State minister angry in the morning, OC withdrawn at night, reinstated next day

OC Mizanur RahmanCollected

Zunaid Ahmed, the State Minister for Information, Communication, and Technology, voiced his discontent with the conduct of Mizanur Rahaman, who serves as the Officer-in-Charge (OC) at Singra station. This dissatisfaction arose after local residents raised allegations against him during a public hearing in the Singra upazila of Natore on Sunday.

The Natore superintendent of police (SP) ordered the withdrawal of the accused police official on that very day following the public hearing in the morning. However, the order was cancelled later on Monday morning.

A public hearing concerning criminal acts like theft, mugging, and drug-related activities within the 12 unions and the pourasava of the upazila occurred at the premises of the upazila parishad on Sunday at 10:00 am. As part of the event, a project to install surveillance cameras at various crucial locations within the Singra pourashava (municipality) was also inagurated.

State minister Zunaid Ahmed listened to different problems of the locals and gave solutions during the hearing moderated by the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO).

More than 50 people at the public hearing brought allegations “of being non-cooperative with the people” against OC Mizanur Rahman when people went to the police station seeking justice over criminal offences, including money embezzlement in the name of giving jobs, theft, land encroachment, drug business and intimidation.

The state minister ordered the OC to explain each of the complaints against him. The OC immediately defended himself refuting all the allegations.

At one point, Zunaid Ahmed got angry with the police official while he was defending himself.

He said, “I am a lawyer as well as a lawmaker. And you are trying to fool me and giving me legal references. What is the need of the police if they fail to identify a thief despite having the necessary technologies and strategy?”

The state minister was enraged hearing the initiatives taken by the police in each of the issues relevant to the law enforcement agencies. He, later, ordered the concerned authorities to solve all the issues by August.

The public hearing was aired live on different TV channels. Later, videos of the event went viral on social media.

Later in the night on Sunday, Natore police super Tariqul Islam issued an order to withdraw OC Mizanur Rahman to police lines. The order was forwarded to OC Mizanur Rahman through email on the same night.

The incident created a stir across the country as several video clips went viral on social media on Monday morning. Meanwhile, the police super withdrew the order and reinstated Mizanur to the Singra police station again at around 12:00 pm on Monday.

OC Mizanur Rahman said, “It is not possible for the police to go beyond the law to help somebody. It is not possible to provide instant solutions in all the cases either. This was what I said at the mass hearing. I have nothing to say further.”

Speaking about withdrawal and reinstatement at the police station, the OC said, “This is a matter of the authorities. I will comply with the decisions made by them. I saw my withdrawal order in the morning and received a letter revoking the order at noon. I can’t tell you more about this.”

Speaking to media, police super Tariqul Islam said both the decisions were of the police administration.

He declined to comment more on the issue.