Friday, 20 May, 2022

Suspension order for TTE Shaiqul withdrawn

Railways Minister embarrassed at his wife’s conduct

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan on Sunday said that the order to suspend traveling ticket examiner (TTE) Shafiqul Islam over fining his three relatives for traveling in a train without tickets has been withdrawn.

 “We have already decided to withdraw the suspension order for the TTE. The process is underway,” the minister said while talking to journalists at his office in the capital.

The decision came amid harsh criticism from various quarters, including Transparency International, Bangladesh and Jatri Kalyan Samity, which demanded resignation of the minister over the incident.

The minister ordered the authorities concerned to serve show cause notice to the Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO) of Pakshey Nasir Uddin for issuing the suspension order on the TTE without following proper procedure.

“My wife lodged only a complaint with the DCO. She did not tell him to suspend the TTE.  Whatever she did without my knowledge was not a right thing. I feel embarrassed at it,” he said.

The minister said the DCO will be asked to explain the reason behind the incident as he was not sure whether the TTE has been suspended based on the complaint of his wife.

“Passengers have many complaints against railways staff for harassing them. There are complaints against railway staff, even against the suspended TTE,” he said.

Asked as to why a show cause notice will be served to DCO of Pakshey, he said, “Any passenger can file a complaint against any railway staff. Why did he take such a hasty decision against the TTE?”

In response to question over the denial of his relationship with the passengers, who were traveling without tickets, the minister said, “When I said so yesterday, I did not know that they are my relatives.  It is only nine months of my marriage. My wife lives in Dhaka while her maternal uncle lives in Pabna.”

Asked over the demand for his resignation raised by various organisations, the minister brushed aside it.

“They made the demand too early. These organsiations should wait for my decision over the incident,” he said.

The minister said he issued an order, asking not to entertain anybody who claims special preference in getting tickets and other unethical benefits from the Railway authorities, using the name of the minister and the high officials concerned.

“Nobody is allowed to travel by train without tickets, except the railways minister, the Director General of Bangladesh Railway and the working officials. We’ll not allow any minister, MP, or leader of any political party, including Awami League, to travel by train without rickets,” he said.

On Thursday, three relatives of Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, including his brother-in-law took three AC cabins of Sundarban Express from Ishwardi Railway Junction. TTE Shafiqul Islam fined them for not collecting tickets.

Later, one of the three passengers, Imrul Kayes Pranto, brother-in-law of the minister, complained that the TTE has misbehaved with them. And within hours after the complaint, the TTE was suspended.

It is alleged that the wife of railways minister influenced the suspension of the TTE.