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EC forms three panels to probe Rohingya-linked NID forgery

Published : Thursday, 5 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 59

The Election Commission has formed three separate panels to investigate the cases of forged national identity cards involving Rohingyas.
The two panels will focus on technical and administrative aspects and the third committee will coordinate the investigation.
The technical team will investigate how a cartel forged NIDs for Rohingya refugees, said EC National Identification Registration Division Director General Brig Gen Mohammad Saidul Islam.
The team, led by the EC's System Manager (Technical) Md Ashraf Hossain, will look into the technical aspect of voter registration.
The eight-member technical panel formed on Dec 1 includes eight units of the EC, representatives of Institute of Development Affairs or IDEA, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology or BUET and Computer Council.
The seven-member administrative team, headed by EC Joint Secretary Kamrul Hasan, will investigate election officials' alleged links to the crime.
"The team will find out the criminals and how they committed the offence. We will strictly handle the investigations to curb corruption. The committee will also look into the charges of forgery," Islam said.
A high-powered committee has also been formed to conduct further investigations into the allegations of registering Rohingya refugees as voters.
The EC initiated a probe after a Rohingya woman was arrested in Chattogram while collecting a passport using a fake national identity card in August. The commission postponed the distribution of more than 50 NIDs following the incident.
Police detained a local Election Commission official, along with her two assistants, on charges of assisting Rohingya refugees in obtaining national identity cards and stealing a laptop on Sep 16.
A case was filed with Kotwali Police Station following the incident. The counter-terrorism unit of police found 'some' other EC officials connected with the forgery cartel.

Police arrested 13 EC officials following the investigation. Of the arrestees, five confessed to their involvement in the forgery.

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