Some 100,000 people had attended the funeral prayer, violating government’s social distancing rule
Bangladesh Police has now withdrawn the senior assistant superintendent of police of Sarail circle in Brahmanbaria, over local police force’s failure to prevent a massive gathering of people from attending the funeral prayer of an Islamist party’s leader on Saturday.
Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general (media) attached to the Police Headquarters, confirmed Dhaka Tribune of the development on Sunday.
Before Sarail circle Senior ASP Md Masud Rana, Sarail police station officer-in-charge Md Shahadat Hossain and Inspector (Investigation) Nurul Haque were also withdrawn over the same reason.
Dealing a major blow to the ban on mass gatherings to curb the spread of novel coronavirus, as many as 100,000 people had attended the namaz-e-janaza of Maulana Jubayer Ahmed Ansari, a senior nayeb-e-ameer of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, in Sarail upazila on Saturday morning.
The incident not only raised concerns about the risks of contagion, but also questioned the role of the local authorities, especially the law enforcement agencies, who have been constantly maintaining that strict measures were in place across the country to ensure social distancing.
However, for their part, local police said that despite all-out efforts they could not stop the surge of people.
As with several other districts, Brahmanbaria was already under lockdown at the time of Ansari’s death on Friday.
According to AIG Sohel, a three-member committee was also formed to investigate the incident and recommend further measures.
He said the committee, headed by Chattagram Range Additional Deputy Inspector General Iqbal Hossain, was asked to submit its report by Wednesday, April 22.
Meanwhile, sources in Brahmanbaria police said the district’s SP Md Anisur Rahman will hold a meeting on Sunday afternoon with the additional and assistant SPs and other senior officials at his office to launch their own probe into the matter and figure out next moves.
The new OC, Md Nazmul Ahmed, also took office at Sarail police station on Sunday morning, said the sources.