Taposh asks group to withdraw cases against Khokon
Dhaka South Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh has said that the words of the preceding mayor Sayeed Khokon have become a 'laughing stock' to people.
"Some overenthusiastic people have filed cases
[against Khokon] without my permission. I am hoping that they would withdraw the charges," Taposh said on Tuesday.
Taposh said this while attending the Old Dhaka's festival of Shakrain, the festival to mark the end of the Bengali month of 'Poush'.
Khokon joined a previous protest organised by a group of disgruntled traders who suffered losses due to the city corporation's eviction drive in Gulistan's Fulbaria Market on Saturday.
Khokon laid into his successor, questioning his competence to hold the office of Dhaka South and raising complaints of corruption against Taposh as well.
On Monday, Taposh said that he would take 'legal steps' against Khokon's 'libellous statements'. The same day, two lawyers filed appeals to initiate cases with the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court.
On whether Taposh took the legal steps himself against his predecessor, he said, "I don't think my comment on this matter is necessary. People have taken this as a funny matter. It has become a laughing stock."
"It is not proper for me to respond to this, because I am in a responsible position."
"People can make different comments on someone who is in a responsible position. Not every comment carries significance."
Asked whether he was staying away from the lawsuits against Khokon, Taposh said he was not involved with the appeals made on Monday to initiate two cases.
"I did not make the appeals for the cases. I would request those who filed the appeals to withdraw their cases."
The conflict between Khokon and Taposh stemmed from the city corporation's eviction drive. Taposh insisted that the crackdown on illegal shops would continue.
"We've completed our drive on two markets. We will raid other markets as well. We are also working to find ways to resolve waterlogging problems in the city."
Taposh claimed that the city corporation raked in record revenue since he took office in May 2020. "Despite the pandemic, the Dhaka South City Corporation made Tk 3.44 billion in revenues."
"We are busy with meeting the target we've set. We have a lot of work to do. Give us the opportunity to do more work. Point out the mistakes we make. But we don't have the time to spend on such undesirable and unwanted matters."
Khokon had also alleged that Taposh syphoned 'billions of taka from DSCC to Modhumoti Bank' and 'invested the funds in different organisations to draw profits from'.
Responding to this allegation, Taposh said, "The claim about moving money to Modhumoti Bank is confounding. The bank has operated with a good reputation over the last seven years."
He pointed out that, "Even before I had taken over as mayor, the Dhaka South City conducted business with Modhumoti Bank. Dhaka South's money was deposited to Modhumoti Bank then, and still is."
"So it's not like I've resorted to corruptive or unsolicited actions for just being a director of Modhumoti Bank. You will not find any document to indicate anything unlawful."