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Corruption of the youth and student leaders: Tip of the iceberg, says TIB; calls for robust accountability sparing no one

Press Release
Corruption of the youth and student leaders:
Tip of the iceberg, says TIB; calls for robust accountability sparing no one
Dhaka, 21 September 2019. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) considers the revelations by the ongoing actions against the allegedly corrupt youth and student leaders as just a tip of the iceberg and calls for robust measures of accountability sparing no one at any level. The drive being conducted over the last few days are encouraging and will raise public expectation, though it’s end result in terms of effective control of corruption will depend on the extent to which it is comprehensive and sustained, TIB said.
In a statement issued today, Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “what has been exposed so far out of the actions taken against a few youth and student leaders in last few days are terrifying examples of deep-rooted corruption in the name of politics under political protection”. 
Commenting that the revelations are shocking, but not surprising at all, he said, “political linkage and position of power have been viewed as license to self-enrichment at the expense of public interest for too long irrespective of whichever party has been in power. It is only natural that corruption and abuse of power would deliver such outcomes. Corruption has been institutionalized at nearly every levels and aspects of life through connivance and collusion of business, politics, administration and law enforcement. What is needed now is to ensure that the drive that has just started is not put under the carpet short of ensuring accountability of everyone involved at all levels.”
Dr Zaman said, “what has so far been exposed in last few days have not taken place in isolation, and is most likely to be just a tip of the iceberg. Similar scenarios are most likely to emerge if the drive is robust enough to uncover the depth and breadth of corruption elsewhere. Corruption and abuse of politically linked power is no monopoly of leaders of the student and youth organizations in the capital and around, nor are other front organizations of the political party immune from the malaise. It is also no secret that the student and youth leaders simply follow and replicate the practices of their leaders in parent bodies who are also their role models in this regard”.
“This is where lies the importance of accountability of all without sparing anyone as the Prime Minister announced, as reported by yesterday’s media. Her earlier pledge of zero tolerance against corruption and the latest announcement of tougher action against party men who indulged in corruption and misdeeds must be firmly implemented without favour or fear irrespective of identity or status”, Iftekharuzzaman added.
“Equally pressing and urgent is the need to ensure accountability of those in the relevant academic and other institutions as well as administration and law enforcement agencies under whose participation, protection or collusion this ominous scenario has evolved. Drastic overhaul of the these key institutions has become mandatory with the principal objective of their depoliticization to ensure professional integrity, neutrality and excellence”, the statement added.
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