• Saturday, Feb 22, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:19 am

NID DG: 15 EC staff involved in providing NIDs to Rohingyas

  • Published at 07:03 pm September 23rd, 2019
Sample of a smart ID card, issued by Bangladesh government Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Election Commission vows to ensure maximum punishment for the culprits

Director General of the National Identity Registration (NID) Wing of the Election Commission (EC) Brigadier General Saidul Islam has said, 15 EC staff were involved in providing NID cards to Rohingyas.

"We have specific data over how many staff were involved. We are not disclosing their names for the sake of ongoing investigation. But the number is not more than 15," he said.

He said this on Monday at a press conference held at his office to disclose the primary reports of an investigation committee.

The DG said they will disclose the names in phases. "The involved staff will be brought to book soon. The Election Commission will do everything necessary to ensure their maximum punishment.”

Saidul said the commission has started a drive against all the irregularities, and will take all necessary measures to protect the NID database.

"We will spare none. We will show zero tolerance against corruption," he said.

Election Commission (EC) will extend its cooperation with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and intelligence agencies, including the Anti-Counter Terrorism Unit, Crime Investigation Department (CID), and Special Branch (SB).

"We have so far got a list of 61 Rohingyas who tried to become voters. We have examined their information, and how they could make the effort, and who assisted them. Action will be taken against those involved in this regard," the DG said.

Earlier in the day, police arrested three temporary staff of the Chittagong District Election office, in connection with their alleged involvement in helping Rohingyas obtain NIDs.

Three of the four staff members were shown arrested on Sunday night. CMP released one of the staff members as they said that the particular staff member did not have any connection to the making of NIDs for Rohingyas. 

The arrestees are Jahid, Shaheen and Pavel Barua. All of the three arrestees are data operators recruited by the EC as temporary staff.

On September 20, the Counter-Terrorism Unit of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) showed Mostafa Faruk, a temporary employee of the EC, in a case filed in connection with helping the Rohingyas to obtain National Identity Card (NID). 

Uneasiness prevails at EC office  

A sense of uneasiness and fear prevail at Chittagong District Election Office after five EC staff members have so far been arrested for their involvement with NID forgery.

Joynal Abedin, 35, eleoffice assistant at Double-Mooring Thana Election office was earlier arrested with a licensed laptop of the EC, for helping Rohingyas get NIDs.

Later, he was placed on a three-day remand, and gave a confessional statement under Section 164 to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Salem Md Noman on September 21. 

In his confessional statement, Joynal mentioned some names, including some EC staff members involved with the NID forgery.

When asked, investigators probing the NID forgery did not want to reveal the names, for the sake of the investigation. 

Inspector Rajesh Barua of Counter Terrorism Unit ,who is  also the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case, told the Dhaka Tribune that the EC staff Joynal Abedin described the NID forgery in detail in his confessional statement to the court.

Asked if any EC high officials are involved with the forgery, Inspector Rajesh said that Joynal disclosed some names, but those cannot be revealed right now for the sake of investigation.