A parliamentary watchdog yesterday formed a sub-committee to investigate alleged widespread corruption in purchasing books for setting up Bangabandhu Corner at all government primary schools.
The parliamentary standing committee on primary and mass education has asked the four-member sub-committee, headed by ruling Awami League MP Nazrul Islam Babu (Narayanganj-2) to submit its report before the committee within a month.
The other members of the sub-committee are AL MP Ali Azam (Bhola-2), JSD's Shirin Akhter (Feni-1) and BNP's Mosharraf Hossain (Bogura-4).
At the beginning of the meeting -- held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, a number of MPs including Shirin Akhtar and Mosharraf Hossain raised the alleged irregularities in purchasing books for around 65,000 primary schools across the country.
They demanded that the parliamentary body form an investigation committee to inquire into the matter and identify persons involved in the massive corruption. Other members of the committee also supported the proposal, sources at the meeting said.
AL MP Mostafizur Rahman, chief of the parliamentary watchdog, then formed the four-member sub-committee to enquire into the alleged corruption incident.
Talking to The Daily Star over phone, Mostafizur Rahman said Tk 150 crore was allocated to purchase 30 different books on Bangabandhu to set up "Bangabandhu Corner" at all government primary schools.
"Different media recently reported that widespread corruption has taken place in purchasing of those books. It was reported that those books were purchased at a high rate compared to their original price. We have asked the sub-committee to enquire and reveal the truth," added Mostafizur.
He said the standing committee has also asked the secretary to the primary and mass education ministry to submit a detailed report on the purchase process before the committee's next meeting.
Mostafizur Rahman said allegations have also been raised that copyright act has been violated while reprinting two books on Bangabandhu. Names of the two books are 'Bangabandhu means independence and '3053 days'—a book on Bangabandhu's life in prison.
Allegations were raised against a senior reporter of a private television channel of violating the Copyright Act while reprinting and delivering those two books for Bangabandhu Corner.