Mayor abroad, ‘proxy’ in court lands in jail

A close aide to a municipality mayor was sent to jail yesterday for impersonating the mayor in a court hearing in Dhaka.

On Sunday, Nur-e-Alam Mollah, 48, surrendered before the court impersonating Sreepur Mayor Anisur Rahman and was sent to jail.

Hours later, the complainant of the graft cases came to know what had happened and Nur was produced before the Dhaka court again yesterday.

“He had admitted impersonating the mayor in court. He was sent to jail. Filing of an additional case against Mayor Anisur and the Nur is underway,” said lawyer Ruhul Amin Khan, who is representing Anti-Corruption Commission in several cases filed against Mayor Anisur.

Nur also admitted that the mayor told him to impersonate him in court.

Dhaka Divisional Special Judge Mizanur Rahman Khan sent him to jail rejecting a bail petition, court sources said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Anisur, 52, also organising secretary of Gazipur district Awami League, left the country for Indonesia on Saturday night.

Anisur has been the mayor of Sreepur for three consecutive terms. His current tenure started in 2015.

The matter came to light when residents of his municipality saw in the news that their mayor was sent to jail along with a colleague.

Locals said some of them knew that Anisur had gone to Indonesia and people started talking it.

Contacted, Gazipur District AL President and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq said he learnt about the incident from the media.

“It is a sensitive issue. It is a gross misconduct,” he said, adding Anisur would face consequences if found guilty.

Nur’s son Kaushik told The Daily Star that before leaving the country, Anisur told his father to take care of the graft cases.

“That is why my father appeared before the court,” he told this correspondent.

Badruzzaman Badal, secretary of Sreepur municipality office, said Anisur left the country as part of a delegation of mayors invited by the Indonesian government.

Anisur is scheduled to return on September 16. He is on leave until September 18, Badruzzaman added.

Municipality officials said their Mayor Anisur and accountant Abdul Mannan were supposed to appear before the court on Sunday for hearing of graft cases filed by the ACC.

Mannan, who is facing charges in two graft cases, appeared before the court. He was sent to the jail, they added.

On January 21, 2015, ACC Deputy-Assistant Director Fakhrul Islam accused Mayor Anisur and several others of misappropriating Tk 43.76 lakh of the municipality, said Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Sreepur Police Station.

The ACC had earlier filed three cases against the mayor.

Although the cases were filed with police, ACC officials investigated them, the OC said.