This ground report was sent to IndiaFacts from Bangladesh by Sitangshu Guha.
This is the heartbreaking story of several Hindu families and their friends in the town of Faridpur, Bangladesh. The moral of this story is that even when you have given your dues to the country, worked hard to provide for your family and to help the society, supported the policies of a progressive party that upheld the spirit of 1971, in the end, you will not escape the greed and wrath of crooked politicians, even if those politicians are indebted to you for your help.
This story also tells you how helpless Hindus are in Bangladesh and provides you a stark glimpse of why Hindu exodus continues from Bangladesh.
A two-story building known as the Dayamoyee Bhawan situated on 2.75 acres of land, worth about Taka 70 crore (or about nine million USD) at Faridpur town has been illegally grabbed by the current LGRD Minister Engineer Khondakar Musharraf Hossain. As a result, the present owner of the house, Mr. Arun Guha Majumder, has been forced to leave the house as well as the town of Faridpur. The total land and the house in question were partly declared as ‘vested property’ despite the fact that they were under the legal possession of Arun Guha Majumder.
After the recent Vested Property Law Amendment, known as the Arpita Sampatti Protyarpan Ayeen came into effect, the beleaguered Hindu community of Bangladesh thought it would find some respite.
In this particular case, following the amendment, the total land and house were supposed to be cleared in the name of Arun Majumder. Instead, the issue was kept unsettled by the District Collectorate. In addition, some people with vested interests came up with fictitious claim over the property by producing forged deeds.
Subsequently, the issue found its way to the civil court for a decision. In the meantime, the people acting on behalf of the Minister negotiated with Mr. Arun Majumdar’s lawyer to transfer the land at Taka two crore .
The situation was made so untenable that Arun Majumdar had no choice but to agree. However, after paying only Taka 2.5 million, the Minister’s people tried to take possession of the land. Mr. Majumdar refused to relinquish the possession and subsequently, he and his family were put under siege by the paid goons of the Minister. Later, using the help of the district administration and other musclemen, the possession of the house was taken over by the Minister’s people who promptly went ahead and demolished the temple that belonged to the property.
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, a well-known sports and athletics organizer of Faridpur, was also forcibly removed from his 30-year old possession of a single-story building on 5.75 decimals of land in the aforementioned plot. The news received wide circulation in the print and social media.
Panna Bala, a young journalist from Faridpur, was seriously beaten up by the paid musclemen, an incident recorded by police CCTV. His crime was that he was investigating the news report related to the Minister’s takeover of the Dayamoyee Bhawan.
The Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad (HBCOP) leaders all over the world made statements condemning the land-grab carried out by the LGRD Minister Mr. Mosharaf Hossain.
Subsequently, with respect to these protests, Mr. Mosharaf Hossain called the Bramhacharies (monks belonging to the Faridpur Sree Angan, Ramkrishna Mission and ISKCON) along with the prominent Hindu Leaders of Faridpur at his home at Badarpur, Faridpur. The minister proceeded to scold the assemblage using filthy language and held them responsible for the protests and warned them of consequences if HBCOP did not withdraw the protest statements.
The Mukherjee Family
Advocate Satyajit Mukherjee, a prominent Chatra League leader and office-bearer and a former Assistant Private Secretary to the Minister Mr. Khondakar Mosharaf Hossain, was against the Minister’s illegal takeover of the Dayamayee Bhawan.
He also voiced his opposition against the appointment of Mr. Sajjad Hossain Barkat as the President of Faridpur Jubo League by the Minister. Said Barkat was a worker of the BNP and the nephew of Abul Kalam Azad, a notorious war criminal from 1971 who is also known as Bachhu Rajakar.
Bachhu Rajakar is currently absconding after being sentenced to death by the International War Crime Tribunal.
As a consequence for the above-mentioned actions, Satyajit Mukherjee has been forced out of Awami League politics in Faridpur and is currently in hiding, fearing for his life. The Minister himself has instigated the Faridpur Kotwali Police Station to file 14 cases of false extortion and one false case of rape against Satyajit.
The father of Mr. Satyajit Mukherjee, Mr. Manas Mukherjee, 69, is a retired high school teacher and a bonafide freedom fighter. He was put in jail on the pretext of false extortion charges. After he was released, another case was promptly filed in order to compel Satyajit Mukherjee to surrender.
