Mizan: From criminal to councillor

Mahbub Hasan
Published : 00:00, Oct 13, 2019 | Updated : 00:11, Oct 13, 2019

Dhaka North Ward Councillor Habibur Rahman MizanThe arrest of Dhaka North Ward Councillor Habibur Rahman Mizan made the headlines on Friday (Oct 11) with him reportedly trying to flee the country following the ongoing crackdown on casinos.
The Rapid Action Battalion after arresting him from Sreemangal, later in the day seized fixed deposit receipt (FDR) savings worth Tk 10 million and several cheques of total Tk 67.7 million.
A pistol, four rounds of ammunition and Tk 200,000 were found in his possession during the arrest.
The controversial Awami League leader was elected the general secretary of the ruling party’s then undivided Dhaka metropolitan unit in 1994 and retained the post till 2015.
He was able to bag the post despite his alleged involvement with the 1989 attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He was then a member of the Freedom Party.
A former member of Hasina’s security force back then told Bangla Tribune that Mizan was allegedly the key planner of the attack on her at the road no 32 residence on Aug 10.
Amongst the 10-12 people who fired the shots was his younger brother Mostafa and Freedom Party activists Kajal and Kabir.
The Criminal Investigation Department in 1997 submitted a charge sheet in the case accusing 16 people and Mizan was named as one of the conspirators.
He changed his name from Mizanur Rahman to Habibur Rahman Mizan when he joined Awami League in 1991 when Hasian reshuffled the party after the defeat in the national polls that year.
She focused on the Dhaka metro unit where deceased mayor Mohammad Hanif and Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya were top leaders and several committees were formed.
Sources said Mizan was appointed general secretary at the recommendation of an influential leader who currently sits on the Awami League’s advisory committee.
Mofazzal Chowdhury Maya said that it’s difficult to point out who brought Mizan into the party due to the several committees formed back then.
According to a few ruling party Mohammadpur unit activists who wished to remain anonymous, Mizan bagged the ward councillor post due to his close ties with a central leader.
“Mizan was once the general secretary of Mohammadpur unit. But he’s no longer a part of Awami League,” said the ruling party’s Dhaka North General Secretary Sadeq Khan.
Mizan allegedly became reckless with his activities after Awami League won the national polls in 2009.
He reportedly went from rags to riches and there are allegations of land grabbing, murder, extortion and tender manipulation against him.
He has attributed the street name ‘Pagla Mizan’ during his stint with the law enforcers in 1975 when the police chased him for an alleged mugging at Khamarbari. He reportedly jumped into a pond and stepped out without clothes to avoid capture.
He has also been accused in the murder of Yunus in 1996 and another double murder at Savar in 2016.
Mizan was also arrested several times for allegedly controlling the narcotics trade in Mohammadpur Bihari camp and in 2014 reportedly humiliated freedom fighter Syed Ahmed and his wife.
He is reported to have facilitated the shooting of six real estate employees and stabbing 14 people over a land-grabbing dispute at the banks of River Turag last year. One person was killed and his body thrown into the river.
The ward councillor also built a market on a piece of land he grabbed on the west of Shyamoli field.