Hundreds of low-income group of people yesterday took to the street after not getting fair price rice which have been allocated to them at Ullapara, Sirajganj.
Over 100 residents of Domdoma, Betakandi village, Kaliganj and Pechorpara villages under Panchakrosi union parishad formed a human chain in front of union parishad office in the afternoon, demanding disbursement of rice allocated to them by the government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently inaugurated the ‘Food Friendly Programme for the Ultra-Poor’ in Kurigram.
Under the programme, the ultra-poor families will be able to buy 30kg rice a month during five months – March-Apri and September to November.
The government has allocated 750,000 tonnes of rice for the programme, especially for poor women, widows and women with disabilities.
Samad Promanik who was chanting slogans against the irregularities in the rice disbursement, said: “The government has allocated rice at Tk10 per kg for us. But we did not get that rice. Where the allocated rice has gone? I thought that the government allocated the rice in fair price to get rid us of extreme poverty. Now, we are seeing reverse situation, as rich people are getting more rich gobbling up rice of the poor.”
Ahad Ali of Domdoma village, Nuru Mia of Char Domdoma and Rubia Khatun of Betakandi who were standing beside Samad echoed the same words.
The agitators said although they got ration card of fair price rice, but they were yet to get rice from UP office.
They alleged that dealer Ferdous Ara, wife of union parishad member Nazrul Islam, had misappropriated their rice. She was selling rice at black market.
They also claimed that dealer Ferdous Ara took Tk300 from per ration card holder and gave rice to them. People, who did not provide the amount to her, were deprived off the fair-price rice.
Feroz Uddin, union parishad chairman, told the Dhaka Tribune that Pancrosi union parishad would provide rice to 1,000 poor families through two dealers.
He said he had been informed that 70 families out of 75 families of Betakandi did not get rice under the scheme. Moreover, 15 families of Shakhwat village, which has no existence in the locality, had got rice under the programe.
Ferdous Ara, however, said Feroz Uddin prevented people from coming out of their villages to receive rice because he wanted to tarnish her husband’s image. She also alleged that people who staged demonstration had been instigated by Feroz and his men.
Maruf Bin Habib, chairman of Uillapara upzila, asked ration card holders to file a written complaint to deputy commissioner and upzila nirbahi officer.
Deputy Commissioner Kamrun Nahar told the Dhaka Tribune that she had already given directive to the UNO to look into the matter.
“If we find any kind of irregularities in the process, we will take action against the people responsible for the misdeed, she added.