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Catholics want action over market crash

Archbishop backs court ruling ordering release of report into worst ever market slump reporter, Dhaka

April 20, 2011

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Catholics including Dhaka’s archbishop are calling for those responsible for the country’s biggest ever stock market collapse to be prosecuted. “The government needs to make the official report public and reveal the identities of those responsible, irrespective of their social status and political loyalties,” Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka said today. “Publishing the report would be a bold step. The offenders should be put on trial. They should be punished for the crimes they have committed against millions of people,” said the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh . The call follows a High Court ruling yesterday ordering the government to publish the report from an investigation into the crash within 48 hours. It came in response to a writ filed by human rights organization Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh on Monday. The government ordered a committee to conduct the probe after markets slumped on January 10. Media reported that over 2 billion taka (US$27.4 million) was wiped from the stock market in one day. The committee headed by Bangladesh Agriculture Bank chairman Ibrahim Khaled submitted its report to the finance minister on April 7. Since then the government has hesitated in making it public for unspecified reasons. The January crash even surpassed a 1996 collapse that left over three million, mostly small and medium scale investors, penniless. “A group of dishonest and influential businessmen left millions of people penniless. Stock manipulators in 1996 were not punished, so the same thing could happen again. We want the government to publish the report and punish the guilty,” said Catholic investor Kollol Kuluntunu. “My dreams were shattered. Those responsible should be punished and the victims compensated,” said another victim Biplob Rozario. Related Report: Bangladesh investors unfazed by stock market crash

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