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Manjur, who criticised minister, removed from NRCC chairman post

The government has removed the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) Chairman Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury from his post before his contractual appointment is over.

His contractual appointment was cancelled on Wednesday (October 18, 2023). Ministry of Public Administration issued a gazette notification to the effect, stating that the rest of the tenure of contractual appointment of NRCC Chairman Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury was cancelled in the public interest.

Sources at the Ministry of Public Administration said Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury, chairman of the Centre for Governance Studies, a non-government think-tank, was appointed chairman of the NRCC on February 22, 2022 for three years. He joined the NRCC on February 27 that year. His contractual appointment was scheduled to over on February 27, 2025. But, the government has cancelled his contractual appointment some one and a half years before end of his tenure.

Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury came under discussion at different times for his remarks after joining the NRCC as its chairman.

Speaking at a programme organised in the capital in observance of the International Rivers Day on September 24 last, the NRCC chairman criticised Education Minister Dipu Moni, instead of mentioning her name directly.

Chowdhury alleged that those who were extracting sand illegally from the river Meghna had the backing of a female minister of Chandpur district.

He said the hyenas swooped on the Meghna river forming syndicates. They are trying to extract sand from the Meghna river. Hundreds of dredgers would be used to extract sand from the river here, affecting the flow of river, fish population and environment. “It has become very difficult to save the rivers from the clutches of these hyenas.”

When asked about his reaction to his removal before the end of his tenure, Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury said he doesn’t know anything else about it. The government has given appointment and it has cancelled it. “People will judge how honestly I have worked for saving the rivers.”

Chowdhury said he would give time to the CGS regularly from now on.