Flashing Guns at PWD Office: Two pro-AL contractors surrender arms
Following reports that pro-Awami League contractors wielded guns during their showdown at the Public Works Department office in Pabna, two contractors handed over their firearms to police yesterday.
Police said they were looking into the incident that took place on June 6, but PWD has yet to file any complaint over this.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday condemned the incident and demanded proper investigation and punishment of the culprits.
It was reported that on June 6, a group of pro-AL contractors went to the PWD office in Pabna carrying firearms. Six days later, security camera footage of the office was leaked to journalists.
In the footage, a group of contractors carrying firearms was seen arriving at the facility. Among them were Hazi Faruk, science and technology affairs secretary of Pabna Sadar AL; AR Khan Mamun, organising secretary of Pabna Municipality AL; and local Jubo League leader Sheikh Lalu.
"Mamun and Lalu submitted two shotguns to Pabna Police Station. Both guns have proper licenses but no one can brandish firearms to create panic among the people," Masud Alom, additional superintendent of police in Pabna, told the Daily Star.
He added that police were investigating the incident.
Contacted, Anwarul Azim, executive engineer at Pabna PWD, said, "They [the armed contractors] might have done it by mistake. They did not harm anybody or damage anything in the office. So, we didn't file any case."
AL leader Hazi Faruk told The Daily Star that the contractors had "no bad intentions and it was nothing but a mistake".
Meanwhile, the arms showdown at the government office sparked widespread criticism in the district.
Talking to this correspondent, acting president of Pabna AL Rejaur Rahim Lal said, "We don't support such unruly activities. This was not a political incident."
TIB in a statement said this was another example of how the ruling party men have been ruining the competitive tender procedure in development works.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said corruption in the procurement process could cause a loss of 8.5 to 27 percent of the total procurement funds. He demanded exemplary punishment of those involved.