Bangladesh sacks official after remarks against country's founder
Bangladesh on Monday sacked its top information official for penning a poem comparing the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to a "dried plum".
A government order has been issued this afternoon asking Information Secretary A T M Fazlul Karim to go on retirement. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the daughter of Mujibur Rahman.
The official said no reason was cited for Karim's dismissal, but the government invoked a rule that gives authorities unlimited powers to terminate civil servants on completion of 25 years in service.
The government yesterday sent into forced retirement, Information Secretary ATM Fazlul Karim whose pen name is Abu Karim.
The move came a day after he had been sued for writing a book of poetry where he allegedly cast metaphorical aspersions on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members.
The establishment ministry issued an order to Abu Karim in the afternoon directing him to go into retirement.
"The government has sent the information secretary on compulsory retirement in public interest, as per section 9 (2) of the Public Servants (Retirement) Act 1974, on completion of his 25 years in service," read the government order.
Karim, who was made the information secretary on Jan 19 this year, is the first high level civil bureaucrat to lose his job under the newly elected Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance government.
Moulana Mohammad Elias Hossain Bin Helali, president of Bangladesh Awami Olama League, on Sunday filed a defamation suit against Abu Karim with Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka in connection with the book.
In his complaint, Helali mentioned that the accused had written a book of poetry titled 'Baganey Phutey Achhey Oshonkho Golap' or 'Innumerable Roses Have Blossomed in the Garden', in February 2006, which was published by Suchipatra Prokashona for the Ekushey Book Fair 2008.