Bangladesh Railway's suspended travel ticket examiner (TTE), whose suspension order came following his alleged misbehaviour with and fining three passengers who were traveling ticketless and introduced themselves as relatives of the railways minister, has been asked to clarify his position to a probe body today.
Speaking to The Business Standard yesterday, Nasir Uddin, Pakshi divisional railway commercial officer (DCO), said the suspension order, conveyed over the phone, was implemented on Friday evening and a show-cause notice was issued against Shafiqul, instructing him to explain his position before the three-member probe body formed to investigate the incident.
"Further action will be taken after receiving their report. The suspension may get revoked if Shafiqul is able to provide satisfactory answers," Nasir added.
Meanwhile, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern over the suspension of the TTE for reportedly fining the said "relatives" of the railways minister and termed the action as "a bad example".
"The decision to expedite the dismissal of the TTE concerned instead of rewarding him for performing his duty being impartial has sent a clear message to the people that the law does not apply not only to those in power but also to their relatives," reads a press release.
The organisation also called upon the railways minister to resign from his ministership for the time being from a moral standpoint in the interest of a fair and impartial investigation into the incident.
Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan on Saturday, however, said he had no relationship with the three specific passengers.
"I have no relationship with them. Someone may have tried to take advantage by using my name," he said while responding to reporters following the suspension of the TTE.
"I have nothing to do with this incident. But, I have been informed that departmental actions have been taken against a TTE for misbehaving with passengers," he added.
Sujan also claimed that he had nothing to do with the suspension order as he does not interfere with the day to day administrative activities of the BR.
However, the minister supported the actions taken against the concerned TTE stating that no railway official has the right to treat citizens poorly.
Earlier on Thursday, Shafiqul Islam, the TTE in question working in Ishwardi (West Zone-BR), was suspended for reportedly being rude to passengers.
Railway sources said that the TTE misbehaved with three specific passengers – who introduced themselves as relatives of the railway minister.
But, Shafiqul Islam refuted the allegations.
Shafiqul said, "I did not misbehave with them. The passengers claimed to be relatives of our minister.
"Out of respect and following discussions with my seniors, they were shifted to a non-AC berth."
According to sources, three passengers boarded Sundarbans Express from Ishwardi railway junction station on Thursday and were going to Dhaka in an AC cabin without tickets.
At one point, on duty Shafiqul asked for their tickets.
Instead of complying with the query, they introduced themselves as the minister's relatives.
The TTE then fined and gave the three tickets for regular seats in a non-AC coach. The passengers had to pay around Tk1,050 in total.
Later, the trio filed a complaint against the TTE in Dhaka.
Railway's Pakshi DCO Nasir said he was informed that a TTE misbehaved with three passengers.
"Shafiqul was suspended after I was informed about the matter."