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Agro entrepreneur blames Qatar Airways for missing int’l horticulture fair

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 11 August, 2022 12:00 AM
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Agro entrepreneur blames Qatar Airways for missing int’l horticulture fair

National Youth Award winning agricultural entrepreneur Sohel Rana has inculpated Qatar Airways after not being able to participate in an international horticulture fair near Amsterdam in Netherlands.

He said it is only due to insensible attitude of the national flag carrier of Qatar he couldn’t attend the 7th International Horticultural Exhibition “Expo 2022 Floriade Almere”.

Sohel Rana did a job for some time after obtaining his master’s degree from Rajshahi University. Leaving the job, he started mango cultivation in 2015. Now his mangoes are being exported to eight countries in Europe and the Middle East.

                He is an agricultural entrepreneur in Godownpara village of Sapahar Upazila in Naogaon. The land of his mango garden is 105 bighas. There are local and foreign varieties of mango trees. Apart from this garden, he has another mango garden of 40 bigha in Rupgram area of Patnitala upazila of the district.

Rana, Managing Director of Borendro Agro Park, was recently invited to the exhibition. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered him Government Order (GO) and Letter of Introduction (LOI) to go to Netherlands and represent Bangladesh.

He applied for the visa and got the Schengen visa which he collected himself in due time.

He was supposed to fly to the Netherlands on Qatar Airways on August 5. He said he reached the airport in time and completed all the necessary process but after completing immigration and boarding the flight officials of Qatar Airways accused him of visa fraud.

“I completed all necessary process including immigration but the airline authorities suddenly told me that I was carrying a tempered visa and they offloaded me,” Sohel Rana said.

The agricultural entrepreneur said he immediately informed the matter to the immigration police. They requested Qatar Airways to re-verify and allow him to travel. But they didn’t listen and sent him back.

Sohel Rana said, “I received the National Youth Award from His Excellency President Abdul Hamid as a successful agricultural entrepreneur. I was invited to take part in the international horticultural exhibition to represent Bangladesh.”

“But the Qatar Airways officials treated me badly in front of hundreds of passengers. Insulting a representative of Bangladesh Qatar Airways has insulted my country,” he added.

No officials of Qatar Airways could be reached for making a comment over the incident.

Asked about the incident, Sub Inspector of Immigration Police Delwar Hossain said, “I found the visa and other papers of Sohel Rana fine. Therefore, I completed his immigration and recommended for him.”

Sohel Rana said after discussing with his lawyer, he sent an e-mail to the Qatar Airways describing everything. The airline authorities have accepted it and assured me to investigate the incident.

He said he will wait for their steps and if their measures don’t satisfy him, he will send legal notice.