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Sylhet police official suspended over controversial FB post on teep

A police inspector in Sylhet has been suspended for allegedly posting a status on his Facebook profile about the teep (bindi) protests in Bangladesh over the alleged harassment of a female college teacher by a constable in Dhaka.

Teep (a Bengali word) is actually a bindi, a coloured dot worn between the eyebrows, especially by women in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, reports UNB.

The punitive action was taken againstMd Liakat Ali, an inspector at the Sylhet sadar court, on Monday after the superintendent of police was informed about the status update, Md Lutfor Rahman, spokesperson for Sylhet district police (media), said.

A three-member probe body has also been formed and it has been asked to submit a report within three working days, he said.

Earlier, ASP Lutfor Rahman had said, “The inspector in question has been removed his post as there are specific guidelines from the Bangladesh Police HQ about the use of social media by cops. A departmental action will be taken against him.”

However, suspended inspector Liakat Ali said, “I published the post from a positive point of view, women wear teep and my wife also wears it. My status was on men protesting wearing women’s accessories. My motive was not to make the post viral nor am I a misogynist police officer.”

He claimed to have deleted the post, following flak from people.

A constable (protection division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) allegedly harassed a college teacher for wearing ‘teep’ in the city’s Farmgate area on Saturday, triggering condemnation from women’s and rights groups.

The issue went to Parliament when actress-turned-lawmaker Suborna Mustafa raised it on Sunday, demanding punishment for the offender.

The harassed teacher Dr Lata Samaddar, a lecturer of the theatre and media studies department at Tejgaon College, has already filed a complaint at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station.

In her complaint, she claimed that the harassment occurred in front of Shezan Point shopping mall in the Farmgate area as she was on her way to work. She also alleged that the policeman also threatened her and tried to hit her with his motorbike when she resisted.

“Following the complaint, police identified the constable as Nazmul Tarek after two days of frantic efforts and suspended him on Monday,” said Biplab Sarkar, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon division.

The punitive action was taken against the policeman as he admitted his guilt, DMP said in a release.