Nab birth certificate forgers and reduce people’s sufferings

Issuing of birth certificate is not such a difficult procedure that have to wait on for months. The councilor office in the cities and the union parishad in rural areas are vested with this task. Unfortunately, the citizens have to go through unspeakable hardship to avail the service. The situation is the same everywhere irrespective of urban or rural areas. There are allegations that the birth certificate cannot be attained without bribe.

A few days ago, in a meeting on birth registration in Dhaka, a mayor also expressed his disappointment that he has been facing public rage over birth certificate registration. The city corporation complained that the servers of the computers which are used for birth registration remain down most of the time. As a result, the service seekers have to go back without getting the service. In that meeting, the local government minister promised to allocate the necessary budget to improve the server. We have no idea as to how much that promise has been fulfilled. The incident of birth registration fraud in Chattogram is very alarming.

Parents are rushing to the councilor’s office to get birth certificates for their children as it is the time for school admission. The fraudsters have become active at this opportunity. They have produced more than 5000 fake birth certificates so far. It is not sure whether they created these certificates by hacking the password of government websites or in any other way.

Prothom Alo reported that hackers took control of a birth registration account of Ward no. 40 of Chattogram City Corporation and extracted 84 certificates. The office of the ward councilor’s office recovered the account after almost three hours. North Patenga Ward (Number 40) birth registration assistant Biplab Kumar Deb told Prothom Alo, things were normal until 10:00 am.

But they found at noon that an unusual number of birth certificates has been issued from the account. The due amount was also unusually higher. Because they didn't even work for that amount of money. Later they quickly changed the password. A few days later, the media reported that the gang had obtained 133 birth certificates using IDs from the city's Lalkhan Bazar ward.

Earlier, 547 birth certificates were obtained by hacking the server using the IDs of five wards of the city—North Patenga, Andarkilla, North Pahartali, South Kattali and South-Central Halishahar.

The Counter Terrorism Division of Chittagong Metropolitan Police has arrested four members of the birth certificate fraud gang. They seized four CPUs, three monitors, one scanner and printer, one printer and four mobiles used in fraudulence from the accused. The concerned ward councilors and birth registration assistants believe that these birth registration certificates have been extracted by hacking their IDs.

Birth certificate fraud cannot be said to have happened only in Chattogram. Before this, many Rohingya refugees also obtained birth certificates of Bangladesh through fraud. In this situation, those who provide birth certificates should be more careful so that no one can hack the server using their password. It should also be investigated whether anyone involved in the process of making the birth certificates has helped this fraud gang or not.