Mrs. Suneeta Mukherjee, a student of Dhaka University and the wife of Satyajit Mukherjee, has also been forced to go into hiding with her two kids. She was also falsely implicated in baseless extortion cases.
Mokaram Hossain Babu
Mr. Mokaram Hossain Babu, a veteran Awami League leader of Faridpur, was arrested and put in jail in about five or six false extortion cases. His crime was that he supported the stand of Satyajit against making Sajjad Hossain Barkat as the President of Faridpur Jubo League.
For their support to Mr. Satyajit Mukherjee, the Assistant General Secretary of Faridpur District Chhatra League Mr. Nitish Saha, the BTV (Bangladesh Television) Faridpur representative Mr. Mokhlesur Rahman, the President of Faridpur Yasin College Chhatra League Mr. Bipul khan, the Vice President of Faridpur District Chatra League Mr. Mamun khan, Mr. Alim Haydar Tuhin, Mr. Apu Saha, Mr. Rupak Saha and Mr. Jahirul Islam liton have also been forced to leave Faridpur Awami League politics. They were also implicated in various false extortion cases along with Mr. Satyajit Mukherjee.
The LGRD Minister, Mr. Khondakar Mosharaf Hossain, in order to strengthen his base for his autocratic and corrupt actions has reorganized the governing structures of Faridpur Jubo League and Chatra League where he has picked people from BNP and the Jamaat-i-Islami Party to perform the role of office bearers.
Khondakar Mosharaf Hossain
LGRD Minister Mr. Khondakar Mosharaf Hossain is a retired engineer who also happens to be the father-in-law of the only daughter of the Prime Minister Mrs. Shaikh Hasina.
Mr. Mosharaf got interested in politics only in 2008. The novice got help from a young dedicated Awami Leaguer named Mr. Mokaram Hossain Babu and a promising student leader, who is none other than Satyajit Mukherjee.
Mokaram Babu’s and Satyajit’s hard work got Mosharaf Hossain elected as a member of the national parliament and subsequently earned him the Probashi Kalyan Ministry. Mosharaf Hossain appointed Satyajit his Assistant Personal Secretary and there was nothing amiss till April 2015.
In the meantime, the Minister wanted his younger brother Mr. Mohatasem Babor to become the President of the Faridpur Sadar Paura Sava. As per his wish, Mokaram Babu and Satyajit campaigned hard for the younger brother and helped him win the post.
In his next move, the Minister planned to have another of his brothers to be elected as the Mayor of the Faridpur Paura Shava. However, both Mokaram Hossain Babu and Satyajit Mukherjee aspired to be the mayoral candidates. The Minister, unfortunately, took this aspiration as a threat towards his plan of bringing in family rule in Faridpur.
As a result, Mr. Mosharaf Hossain immediately started reorganizing the district layer of the party and its associated wings, and in this quest did not hesitate to choose people from the Jamat-i-Islami and BNP.
During the first half of April 2015, Mr. Mosharaf Hossain drew up a tentative list for the Faridpur Jubo League office-bearers and asked for Satyajit’s view on the proposed names. On seeing the name of Sajjad Hossain Barkat, the ex-BNP worker and nephew of a war criminal, Satyajit expressed his reservations.
Mokaram Hossain Babu, the then Secretary for Relief and Social welfare of Faridpur District Awami League, supported Satyajit’s view.
This incident precipitated a backlash not only against Satyajit and Mokaram, but also against other like-minded members of the Faridpur District units of the Awami League. A mobile video was produced to show Mokaram Hossain Babu speaking ill of the minister.
Satyajit was accused of being present during Mokaram’s speech and not protesting it. Furthermore, the Minister might have thought Satyajit was the source of the news regarding the illegal take-over Mr. Arun Majumder’s property. A full-fledged conspiracy to undermine and punish Mokaram Babu and Satyajit was hatched.
Another character in this sordid story is Mr. Dolon, who happens to be the husband of the Minister’s niece. A die-hard BNP supporter, he benefitted from his relationship with the Minister in illegal dealings through the Prabashi Kalyan Minsitry. He thought of Satyajit as a hindrance to his easy profit-earning schemes. The current APS Mr. Fuad joined the fray as he coveted the APS position of Satyajit.
