The court ordered to keep them in jail until completion of probe in the cases
A Dhaka court has sent 13 people, including 11 government officials, to jail in four cases filed over allegations of corruption in the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project (RNPP) housing project in Pabna.
Metropolitan Magistrate Nivana Khair Jessi issued the order after the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) produced them in court yesterday, seeking an order to keep them in jail until the completion of an on-going probe in the cases.
The accused are former Pabna Public Works Department executive engineer Masudul Alam, deputy assistant engineers Md Jahidul Kabir, Md Shafiqul Islam, Suman Kumar Nandi, Mohammad Abu Sayed, Md Rowshan Ali, deputy divisional engineers Mohammad Mostafa Kamal, Ahmed Sajjad Khan, Mohammad Tahajjud Hossain, assistant engineers Md Tarek Khan, Md Aminul Islam and contractors Asif Hossain and Shahadat Hossain.
Earlier in the day, they were arrested from Dhaka's Shegunbagicha area, ACC Deputy Director (Media) Pronob Kumar Bhattacharya said.
In the morning, the ACC Deputy Director Md Nasir Uddin filed four cases with its integrated district office in Pabna on charges relating to an embezzlement of Tk312,447,172.47 for the purchase of electrical equipment and furniture for the RNPP housing project.
The government launched an inquiry into the abnormally high prices of articles being used to furnish apartments in the multi-storey buildings at the RNPP.
Probe committees were formed on May 19, three days after a media outlet reported on cost-related anomalies in the housing project, called Green City, of the RNPP project in Iswardi upazila of Pabna.
The probe reports were submitted after the probe bodies were twice granted extensions on their deadline. On June 30, they were given two weeks to submit their reports.
Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Sayedul Haque Suman also filed a writ petition with the High Court on the same day, seeking a judicial inquiry into the allegations of irregularities in purchase of furniture and other items for the RNPP apartments.
On May 22, the PWD withdrew Masudul Alam, who was in charge of the housing project. He was later attached to the PWD headquarters in Dhaka.
The media report
According to a news report published in a Bangla daily, a single pillow was bought for Tk5,957, while the cost of moving it to the apartment was Tk760. The report led to public outrage and vehement criticism, especially on social media.
An electric stove reportedly cost a staggering Tk7,747, while those assigned it to move it upstairs from the ground floor were paid Tk6,650.
An electric kettle was purchased at Tk5,313, with its moving cost being Tk2,945. Meanwhile, an electric iron bought at Tk4,154 was moved upstairs at a cost of Tk2,945.