The laid-off personnel call the move highly illegal
The Barisal City Corporation (BCC) authorities on Thursday fired 12 officials and employees over charges of corruption and irregularities, in a move the laid-off personnel called highly illegal and against regulation.
The terminated are Assistant Engineer Kazi Moniral Islam, Chief Health Officer Dr Abdul Matin, Executive Engineer Humayun Kabir, Mechanical Engineers Kamal and Zahirul Islam, Chief Assessor Md Azam, Public Relations Officer Md Rumen, Estate Officer Mahabubur Rahman Shakil, Accountant Md Mainuddin, Law Assistant Rafiqul Islam, and office assistants Abdus Salam and Md Hayatul.
On January 29, 2019, a total of 32 officers and employees were made OSDs (Officers on Special Duty) following allegations of irregularities and corruption brought against them, according to BCC sources.
Of them, several were fired at different times before the letters of termination were sent to these 12 on Thursday.
Following the ninth general meeting of the fourth BCC council held on August 23, 2020, a decision was made to dismiss the employees after paying them three months' salary in advance.
Administrative Officer Swapan Kumar Das, who is also the acting public relations officer (PRO), confirmed the matter and said details of the termination order, signed by BCC Chief Executive Officer Syed Md Faruk, would be released to the media soon.
Reached for comment, Faruk said he was currently on leave and that this correspondent should speak to the acting PRO.
Meanwhile, the terminated officers and employees claimed they were fired illegally in violation of BCC regulations.
They said that prior to dismissal, any government employee is given a show-cause notice and an investigation panel is formed.
Instead of initiating that, the BCC authorities kept them as OSDs for more than two and a half years without pay and that too without any valid reason.
Assistant Engineer Kazi Monirul Islam said: “I received the termination letter on Thursday. The corruption allegations against me are unjustified. My termination has been highly irregular.”
He said there was no specific evidence to support the allegations against him in the letter. “As per the rules, I could have been sent to forced retirement. However, no investigation committee was formed to check the allegations, so it was illegal to terminate me.”
In October 2020, the BCC authority had similarly terminated accounting officer Md Mashiur, market superintendent Nurul Islam and deputy assistant engineer Abul Kalam Azad on allegations of taking bribes and paying contractors using fake accounts and trade licenses.