On 16 April 2015, the Minister relieved Mr. Satyajit Mukherjee from the post of his Assistant Personal Secretary and the conspirators organized a rally in Faridpur town against Satyajit and Mokaram Hossain Babu. Furthermore, several meetings were organized with the Hindu Communities, the bramhacharies (monks) of Sree Angan Temple, other Awami League-supporting lawyers, to ventilate the views of the Minister against Satyajit and Mokaram Hossain Babu.
The Minister abused his power to compel some people to act as complainants for extortion cases against Satyajit and Mokaram Babu. Numerous false cases were filed on behalf of the newly-formed circle of the Minister. The cases were not only against Satyajit and Mokaram Babu, but also against their wives and supporters.
Mokarram Hossain Babu was arrested by the police and was subjected to mental and physical torture under police remand. Satyajit and his family went into hiding. Posters were seen on the walls of Faridpur town and the surrounding areas that portrayed Mr. Stayajit Mukherjee and Mr. Mokaram Hossain Babu as veteran criminals. The posters promised rewards for providing tips for finding Satyajit.
It appeared like an undeclared war against the fellow partymen, and the people got an impression that if Satyajit was arrested he might be subjected to extra-judicial killing.
The Suffering of Manas Mukherjee
On the 4 May 2015, the father of Satyajit, a retired school teacher and a freedom fighter, Mr. Manas Mukherjee, aged 69, was taken to the Kotwali Police Station Faridpur and was arrested in an extortion case where his son Satyajit was shown as the principal offender.
The Kotwali Police told Mr. Manas that he would be released as soon as his son surrenders. They also advised him to talk to the Minister to find a way out.
Accordingly, Mrs. Tapashi Mukherjee, Mr. Manas’ wife and the mother of Satyajit, talked to the Minister over phone. The Minister denied having any knowledge of the arrest of Manas Mukherjee and after advising her to ask Satyajit to surrender, he disconnected the line.
Soon after, the newly-appointed APS of the Minister called Mrs. Taposhi Mukherjee on the phone and advised her to ask Satyajit to stop writing on Facebook and surrender to the police in order to have his father released.
It was clear that under the instruction of the Minister, not a single Awami League-supporting lawyer of the Faridpur Bar Association dared to stand for Manas Mukherjee in the court of law.
Hence, it is quite an irony that a lifelong, dedicated Awami League-supporting family (some of whom even voted to elect Mr. Mosharaf Hossain as MP) had to go to the BNP-supporting lawyers to move for Mr. Manas’s bail. On the 1 June 2015, the Senior Session Judge released Manas Mukherjee on bail.
But on 4 June 2015, Manas Mukherjee was again taken into custody by the Faridpur Kotwali Police and arrested in another false extortion case lodged on the same day. As in the previous case, Satyajit was shown as the principal offender. Manas Mukherjee, a proud freedom fighter, was taken in remand for further physical and mental humiliation and harassment.
On 13 July, 2015, Manas Mukherjee got bail from the Senior Sessions Judge, Faridpur, but again was arrested by police from the Jail Gate at the moment of his release. Yet another case of extortion was lodged with the police. This time, Mokaram Hossain Babu, Satyajit Mukherjee, Satyajit’s father-in-law (owner of a tailoring shop in Dhaka) and others were also shown as co-accused.
The family of Manas Mukherjee enjoys a good reputation in the locality. His father was a progressive solvent agro-farmer who held considerable areas of landed property. During the liberation war, the family suffered a grievously and had to take shelter in India after their house had been looted and land confiscated.
Manas Mukherjee, being the elder son of the family, joined the freedom fight. After the liberation, the family got back the land and rebuilt their lives with hard labour and dedication. The elder son of Manas Mukherjee obtained a Master’s Degree from the Dhaka University and an MBA degree from London. He has been working in the export-oriented garments industry as a merchandiser. His second son, Satyajit Mukherjee, obtained a Master’s Degree in Finance, Education and law. He is an enrolled advocate with the Bar Council and from 2009 until 16 April 2015, he discharged his duty with distinction as the APS of the Minister in charge of the Probashi Kalyan Ministry. The youngest son of Manas Mukherjee is a Major in the Bangladesh Army.
Mrs. Tapshi Mukherjee is quite helpless in combating this grand conspiracy. She has submitted a petition to save her family to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Law Minister and the Freedom Fighter Welfare Minister praying for relief. So far she has not received any response.