Three arrested for govt rice misappropriation

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DC office to take action against a UP member and AL leader for rice misappropriation

Amid the nationwide lockdown and extended public “holiday” declared to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, a large number of influential people, political activists, local representatives, and petty thieves, have apparently engaged in misappropriation of rice meant for distribution to the poor across the country.

In Jhalokati, the district administration recovered over 2.5 tons of rice provided by the government for distribution among the poor and underprivileged. This rice was illegally stored at a local union parishad (UP) member’s house in Basanda of Sadar upazila.

The accused, Monir Hossain, UP member of Agarbari village and general secretary of Basanda union Awami League unit, transferred the rice from sealed government sacks into other sacks he bought. But he kept the empty government sacks at the spot, so it was not hard to detect his theft, said Nezarat Deputy Collector (NDC) Ahmed Hasan.

“We made a drive at his house on a tipoff. Despite calling him repeatedly, Monir did not come to clear his name with regard to the theft. We will surely take legal action against him,” said the NDC.

Contacted about the rice worth Tk1 lakh, Monir Hossain said these are all rumours and he has documents to prove his innocence in the matter.

In Joypurhat, police arrested two people smuggling 102 government donated  sacks of rice from Raikali village of Akkelpur upazila, late Sunday night.

Nasim Mandal, 33, and Delowar Hossain, 35, were arrested for smuggling the rice for their own use, police say.

“We are investigating if the rice was for Open Market Sale (OMS) or Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF). After the investigation, we will take legal action.”

In Patuakhali on Monday, police arrested Komlapur Union Parishad Chairman Md Monir Rahman Mridha for illegally storing 350kgs of OMS rice. A case was filed against seven people in connection with the incident on March 31. 

Pabna LGED official accused of extorting money using coronavirus crisis  

Allegations of extortion surfaced against an executive engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).

The accused engineer, AKM Badsha Miya, reportedly forced contractors to pay Tk26 lakh, supposedly collecting funds for unemployed and needy labourers who are suffering  due to the nationwide coronavirus shutdown.

Wishing to remain anonymous, a number of contractors complained they were called to Badsha’s office and he, with the help of some influential contractors, made them pay the money into the relief fund. 

However, AKM Badsha Miya said: “ The contractors started a fund of their own accord. I have not asked for money from anyone.”