The passengers who were recently fined by a Bangladesh Railway (BR) ticket examiner (TTE) for travelling ticketless have been identified.
According to a Prothom Alo report published on early Sunday, the three are close relatives of the railway minister's wife Shammi Akter.
And Imrul Kayes, the person who filed the written complaint against TTE Shafiqul Islam is the son of Yasmin Akhter, cousin of the minister's wife.
Shammi Akhter and Yasmin Akhter were together on the night of the incident, Yasmin Akhter was quoted as saying by Prothom Alo.
As per her statement, after Imrul called and notified the two about the TTE misbehaving, the railway minister's wife immediately spoke to a senior railway official at around 3am and asked Shafiqul to be suspended.
It has been learned that Imrul, a graduate of North South University (NSU), lives in the Nur Mahalla area under Ishwardi Sadar upazila. He is currently working for a multinational company.
Meanwhile, the other two passengers are Shammi Akhter's cousins Faruk Hossain and Hasan Ali.
Imrul's mother Yasmin Akhter said that on the night of 5 May, Shammi Akhter called an assistant commercial officer (ACO) of the railway named Nurul Alam as her son could not manage tickets to come to Dhaka.
The stationmaster said that Imrul and co did not have to buy tickets as they are relatives of the railway minister's wife.
And this is why Imrul boarded the train ticketless. Later, train officials arranged seats for the three in an AC berth out of respect, Yasmin Akhter added.
Yasmin Akhter said, "They (three passengers) sat in the AC berth for a little comfort. When the train started its journey, the concerned TTE came and started behaving rudely to my son and cousins."
"Train ki tor baaper? (is the train's you father's)?" he shouted at the three, Yasmin Akhter furthered while speaking to Prothom Alo.
In a statement to the media on Saturday, Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan claimed the ticketless passengers are not his relatives and he does not know them.
Responding to this Yasmin said, "I was hurt when I heard him (Sujan) say this. He called me after that and told me not to be upset. He said that all citizens are equal to him. He told me that he is looking into the matter."
Meanwhile, the divisional office of Bangladesh Railway's (BR) west zone at Pakshi formed a three-member probe body, to investigate the incident.
The committee led by Assistant Transport Officer (ATO) of Pakshi division Sajedul Islam has been asked to submit its report within two days.
TTE Shafiqul Islam has been summoned to the Pakshi divisional office today to clarify his position to the probe body.
Earlier on 5 May, 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 5 May 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."