Farhana Hossain was recommended by Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC) for the administration cadre through the 37th BCS examination. Her family members were elated by her success but it faded away soon as her name failed to appear in the final gazette published by the public administration ministry.
Farhana, a graduate of the English department from Rajshahi University, wondered what went wrong and later found out that she was not recruited as the police issued a negative report on her after verification. Farhana is now working at a government school as an assistant teacher. Police verification during her recruitment as a teacher was positive. Farhana wondered why the police gave a negative report after they gave a nod on the previous occasion.
“I’ve gone to the public administration ministry at least 30 times in the last 18 months. I went from door to door to know about my recruitment. Later I found out that I’m not going to be recruited because of a negative police verification report,” Farhana said.
Farhana’s father is headmaster of a government school in Natore and mother is an assistant teacher of another primary school. Neither of them are involved with any politics.
Farhana’s father asks why his daughter has been deprived of administration cadre despite passing out successfully.
Farhana is not alone. Around 400 candidates have been left out at the last moment due to negative reports in police verification from 32nd to 39th BCS examinations. As many as 230 physicians were dropped out in the six BCS examinations. Prothom Alo has inquired about many of them. There were no criminal cases against them.
Public administration sources said the BPSC sends the list of recommended candidates to the ministry. The ministry takes verification from the police about the recommended candidates. A candidate is deemed unfit for recruitment if s/he is indicted in any criminal case or involved in any other negative activities. The candidates can appeal to the ministry if the police verification reports go against them. A candidate can be recruited if the verification report changes. Many candidates file cases with the High Court and get recruited if the verdict comes in their favour.
61 dropped out from 37th BCS
The BPSC on the 37th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations recommended the appointment of 1,314 candidates to different cadres. The public administration ministry issued a gazette appointing a total of 1,221 candidates nine months later. Although 93 candidates were dropped in the gazette, 32 of the freedom fighter quota were later appointed after verification. The candidates who were left out are going from one official to the next in the ministry.
Among those dropped out, 13 were recommended for administration cadre, 10 for education cadre, 2 for police cadre, 14 for health cadre, 3 for agriculture cadre and rest of the candidates for other cadres. None of them were indicted in criminal cases. They are searching for an answer as to why they were not listed in the gazette.
SM Yasir Arafat, one of those candidates, told Prothom Alo that he was 125th in the administration cadre merit list of the 37th BCS and 15th in the tenth assistant judge recruitment examination. He was not recruited in either of the jobs due to negative police verification reports.
“I couldn't join any of those jobs for negative police reports despite passing two highly competitive examinations,” he said.
Anwar Hossain, a graduate of Dhaka University’s Bangla department, said his farmer father was delighted when he passed the BCS examination. But the joy dissipated soon as Anwer’s name did not appear on the final gazette. Now his age limit for government examination has been crossed. Anwer’s father has been suffering from illness for a long time and he is now engulfed with despair.
Those who left out in the 37th BCS said they have applied to the public ministry for reevaluation of the police report, but the ministry is yet to reply in this regard. The ministry has not said anything about when the police verification will be held again.
State minister of public administration ministry Forhad Hossain told Prothom Alo, “Many candidates are left out due to negative police verification reports. I’ve already asked the authorities to recruit many of them. We’ll sincerely look into the matter and find a solution for those who are not recruited yet.”
Not a single candidate, except those with criminal records, should be denied. This illegal and unethical practice should be stopped.
34 dropped from the gazette of 35th BCS
34 candidates were not recruited in the 35th BCS for negative police reports.
The public administration ministry in October 2018 issued a gazette for the 35th BCS. Around 100 candidates were dropped in the gazette. Many of them applied and got appointed after a positive police report. But 35 candidates—3 each in administration and police cadres, 2 in agriculture cadre and remaining candidates in health and education cadres—are yet to get their jobs.
Khaled Saifullah, a graduate of University of Chittagong’s law department, was recommended for police cadre in 35th BCS. He was left out in the gazette.
Khaled said it is painful and frustrating to be left out only because of negative police reports after successfully passing so many stages of examinations.
69 left out in 36th BCS
Recruitment of a total of 69 candidates was stalled for negative police reports in the 36th BCS.
BPSC recommended 2,323 applicants for appointment in October 2017. The government a year later published a gazette appointing 2,202 of them to various cadres of civil service. 121 failed to be enlisted in the gazette for negative police reports, but 52 of them got the appointment later by reevaluation. The fate 69 still hangs in the balance.
Asad Uddin, a graduate of Dhaka University’s social welfare department, was recommended in the 36th BCS.
He said he cannot understand why the police gave a negative verification report.
Asad said his family members like that of other deprived candidates are devastated.
230 physicians denied jobs
As many as 230 physicians were denied jobs as their names were not enlisted in the gazettes of 32nd to 39th BCS examinations. They were recommended for the health cadre on those BSCs.
Among them, 11 are from 32nd BCS, 114 from 33rd BCS, 10 from 34th BCS, 6 from 35th BCS, 14 from 37th BCS, 70 from 39th BCS.
Gazette of the 32nd BCS was published in 2012 and 39th in this year.
They submitted applications to the prime minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard expressing their willingness to work in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
They requested the prime minister to recruit them on humanitarian grounds and said they are ready to work anywhere.
Azizur Rahman was recommended in the health cadre in 33rd BCS. He said he went to the public administration ministry on innumerable occasions in vain.
The candidates who were left out said none of them are any longer within the age limit to apply for the job. The whole process of recruitment in a BCS examination takes around three to four years. Sufferings are intolerable if a candidate gets dropped out at the last moment.
Positive reports four times, negative in BCS
Ziaul Haque Shaha of Barishal’s Agailjhara upazila was recommended for police cadre through 37th BCS. His father Mofser Ali Shaha was president of ward Awami League before he died in 2015. Ziaul passed recruitment examinations of Agrani Bank and Krishi Bank in senior officer posts, sub-inspector of police and assistant revenue officer of NBR. He now works in one of those posts. Police verification reports in those jobs were positive but the report for BCS came negative. He cannot understand the reason why the latest verification was negative despite the previous four being positive.
What does the police verify?
Special branch of the police generally conducts the verification of the candidates. But a different intelligence agency has also conducted the verification in the last few years.
BPSC and public administration ministry sources said the pre-verification form of a successful candidate mentions verification of 16 factors. Apart from general information such as where he studied, where he has lived for the last five years, the verification also seeks if the candidate had been arrested, charged or convicted in a criminal or other case.
After the verification, a report is prepared which is signed by a superintendent of police (SP) and a deputy inspector general (DIG) of the special branch. The intelligence agencies also verify the current and past political identities of the family members of the candidates.
Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder said not a single candidate, except those with criminal records, should be denied. This illegal and unethical practice should be stopped.
He said the authorities should consider hastening the process.