Two Awami League lawmakers last night demanded the public administration ministry carry out a departmental probe as to why Narayanganj Sadar UNO Hosne Ara Begum Bina was made an OSD during her pregnancy.
Speaking on a point of order, Meher Afroze Chumki from Gazipur-5 and Shamim Osman from Narayanganj-4 strongly criticised the authorities for making Bina an officer on special duty when she was 31 weeks' pregnant.
Chumki first raised the issue pointing to a Facebook status of Bina.
“Though I was carrying, I performed my duty as an assistant returning officer in the 11th parliamentary election successfully,” the ruling party MP said, citing the post.
After going to medical check-ups at a hospital on February 4, the UNO came to know that she was made an OSD. It caused her mental stress and she became sick, Chumki said.
“She couldn't bear the mental stress and gave birth to a premature baby who is now fighting for life at a city hospital,” Chumki said, adding that the estimated date of delivery of the baby was April 20.
“Our society is still not aware of how to behave with a pregnant woman,” lamented Chumki.
Supporting Chumki's speech, Shamim Osman said the UNO discharged her duties successfully in the December 30 election in his constituency.
“After knowing that she is pregnant, I even advised her not to take too much pressure. But I feel ashamed that the honest and successful UNO was made an OSD, which is nothing but injustice to her.”
Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, who was presiding over the sitting, said the state minister for public administration must look into the matter and take necessary actions.
Bina's Facebook post reads that she joined as the UNO of Sadar upazila nine months ago, and five months back she learnt that she was two months' pregnant, reports UNB.
Without mentioning any name, the UNO alleged that a particular officer tried to transfer her from Narayanganj, proving her worthless to different levels since her pregnancy.
While waiting for a test at the Square Hospital on the evening of February 4, she received a phone call from one of her batch mates who informed her that she was made an OSD.
“After hearing the news, I failed to endure the mental pressure. I'm an asthma patient. Due to tremendous mental pressure, the blood circulation of my lungs dropped abnormally. As a result, the oxygen supply to my baby in the womb stopped totally and it stopped moving,” Bina wrote.
She said doctors decided to conduct a caesarean section instantly. She delivered the baby at 31 weeks through caesarean section in the following morning.
Contacted, Additional Public Administration Secretary Shaikh Yusuf Harun told UNB over phone that the UNO had been made an OSD as she is ill, not as punishment.
“The UNO is an asthma patient. She will not be able to perform her duties during the upcoming upazila parishad elections properly. And again, an officer can't be transferred once the Election Commission announces the polls schedule. So, she was made on OSD. This is not a punishment.”
The additional secretary also said Bina could have complained to them without writing the Facebook post.