The government has warned stern actions including dismissal from job, filing criminal cases against government officials or public representatives if anyone found guilty in misappropriation of relief.

The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) in a circular Saturday asked the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) across the country to immediately report to the ministry about any misappropriation of relief with specific information and documents.

The circular signed by M Ershadul Haque, Deputy Secretary, LGRD Ministry wrote, “Reports on theft of relief are being informed through different social media and mainstream newspapers that some government officials and public representatives are indulged with theft of relief,”

It said earning of a huge numbers of people at both the city and rural areas are being hampered for which different ministries, directorate, organization are distributing relief from their own fund. Some of the public representatives are also involved with relief work from the directives of the honourable Prime Minister.

Police and local administrations have so far revealed at least 22 incidents of stealing rice in 20 upazilas and recovered 2,832 sacks of rice, each containing 50 kg, in the last 12 days.

Law enforcers have so far arrested 24 people, including 10 public representatives, in connection with those incidents. Most of the other arrestees are local Awami League leaders, their relatives and close aides.

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