Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan has finally admitted that he is indeed related to the three passengers who were recently fined by a Bangladesh Railway (BR) ticket examiner (TTE) for travelling ticketless.
The minister, while addressing the press at the Rail Bhaban in Dhaka on Sunday, also clarified that it was his wife who lodged the complaint against TTE Sharifqul Islam.
He said that he felt "embarrassed" by the phone call his newly married wife made to a railway official following the incident.
"I, till yesterday, wasn't aware that they [the passengers who were fined] are relatives of my wife.
"However, she did not ask the railway authorities to suspend the TTE," he added.
"The suspension order of the concerned TTE has been revoked.
"Besides, a show-cause notice has been issued against Railway's Pakshi DCO Nasir Uddin for his actions," the minister said.
When asked about TIB's reaction to the incident, the minister said, "TIB's statement was issued in a hurry. They did it before confirming my involvement here."
The TTE's suspension order came on Friday following his alleged misbehaviour with and fining three passengers, who were travelling ticketless and introduced themselves as relatives of the railway minister.
A Prothom Alo report on the incident claimed the TTE was indeed suspended after a phone call from the railway minister's wife.
However, the railway minister yesterday (7 May) claimed that he is not related to the passengers.
"I have no relationship with them. Someone may have tried to take advantage by using my name," he said while responding to reporters after the suspension of the TTE.
The incident drew widespread criticism and many demanded the resignation of the rail minister.