Boy’s Death on Ferry: Probe finds no reason to accuse govt official
07:02 PM, September 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:18 PM, September 05, 2019

Boy’s Death on Ferry: Probe finds no reason to accuse govt official

3 officials of ferry terminal can be accused, it says

A high-profile probe committee of the government has not found any “logical reason” to accuse Joint Secretary Md Abdus Sabur Mondal for the death of 13-year-old Titash Ghosh in an ambulance on a ferry on the way to Dhaka on July 25.

The body in an enquiry report said that three officials at Kathalbari Ferry Terminal in Munshiganj can be accused of causing the delay in passing “Ferry Cumilla” with the ambulance which was carrying the patient, Titash Ghosh, with the life support.

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

The three-member investigation committee headed by Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division Md Rezaul Hasan today sent the probe report to the attorney general’s office for submitting it to the High Court where a writ petition filed in connection with the incident, which remains pending.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar, who received the probe report, told The Daily Star he will submit the report to the HC after it reopens. The HC will reopen on October 13 after a 45-day annual vacation.

Citing the report, DAG Bashar said three ferry ghat officials -- Salam, Khokon and Firoz were aware that an ambulance was carrying a patient with the life support and was waiting for Ferry Cumilla on the way to Dhaka for treatment.

However, they did not provide any assistance for passing the ferry with the ambulance, and they passed the ferry around two hours later of the scheduled time, and therefore, they cannot avoid their responsibility in occurring the “unexpected incident,” he said.

Even, they (three Ghat officials) have not informed Abdus Sabur Mondal that an ambulance carrying a dying patient has been kept waiting for him, DAG Bashar said citing the report.  

“Therefore, they (Salam, Khokon and Firoz) can be accused of negligence in discharging duties, the ferry ghat mismanagement, incompetence and causing delay in passing the ferry in violation of the circular issued by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation regarding passing ferry on priority basis,” he added.                    

Titash Ghosh, 13, a student of Kalia Pilot Secondary School in Narail, was critically injured in a motorbike accident in the district on July 24.

A day after the accident, 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 8:00 pm on July 25.

“Ferry Cumilla” was reportedly waiting at the pontoon, which had its gate closed and was not loading vehicles.

Ferry authorities said they were waiting for the arrival of Abdus Sabur Mondal, 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 10:20 pm when the authorities learnt that the government official was close by. Around 11:00 pm, the official arrived and the ferry started moving.

Titash died on the ferry, family sources said earlier.

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