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Suranjit’s APS suspended

Muktadir Rashid

Omar Faruk Talukder, the assistant private secretary of railway minister Suranjit Sengupta was suspended from service on Wednesday, a day after he with other officers were held by Border Guard Bangladesh while they were passing through BGB headquarters in a microbus carrying about Tk one crore in cash, Suranjit Sengupta told a news briefing at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
bdnews24.com reported quoting railway minister's private secretary Akhtaruzzaman that the APS had been served with a suspension order with effect from Wednesday morning.
A former vice president of Jahangirnagar University chapter of Chhatra League, the student front of ruling Awami League, Omar Faruk comes from Sunamganj, also the home district of Suranjit Sengupta.
On Tuesday, BGB authorities released railway minister’s assistant private secretary Omar Faruk Talukder and the commandant of Railway Nirapatta Bahini (Dhaka division) Md Enamul Haque hours after they were detained by on duty BGB troops for illegally possessing about Tk 1 crore while passing through BGB headquarters at Peelkhana in the city in a microbus (Dhaka
Metro Cha 13-7992) after the midnight.
Officials said that they were carrying the cash in gross violation of the law for which they could face a number of charges.
Later on Tuesday, the government hurriedly appointed two probe committees—one for investigating into the involvement of Yusuf Ali Mridha and the second one – a one-member committee comprising the railway minister’s private secretary Akhtaruzzaman to investigate into the involvement of Omar Faruk Talukder.
On Wednesday the committee probing into how the officers could carry such huge cash served a notice on the accused senior railway officer directing him to meet on Sunday the railway minister’s private secretary entrusted to investigate into the involvement of the minister’s assistant private secretary Omar Faruq.
Bangladesh Railway general manager (east) Yusuf Ali Mridha has been asked to explain his conduct to the probe committee at 10 AM on the day, said railway ministry joint secretary (administration) Shashi Kumar Singha.
The joint secretary is in the one-member committee entrusted to probe into the conduct of the railway officer.
Shashi Kumar told New Age, ‘after he explains his conduct, I will summon the others relevant for the investigation into the incident.’
He said BGB troops would also be called for the investigation.
The two probe committees were asked to submit their reports in 15 days, said officials.
So far, the government appointed no committee to investigate into the involvement of the RNB commandant, they said.  
The National Board of Revenue officials said that said they would examine the source of the money if anyone or the authorities want.
The BGB authorities, however, did not explain how the officers could pass through BGB headquarters carrying the cash and how and on whose orders they were released.
BGB director general Major General Anwar Hossain, who was in Comilla Tuesday afternoon, refused to tell the media over mobile anything other thaqn that BGB released them.
Suranjit, however, claimed on Tuesday that in the microbus there were only two members of his personal staff, Omar Faruk and railway officer Yusuf Ali, other than the driver.
Suranjit also alleged that the driver tried to snatch or blackmail his personal staff.
Md Enamul Haque, who is posted at Kamalapur Railway Station, told New Age on Wednesday that ‘I was sitting in front seat of the microbus. APS Omar Faruk and BR general manager (east) Yusuf Ali Mridha were sitting in the middle row of the same microbus.’
Enam called it a ‘conspiracy’ of the driver.
But he could not say whose conspiracy it was.
No BGB official could be reached for comments.
The microbus driver also could not be reached.
After the minister’s APS and three others were held inside BGB headquarters, nayeb subedar Alamgir dropped them one by one outside the BGB headquarters in his motorbike. Later, BGB authorities returned the money.
The officers-in-charge of nearby police stations --New Market, Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh and Lalbagh—said that no case or general diary was filed with their police stations following this incident.
They said none was detained by the police following the incident until 11 PM on Wednesday.
Railway officials said that neither general manager Yusuf Ali nor Omar Faruk reported to duty on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Suranjit confirmed that officers were not carrying government’s money in cash.
He also said, ‘It is the responsibility of the NBR to look into the source of the cash if the amount is found to be not consistent with the earnings of the officers.’
A high official of NBR, however, told New Age ‘Nobody has yet complained to us about the whole episode until now.’
NBR chairman Nasir Uddin Ahmed refused to make any comment on the issue.
Omar Faruk has been associated with Suranjit Sengupta since 2002.

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