A-League leader Sharmin arrested in fake masking case

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Police have arrested Awami League leader Sharmin Jahan on charges of supplying fake ‘N-95’ masks to the corona unit of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital.

Police arrested him from Shahbagh in the capital around 10:30 pm on Friday.

Mishu Biswas, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told Prothom Alo that Sharmin Jahan was taken to the DB office after his arrest.

Earlier, the hospital authorities filed a case against the former BCL leader. On Thursday night, the proctor of BSMMU filed a case of fraud with the Shahbagh police station. University authorities say the masks have put the lives of Covid-19 fighters at serious risk.

The accused in the case, Sharmin Jahan, was the president of the Bangladesh-Kuwait Friendship Hall branch of Dhaka University. After that he was the joint secretary of the central student league. He was a member of the Central Sub-Committee on Women and Children in the last committee of the Awami League. He was the co-editor of the same sub-committee in the previous committee. After graduating from the Department of Islamic Studies, Dhaka University, he is working as an Assistant Registrar in the Administration-1 branch of the university. His home is at Gohalkanda in Shyamganj, east of Netrokona. He is the owner of Aparajita International, a mask supplier.

BSMAU proctor in the case. Mozaffar Ahmed said that on June 26, the university ordered Sharmin Jahan to supply 11,000 masks. 1,300 in the first phase on June 30 against the work order; On July 2, 480 and 1000 masks were provided in the second and third phases and on July 13, 700 masks were supplied in the fourth phase. There was no problem with the mask of the first and second lot. Lot distribution and use errors were found in the third and fourth stages and the quality of the mask was not found as per the specification. The braces of some masks have been torn, the printed text of some masks has been found to contain defective English text, the security codes and lot numbers of some masks have been found to be fake by visiting the website of the manufacturer. This is why the authorities realized that the quality of the mask was low.

According to the case, the university authorities had issued a show cause notice to Sharmin Jahan on July 16. Sharmin expressed “regret” in his July 20 response, which included a confession. In the case, university authorities have accused Sharmin of taking the highest legal action.

Asked about the case before his arrest, Sharmin Jahan told Prothom Alo that he did not provide fake masks. An assistant director of the university has verified and accepted the products. After so many days, they say there was a defect in the product. That’s not right. Sharmin claims, the mask he does not prepare. Supplied from other institutions. If there were any errors in that case, the university authorities could talk about replacing them. But without doing so, they filed a case. He has been the victim of a conspiracy here.

Sharmin said he did not apologize for providing the mask because he regretted it in the wake of the show cause notice. He lamented the emergence of a situation.