RAB detains sacked Awami League functionary Helena Jahangir after raiding her home

The Rapid Action Battalion says it detained businesswoman Helena Jahangir after finding foreign liquor and gambling equipment in a raid on her home in Dhaka’s Gulshan. 

Helena recently lost her membership of an Awami League subcommittee for her involvement with an unauthorised organisation.

Palash Kumar Basu, an executive magistrate at the RAB headquarters, said they conducted the raid on Helena’s flat on Thursday night on specific information.

Foreign currencies, walkie-talkies and deer hide were also found at the house, according to him.

“We’ve detained her for interrogation over the seized evidence and the specific allegations.”

Details will be revealed after the quizzing at the RAB Headquarters, Palash said.  

The RAB launched the raid around 8pm. Female RAB personnel entered the house after two more hours.     

The RAB personnel escorted Helena out of the house sometime after midnight. 

Helena, a director of the apex trade body FBCCI and chairperson of Joyjatra TV, also identifies herself as the president of the IP TV Owners Association of Bangladesh.

The Awami League’s subcommittee on women’s affairs fired her as a member recently after her name came up on social media as the president of ‘Bangladesh Awami Chakrijibi League’, a group with no official links to the ruling party.

She also lost her post as an advisor to the Cumilla District Unit of the party after a ‘Chakrijibi League’ post seeking members went viral on social media, putting the Awami League in a gaffe.

‘Chakrijibi League’ claims it has been trying to get the Awami League’s authorisation as an affiliated organisation for two to three years. Awami League leaders said they have no connection with the organisation.

Helena said she was not involved with the organisation directly. It declared her president of the new committee and posted the announcement on Facebook.

Her old photos with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the late Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad surfaced on social media again.

Helena said on Facebook that she had uploaded the photos herself after taking those at wedding parties.

“I am actually 100 percent businesswoman and the government’s commercially important person (CIP). I entered politics from that position. I have been a soldier of Bangabandhu since childhood. I need to go to events due to my social obligations. Photos don’t carry the political identity of a person.”