Dhaka, April 13, 2012. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed grave concern, anguish and disappointment over the naked exposition of corrupt transactions involving the Ministry of Raliways, and demanded absolutely independent and neutral investigation followed by strongest possible exemplary punishment of those who are guilty.
The event is an ominous indicator of impending capture of the state by corruptuion, and comes as a challenge for the Government to demonstrate that it has the capacity to prevent such capture.
“The midnight episode that involved sharing of tens of lakhs of taka collected through illegal transactions including extortion for appointment in public offices under the ministry clearly indicates patronage of corruption by high political and public office”, said Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB.
“More disurbing is the sheer lack of approriate action amounting to connivance – whether under influence or not - by the Border Guard Bangladesh, as well as inaction of the Police authority” he said.
“We are also disturbed by the lack of information of wherabouts of the driver of the vehicle, the key witness in the event, and demand that the Government and its relevant agencies take all possible measures immediately to find the witness and ensure his security”, the statement said.
Describing the event as a tip of the iceberg, the Executive Director of TIB said that the Government that came to power with a strong pledge to control corruption including specific commitment against unearned income, extortion and bribery has a chellenge now to demonstrate that it has the political will and capcity to restore the trust of the people by preventing capture of the state by the ominously powerful corrupt elements within the institutions of politics, administration and law enforcement.
We call upon the Railways Minster to resign immediately by taking the responsibility at least on moral ground and create the space for independent investigation free from any influence, so that punitive measure can be taken without fear or favour to anyone, said the statement.
With less than two years before the next national election, we also urge upon the Prime Minsiter to take a hard look at the Government’s delivery against their electoral peldges to fight corruption and demonstrate that the Government is sensitive to the expectations of the people who voted them to power, Dr Zaman said.