** 174 killed in stampede at Indonesia football match ** BRT project sorrow of Gazipur-Uttara Road ** Govt must help who are struggling to survive but can’t meet the high cost of living ** Pagla Mosque gets Tk 3.89cr donations in 110 days ** A manufacturer decorates hurricane lamps at a factory in city’s Kamrangirchar area on Saturday amid the continuous load-shedding across the country. NN photo ** As voice of the people, demand of the press is for people’s govt ** Trade via Banglabandha land port to remain suspended for 10 days ** Moderate quake jolts Dhaka ** Putin’s sham referenda in Ukraine will make it difficult for him to survive ** Taliban fire into air to disperse women's rally backing Iran protests ** Bridge cranes installed at Unit 2 of Rooppur NPP ** Police prepared to thwart any possible militant attack: DMP Commissioner ** No need to import eggs: Agriculture Minister ** Bangladesh can't hope to attract FDI for depressing internal conditions ** A rescuer stands beside a mangled auto rickshaw that collided with a bus on Rangpur-Dinajpur Highway in Taraganj area in Rangpur district on Wednesday leaving one school student dead. NN photo ** Eden College BCL infighting: President, 7 others sued ** Freight train derails in Gazipur ** Such shameless and undignified vice-chancellors are no good for students ** Fire service and local people recover a body from Karatoa River in Panchagarh on Tuesday. NN photo ** Death toll from sunken boat in Panchagarh rises to 57, at least 18 still missing ** Six expelled students get posted in BCL hall committee ** Implementation of mandatory packaging law will help increase exports of jute goods ** AL- BNP clash leaves 25 injured in capital ** Eden College BCL committee suspended after infighting ** Death toll from Karatoya trawler capsize climbs to 46; another 40 missing **

What’s the difference between real and fake govt officials if both are corrupt?

12 October 2021
What’s the difference between real and fake govt officials if both are corrupt?

The news media on Sunday ran a most unusual report that described the action of the Anti-Corruption Commission against a former additional secretary to the government for misappropriating millions of taka. Generally, we don't see such solid action against any government official for misdeeds. They have strong connections with the government high-ups and there is a law to protect them from the hands of law. However, according to ACC, the accused was a director of the IEM unit of family planning and misappropriated Tk 1 crore 77 lakh during her tenure from May 5, 2018 to December 30, 2020 through purchase of goods and services at prices higher than market prices with fake vouchers. We find it very strange that a former additional secretary has been sued by the ACC only for misappropriating Tk 1 crore 77 lakh.

Most probably, this specific person has either lost her connection with the high-ups or she had developed a rivalry with any powerful quarter. Otherwise, she might not have faced such an allegation. The government officials in our country enjoy so much liberty and impunity that a section of them don't even hesitate to swallow billions of taka from development projects. We have seen dozens of such incidents where a curtain or a pillow cost 100 times more than the market price. Specifically, in recent days it was seen that the relevant departments under the Ministry of Health are ideal places for looting. Interestingly, in most big incidents of corruption the ACC remains very shy. It prefers to catch the small fries. We want to mention here another news item that was published the following day about the nabbing a cheat by the law enforcement personnel who used to pose as an additional secretary of an important ministry. The allegations against him are that - he used to ride a luxurious car with the ministry's sticker and frequented the secretariat with fake ID to lobby for work in government projects, bank loans and jobs. A tenth-grade dropout, the fake additional secretary was operating for 14 years until he was arrested on Thursday. He made millions of taka in the meantime.

We're surprised how such a cheat could operate for 14 years if he was not encouraged by people who matter. How he used to go to the Secretariat and other important government offices for lobbying if he had not well-wishers there? Who served him the entry passes? The arrestee confessed to the police that he had a lot of friends among the government officials, the ruling party and other key places. For that reason, he did not face any obstacle for more than a decade. The common people have no way to know who the real officer is and who is not. We see no difference between a real and a fake government official if both of them are involved in corruption. Both of them are products of the present corrupt system. They must face similar consequences.

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