General

TTE suspension: Railway minister embarrassed by his wife’s involvement

The order to suspend a train ticket checker for fining three ticketless travellers on Dhaka-bound “ Sundarban Express” will be withdrawn , Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said on Sunday amid call for his resignation for the unfair action against the TTE.

He also said that he felt embarrassed by the phone call his newly married wife made to a railway official getting involved in the incident.

“A probe has already been ordered to into the matter and how they (the ticketless travellers) lodged a written complaint so quickly,” he told reporters at Rail Bhaban.

“Action against those responsible will be taken after the investigation,” he said adding a show-cause notice has been issued against Nasir Uddin, Pakshi divisional railway commercial officer (DCO) to explain why he suspended the travelling ticket examiner (TTE) Shafiqul Islam.

Shafiqul, who works at Bangladesh Railway’s Pakshey Division, was suspended on Friday, a day after he fined three individuals for travelling in an air conditioned coach without tickets claiming that they were relatives of the railway minister.

Angered by the fine the three lodged a complaint to the railway authorities accusing the TTE of “misbehaving” with them.

The suspension of the TTE in which the railway minister’s wife reportedly had a role touched off widespread criticism on the social media with Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) calling on the minister to leave office to allow a fair investigation into the incident.

Talking to reporters on Saturday the minister denied that the ticketless travellers are his relatives. A day later on Sunday he changed his statement though.

Replying to a question over denying the passengers as his relatives, the minister said “Now I have come to know that those who were travelling by the train are relatives of my wife.”

“Since I got married for the second time nine months ago I had to talk to my wife for their identity. Until Saturday I was totally unaware of it,” he added.

“My wife complained about the ‘misbehavior’ of the TTE but did not talk about the suspension. Whatever she did without informing me was not right and it embarrassed me,” he said.

Responding another question whether Bangladesh Railway should award the TTE Sujan said may be he would be awarded or promoted.

Earlier on Saturday, the minister claimed to have no involvement in the suspension of a TTE Shafiqul Islam, over “misbehaving with passengers”.

On Friday, news broke of a TTE on a train being suspended for fining three people claiming to be railway minister’s relatives who were travelling without tickets. The TTE was said to have been suspended over a phone call without being given a chance to even defend himself.

Sujan also claimed that he is not aware of the suspension of the railway official.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has condemned the suspension of a TTE.

TIB in a press release on Saturday said that “As such a situation has arisen involving the Railway Minister and the ticketless passengers used his identity, he should resign from his position temporarily for the sake of a fair and impartial investigation into the incident.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh