Members of Rajshahi Sacheton Nagorik Committee (SNC), a recently dissolved non-governmental organisation, at a press conference in Rajshahi have protested the lack of transparency and absence of accountability of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

Prof Abdus Salam, president of the committee, read out the written statement at the press conference held at a restaurant in Rajshahi city recently. Former members of SNC language veteran Mosharraf Hossain Akhunjee, Prof Sarwar Jahan Sajal, Hasan Millat, Prof Tanjima Zohra Habib, Ashfaqul Ashequin, Joytuna Khatun, Mozammel Haque, Dr. Rustam Ali, Shahnaz Begum and Bilkis Banu also attended the press conference, among others.

The speakers of the press conference said that by sacking two staff of SNC, TIB has made the way of living of two families uncertain and violated human rights.  For this reason, the policy of transparency and accountability of TIB has been questioned. Rajshahi committee of SNC has also been dissolved by violating terms of memorandum of understanding with TIB.

Prof Abdus Salam told the press conference that Executive Director of TIB Dr. Iftekahruzzaman on May 22 informed him over telephone that Area Manager of SNC and the Office Assistant of the same organisation were sacked from their services. On May 23, three officials of TIB visited Rajshahi and took the charges. Prof Abdus Salam was present during the handing over of charge.

Under such situation, the members of SNC and the Sujon, another NGO, held emergency meetings on May 27 and June 6 where the members of SNC said that it was insulting and a prestige issue for them since the decision of sacking two staff was taken without informing them. The SNC in the meeting also decided to keep all its activities suspended till the next decision.

It is learnt, it was informed to SNC later on about sacking those two staff that Assistant Manager Ashraful Habib secretly recorded the personal discussions of officials of TIB, Rajshahi office, and sent it to the higher authorities in Dhaka and following the objectionable content of such discussion, those two staff were sacked from their posts.

SNC Rajshahi also sent letter to TIB in this connection but on June 10, TIB in a letter answered that the action was justifiably carried out through following the Human Resources Management Manual of TIB. On July 31, a letter signed by Executive Director of TIB Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said that through such activities, SNC was making the step taken by TIB controversial. The letter further mentioned, SNC would snap connection with TIB through its own initiative, otherwise, TIB itself will dissolve the SNC committee of Rajshahi. Accordingly, on August 14, SNC committee was declared dissolved.

Sarker Shariful Islam, Rajshahi