Death in ambulance: Shipping Ministry reconstitutes probe body

Special Correspondent
The Shipping Ministry reconstituted a committee on Thursday to look into the death of a schoolboy who died in an ambulance after a ferry was reportedly delayed to accommodate a VIP in Madaripur.
Additional Secretary Sanjay Kumar Banik is made convener of the committee. Other members are – Joint Secretary Shahnewaz Dilruba Khan and Deputy Secretary SM Shah Habibur Rahman Hakim.
The committee has been asked to submit a preliminary report within seven working days.
Several newspapers and a TV ran reports on the death of a sixth grader, drawing the widespread criticism and anger.
According to reports, the boy, who was in an ambulance on a ferry on Sunday, died as the authorities allegedly delayed the vessel’s departure from Kathalbari jetty for a VIP.
According to deceased family the ferry was anchored at the jetty for three hours on Thursday night waiting for a ‘VIP car.’ They implored the police and BIWTA not to delay the ferry further, as it was a race against time for the child. That went in vain. Calling 999, the emergency number for government services, also proved futile, the family alleged.
The ferry, named ‘Cumilla’, departed only when the car carrying the joint secretary boarded the vessel around 11 pm but Titas Ghosh, 11, a student of grade six, died from brain haemorrhage within half an hour while the family was still in the middle of the river”.
The said VIP was no other than Md Abdus Sabur Mondal working for a2i or the Access to Information, a flagship government project that promises to “improve the lives of citizens”, Madaripur DC Wahidul Islam formed a four-member probe panel headed by Additional District Magistrate Shahidul Haque Patwary and asked it to submit the report within a week.
Writ filed seeking compensation
Meanwhile, writ has been filed with the High Court seeking its directives on the government to provide Tk 3 crore as compensation to the family of Titas Ghosh, who died in an ambulance as the authority delayed the departure of a ferry at Khathalbari jetty in Madaripur for a joint secretary.
Supreme Court lawyer Md Johir Uddin, also the chairman of Legal Support and People’s Right, filed the writ on Tuesday.
The writ also sough directives to take action against the said VIP and the ferryghat manager and also to investigate the incident by the secretary of shipping ministry.
High court on VIP issue
Hearing a writ petition filed by the family of Titas, a High Court bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and K M Kamrul Quader on Wednesday made the observation that President and Prime Minister are only the VIPs (very important person) and rest all employees of the state.
At the hearing, the court said ambulance and fire service vehicles would have to be allowed to move on priority basis. All will have to be cautious in future to avoid such accident (death of student Titas).
Later, the court directed the Public Administration Secretary to investigate the death of schoolboy Titas.
The secretary was also asked to appoint an additional secretary for the inquiry and submit the report before it in three weeks.

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