Manikganj DC transferred

Ministry of Public AdministrationProthom Alo illustration

The government has transferred the deputy commissioner (DC) of Manikganj, Muhammad Abdul Latif, amid discussion on a news report regarding land purchase by health minister Zahid Maleque and his family members just a few months before acquiring the area for a government project.

A notification issued by public administration ministry on Monday said Muhammad Abdul Latif has been transferred to Economic Relations Department (ERD). A deputy secretary has been made the new DC of Manikganj, it added.

Health minister Zahid Maleque and his son and daughter bought 20.65 acres land in the area proposed for construction of a government pharmaceutical factory in Manikganj. Then the government rate for the mouza was escalated five times and the land was changed into homestead category from wetland category.

Such a manipulation process regarding the land was revealed during a review of the District Land Management Committee at the initial stage of the land acquisition process after the project had gotten approval. Manikganj deputy commissioner Muhammad Abdul Latif was the president of the committee. He wrote a letter to the health ministry saying, if the project is to be implemented on this land, the government will have to spend on land acquisition about Tk 1 billion more than the market price.

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Following the issuance of this letter, the local leaders and activists of the ruling party started a movement demanding removal of the district commissioner, alleging various irregularities. This movement was led by the minister’s cousin Md. Israfil Hossain, chairman of Manikganj Sadar Upazila Parishad and president of the upazila unit of ruling Awami League.

Prothom Alo ran an investigative report ‘Minister, family buy land in advance to make money’ on this on 8 July. Following publication of the report health ministry sent rejoinder to other newspapers in the form of an advertisement. The DC was castigated in the advertisements. It was also alleged that the project for the construction of the government pharmaceutical factory is also being hampered due to the deputy commissioner. The DC though in his letter to the health ministry wrote that the government will save Tk 1 billion if the project is implemented in any of the adjacent land.

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This manipulation process over the land of area chosen for a government pharmaceutical factory has been a much-talked issue around the country. Amid this the deputy commissioner has been transferred.

The government appointed a total of eight new DCs on Monday. Public safety division’s deputy secretary Md Shamim Hasan has been made DC of Meherpur, director to Prime Minister’s Office Abdullah Al-Khayrum made DC of Sherpur, statistics and informatics division deputy secretary Imran Ahmed made DC of Jamalpur, cabinet division’s Abu Jafar Ripon made DC of Munshiganj, public administration ministry’s Mohammad Mobassher Hasan made DC of Rangpur, public administration ministry’s Rehena Akter made DC of Manikganj, PMO’s Ashrayan-2 project’s deputy director Md Mahmudul Haque made DC of Narayanganj and disaster management and relief ministry’s deputy secretary Kisinger Chakma has been made deputy commissioner of Chuadanga.

With this the government changed DCs of 28 districts in four days. Earlier on Thursday and Sunday 20 new DCs were appointed.

These changes are being given more importance as the DCs will work as returning officers in the forthcoming 12th parliamentary election.