Boy's death on ferry in Bangladesh: High official not guilty probe finds
12:00 AM, September 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:39 AM, September 06, 2019

Boy’s Death on Ferry: High official not at fault, finds probe

3 terminal staffers blamed for ferry delay

A high-profile government probe committee found no “logical grounds” to hold Joint Secretary Abdus Sabur Mondal responsible for the ferry delay, which led to the death of Titash Ghosh, 13, in an ambulance on its way to Dhaka.

In its report, the probe body said three officials at the Kathalbari Ferry Terminal in Madaripur may be blamed for delaying “Ferry Cumilla” on July 25.

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They are Ghat (terminal) Manager Salam Hossain, its Marginal Assistant Khokon Miah, and Upper Division Assistant and Group Chief Firoz Alam, the report said.

The three-member probe body headed by Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division Rezaul Hasan yesterday sent the probe report to the attorney general’s office for submitting it to the High Court where a writ petition filed in this connection is pending.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar, who received the probe report, told The Daily Star that he would submit the report to the HC when it reopens on October 13 after its annual vacation.

Citing the report, DAG Bashar said the three Ghat officials were aware that Titash’s condition was critical and that he was being taken to Dhaka for treatment. 

But, they did not provide any assistance and let the ferry depart around two hours after the scheduled time. 

Therefore, they cannot avoid their responsibility in causing the “unexpected incident,” the DAG added.

Even, the three officials did not inform Abdus Sabur, for whom they kept the ferry waiting, that an ambulance carrying a critical patient was waiting for the ferry to depart, DAG Bashar said, citing the report.

Titash, a student of Kalia Pilot Secondary School in Narail, was critically injured in a motorbike accident in the district on July 24.

A day later, doctors of a local hospital referred him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for an emergency operation.

The family was taking him to Dhaka in an ambulance, which arrived at the Kathalbari Ferry Terminal around 8:00pm on July 25.

“Ferry Cumilla” was already at the pontoon, but it had its gate closed and was not loading vehicles. 

Ferry authorities said they were waiting for the arrival of Abdus Sabur, the head of Digital Service and Public Service Innovation Cluster and E-Service Implementation Specialist of the Access to Information (a2i) Programme at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The ambulance was stuck on the pontoon and could not reverse or shift to another hospital because of the queue of vehicles in front and behind it.

The ferry started loading vehicles around 10:20pm when the authorities learnt that the government official was close by. Around 11:00pm, the official arrived and the ferry started moving.

Titash died on the ferry, family sources said.


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