'Whether an MP or an MP’s son, no one is above the law'
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said Awami League Noakhali 4 MP Mohammed Ekramul Karim Chowdhury’s son will not be spared if found guilty for the hit and run incident near Banani.
However, the minister added that it was yet to be determined if the MP’s son, Shabab Chowdhury, was driving the car.
"Whether an MP or an MP’s son, no one is above the law. We do not spare anyone who is involved in a crime,” the home minster said.
He made the statement in response to a journalist’s question after a seminar at Gulshan's Amari hotel on Friday.
A Barisal man was killed after he was struck by a speeding car owned by Kamrun Nahar Shiuli, the wife of the Noakhali MP, on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses said Salim Bepari, 50, was crossing the Airport Road in the Banani area of the capital when he was struck by the Audi SUV around 10pm.
According to media reports and unconfirmed social media posts, Noakhali 4 constituency lawmaker Ekramul's son Shabab Chowdhury was driving the car at that time, though Ekramul has claimed a driver was behind the wheel.
The day after the incident, Ekramul told the Dhaka Tribune: “I own five or six cars, but my son was not driving the one that was involved in this accident. My enemies have spread this false information for political purposes.”
Police are yet to take any legal action regarding the matter.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman said:“An accident occurred. A pedestrian has died. We are conducting an investigation after which I can say who was driving, and whose car it was.”
On the other hand, sources have claimed that members of the MP’s family have been using their influence to apply pressure on the victim’s family to withdraw the case.
However, when contacted, Nawar Properties Managing Director Imran Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune: “Salim used to work at our company. After he died, the MP’s family contacted me by phone. They told me that they wanted to negotiate regarding compensation to Salim’s family for the accident.”
Subsequently, at Salims work place on Thursday, representatives of the MP spoke with family members of the deceased regarding compensation, as the car belonged to the MP and as Salim’s family is not well off, he added.
He further said that Salim’s family demanded they be provided enough compensation so that they may always have access to food and adequate living conditions, and the MP’s family also wished to provide sufficient compensation.
“The MP’s representatives told Salim’s family that they would look into how much they would be able to provide. Our company will also try to help out Salim’s family,” the MD said.
Eyewitnessesclaim Shabab fled the scene and took refuge in NAM Bhaban, opposite the parliament complex atManik Mia Avenue, where his father has a government-allotted flat.
The car’s logo and licence plate, with the registration number Dhaka Metro-Gha 13-7655, was found beside the lifeless body of Salim near Setu Bhaban of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.