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29 March, 2020 01:09:49 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 29 March, 2020 10:19:37 AM
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AC Land Sayeema withdrawn

UNO promises houses for victims
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
AC Land Sayeema withdrawn
Assistant Commissioner (Land) in Jashore’s Monirampur Upazila Sayeema Hassan seen recording on her mobile phone the scene as she forces two elderly men in the locality to pull their ears in a form of punishment for ‘failing to wear masks’ during the government’s countrywide closure on Friday amid coronavirus scare. The BCS cadre officer (inset) conducted mobile court hearings in different parts of the district on the day. Focusbangla photo

Government officials should remember that they are public servants, not superiors, said Khulna Divisional Commissioner Dr Md. Anwar Hossain Howlader referring to the ‘misconduct’ of an assistant commissioner (AC) with some elderly men during a mobile court drive that triggered massive public outcry.

Meanwhile, a few hours after a storm of criticism on social media over the humiliation of three elderly men by a mobile court conducted by Manirampur AC Land Sayeema Hassan, the public administration ministry withdrew the mobile court’s magistrate on Friday night.

Talking to journalists, the divisional commissioner said, “Officials should never forget that the people of the country are our service taker and we are servants of the civilians,” he added.

“Sometimes, people of the masses can do wrong, but we don’t,” he further said, adding that the authorities would punish AC (Land) Sayeema Hassan if she’s found guilty on the basis of the inquiry report.

Meanwhile, Manirampur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Ahsan Ullah Sharifi has announced construction of houses for the victims of Manirampur mobile court drive. “I regretted the incident during my visit to their huts. I apologised on behalf of the administration. I have announced to build them houses with all necessary supports” said the UNO.

Ministry of Public Administration Secretary Shaikh Yusuf Harun told The Independent that Magistrate Sayeema Hassan was withdrawn and attached to the office of the Khulna divisional commissioner for her “misconduct”.

Sayeema Hassan was the assistant commissioner (land) of Monirampur upazila and was conducting a mobile court drive as the executive magistrate at Chinatola Bazar of the upazila.

The mobile court drive was conducted to monitor the maintenance of quarantine for the people of the locality, following the outbreak of novel coronavirus. When Sayeema Hassan was visiting the Chinatola Bazar area with her force, she punished three old men — a van driver, a vegetable vendor and a rickshaw puller — and ordered them to hold their ears with their hands in public for not using masks. This incident went viral on Facebook, sparking a storm of criticism among countrymen.

When Joint Secretary of the Cabinet Division Md. Sabirul Islam learned of the incident through media reports Friday night, he immediately asked the deputy commissioner (DC) of Jashore to take action against the AC. The Jashore DC had informed his superiors and the public administration ministry. Later, the AC (land) was finally withdrawn and attached to the office of the Khulna divisional commissioner that night. Secretary Shaikh Yusuf Harun informed this correspondent that they would take departmental action against the accused AC (land) after the office reopens.

“We have asked the authorities to probe the matter and submit a report soon,” he said. “No one—no civil servant—can punish anyone by asking them to hold their ears with their hands or use force against the people in public as per the country’s Constitution,” he further stated.

Talking to The Independent, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and District Magistrate (DM) of Jashore Mohammad Shafiul Arif said that they formed an inquiry committee headed by an additional deputy commissioner (ADC) after receiving instructions from the Khulna divisional commissioner in this respect.  “We will complete the inquiry within the shortest possible time. The inquiry report would be submitted to our superiors for further steps,” he said. He also opined that the behaviour of the AC (land) in question, a 35th batch BCS admin cadre official, amounted to “misconduct”. When this correspondent called up the mobile phone of Sayeema Hassan, it was found switched off. Yesterday, Monirumpur UNO along with Officer-in-Charge (OC) Rafiqul Islam visited the houses of the victims. UNO brought them food and offered to build houses for the abused. Local Shamkur Union Parishad Chairman Moniruzzaman Moni was also present. Upazila Chairman Moniruzzaman said, “Vegetable vendor Asmatullah, 72, of South Lauri village, Van driver Babar Ali (60), of the same village and van driver  Nur Ali (62) of South Shamkur village had smile on their face as they went to Chinatola Bazar Friday afternoon.”

The three men were given financial help, he informed.

MK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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