About naming a road after the name of a member of the cabinet of Bangabandhu killer, he said, “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members was killed on August 15, 1975.  We hate the killers from the core of heart. We’re sentimental and emotional as far as the incident is concerned. We don’t compromise with the killers. After the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad formed the cabinet. Prof Nurul Islam Chowdhury took oath as a member of the infamous cabinet. Shamsul named a road by the Patiya court building after Prof Nurul Islam Chowdhury. He is an Awami Leaguer! It can’t be accepted in any way. It’s surprising how a cinema ticket scalper has turne Jatiya Sangsad whip.”