An Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), the top administrative official in an upazila, an additional superintendent of police and several other government employees joined a party programme of ruling Awami League and its associate bodies in Patiya upazila in Chattogram on Wednesday afternoon.
Patiya upazila unit Awami League (AL) brought out a procession marking the 76th birth day of the party’s president Sheikh Hasina, also Bangladesh’s incumbent prime minister.
Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament) whip and local MP of the ruling party, Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury led the procession boarding the lead pick-up van with other leaders and activists of the party.
UNO Mohammad Atiqul Mamun, Patiya circle additional superintendent of police Tarique Rahman and assistant commissioner (land) Rakibul Islam were in the second pick-up van along with the ruling party leaders and activists. The pick-up van was also adorned with banners and festoons that had photos of Sheikh Hasina and Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury.
The government officials and employees in no way should take part in the party programme. As employees of the people’s republic, they work for the welfare of people, not for any party
The procession, brought out at around 4:00pm from the Patiya upazila parishad office premises, paraded the important roads and ended at a bus stand.
The UNO, additional police super and other government employees, however, denied taking part in the AL procession. They claimed they boarded the pick-up van to observe the situation as two factions of Awami League organised separate programmes in the area simultaneously.
When the programme of Patiya upazila AL unit ended, another procession was brought out from Patiya Model High School ground. The procession was led by Badiul Alam, joint general secretary of central Jubo League, the youth wing of Awami League.
UNO Mohammad Atiqul Mamun, in response to a question on why he joined a party programme despite being a government employee, told Prothom Alo, “Two factions called for programme in the same area simultaneously. Both the factions were confronting each other face to face. We went there boarding the pick-up van to observe so that no clashes break out. We did not join any party programme.”
Another government official, who was on the pick-up van, said there are factions in local Awami League. There was tension in the area as both the factions announced organising programmes in the same area same time marking the prime minister’s birthday.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Patiya circle additional superintendent of police Tarique Rahman said, “There was tension because of the programmes of two factions. Additional police force was deployed to avoid the clash between the factions.”
He further said they were in the field to observe the situation.
TIB-SONAK (Socheton Nagorik Committee) Chattogram city president Akhter Kabir Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that the government officials and employees in no way should take part in the party programme. As employees of the people’s republic, they work for the welfare of people, not for any party.