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Chhatak councilor sues mayor over sexual harassment

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the case filed by a female councilor of Sunamganj’s Chhatak municipality against Mayor Abul Kalam Chowdhury over sexual harassment.

She filed the case with the court of Judge Zakir Hossain of the Sunamganj Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal on Tuesday.

The court later directed the CID to investigate the case.

The mayor has refuted the allegation. He claimed that the case was filed against him for taking action against the councilor for taking bribes.

According to the case, after the meeting of the Municipal Council held on August 22, Mayor Abul Kalam Chowdhury called the female councilor to his office room and touched her inappropriately.

She also stated about deprivation of fair rights and hostile treatment towards her by the accused.

The meeting was held with the battery-run auto-rickshaw (easy bike) workers at the Chhatak Municipality Building.
She alleged that the mayor had made indecent proposals at different times after winning the last municipal elections. For this, she had always avoided the mayor.

Meanwhile, easy bike drivers Atiqul Mia, Nurul Hossain and Biraj Ali lodged a written complaint to the mayor on August 16 alleging that a local female councilor and her husband had taken money from the owners of easy bikes in wards NO 4, 5 and 6 of Chhatak municipality.

When the issue was raised at a special meeting of the Municipal Council on August 22, a motion of condemnation was passed against the female councilor with the consent of 10 of the 11 members present.

On August 26, the council decided to send a recommendation to the Local Government Ministry seeking disciplinary action against her. The meeting also decided to file a case on behalf of the municipality at Chhatak police station against the female councilor and her husband.

Enraged at this, the councilor and her relatives engaged in arguments after the meeting the same day.

Two days later, Office Assistant Dipta Banik filed a case against the councilor and three others with Chhatak police.