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Dhaka Tribune

PM’s mobile phone numbers unreachable

Update : 21 Dec 2013, 06:43 PM

The official mobile phone numbers of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which were publicised solely for communicating with the mass directly, have been switched off for around six months.

On July 4 last year, the premier made public two mobile numbers in a parliament session, and later added another number, to increase interaction with the public.

She also publicised her email ID, [email protected], to receive public reactions.

When contacted on December 13, PM’s media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said: “I have no idea about the numbers. I need some time to say anything about them.”

He said he would be able to clear the matter in two days. However, despite several attempts on December 17 and yesterday, Iqbal Sobhan could not be reached over his mobile phone.

Out of the three numbers, Teletalk number +8801555888555 has remained disconnected since July 3 this year, according to sources in the state-owned operator.

Another number, +8801819260371, has been switched off since June 29 while no call reaches the Grameenphone number, +8801711520000, although it is open and receives a bill of more than Tk3,000 monthly, said Grameenphone sources.

Announcing the numbers, the ruling party chief urged people to notify her if anyone tried to take any advantage by using references of her or her family members.

The Prime Minister’s Office said after disclosing the numbers and the email address, the premier had received a lot of responses – complaints, suggestions, remarks, and requests – from people from all walks of life.

The PMO also informed that Hasina had attended a number of calls herself and taken immediate action accordingly.

A working woman from the capital’s Demra area informed the prime minister about the sufferings of women commuters in the area as there was no bus service for women on the Motijheel-Demra route.

Upon attending the call, Hasina summoned the chairman of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation to Ganabhaban and directed him to introduce two BRTC buses on that route for women, said the PMO sources.

The prime minister received some death threats on those phones, too. Later, law enforcement agencies found the callers’ numbers destroyed, according to the PMO.

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