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State Minister Murad resigns from his cabinet on PM`s order

News Desk || shiningbd

Published: 14:07, 7 December 2021  
State Minister Murad resigns from his cabinet on PM`s order

The premier wields the axe following his offensive remarks on women and scandalous audio leaks

State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Md Murad Hassan resigned from his cabinet post following a social media storm over derogatory remarks on women and scandalous audio leaks.

He emailed his letter of resignation to his office on Tuesday, media reports cited a spokesperson of the ministry.

Murad has cited ‘personal reasons’ for his resignation, according to ministry official Mohammad Gias Uddin.

It comes after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday ordered the lawmaker from Jamalpur to step down.

Soon after sending his resignation, Murad issued a public apology for his remarks in the social media.

Murad, who was elected an MP for the first time after the 2008 elections from the Jamalpur 4 constituency. He, however, did not get the party’s ticket in 2014 but contested the last national election as an Awami League candidate.

After Sheikh Hasina formed the government for a third straight term, Murad was made the state minister for health before moved to information and broadcast ministry after cabinet reshuffle in May 2019.

Over the past few days, criticism against Murad was climbing after he made untoward remarks on former prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s granddaughter.

Late on Sunday, an audio clip of a phone conversation began to circulate on the social media, in which a man, purportedly to be Murad, was heard hurling abuses and threatening to rape actor Mahiya Mahi.  

Amid calls for his resignation, Road Transport Minister Obdaiul Quader told the media late on Monday that the prime minister has order Murad to resign by the next day.

“I spoke to the prime minister this evening [Monday] over Murad’s matter. She ordered him to resign… I informed Murad about her orders around 8pm,” he said.

Murad had recently drawn flak also by saying that the state religion provision should not remain in the constitution, even though the party’s senior leadership is not considering the matter Facebook/Md. Murad HassanRecently, on different occasions, the Murad also made insulting remarks about Gonoshasthaya Kendra Founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and former BNP MP Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia.

Apart from BNP supporters, women rights groups, feminist organizations, rights activists, academicians and netizens have expressed extreme disappointment over such "sexist,” “perverted,” “misogynistic,” “racist,” “obscene,” and “objectionable” remarks from a cabinet member.

The situation had also led many, including senior BNP leaders such as Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, to call for his immediate resignation and a public apology from him.

“We wonder how a public representative, who is also a cabinet member, can make comments like a woman-hater and racist person. How can he boast after making such remarks?” said women rights organization Naripokkho in a statement on Sunday.

It had also sought the prime minister’s attention in taking punitive action against Murad.

Murad had recently drawn flak also by saying that the state religion provision should not remain in the constitution, even though the party’s senior leadership is not considering the matter.

Meanwhile, regarding the leaked phone call, actor Mamnun Hasan Emon on Monday told reporters that it was him who spoke with Murad over the phone when the lawmaker was threatening the actress during the same call.

Emon, who had received the call on his phone before handing it over to Mahi, also said that the conversation took place two years ago. The actors were at a meeting regarding the shooting of a movie when Murad called.

Mahi, who is currently performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia, posted a video on her Facebook page Monday night after the news of the prime minister’s order to Murad broke.

“I was a victim of the circumstance. I was left speechless [by his behaviour] that day... I knew Allah will not let this stand. He [Murad] got what he deserved. Alhamdulillah,” said the Dhallywood star in her immediate reaction.

Chhatra Dal ties?

Addressing a discussion in Dhaka on Monday, senior BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul said: “A very disgusting, derogatory and indecent campaign has been carried out on social media against the Zia family by an infamous person. I have heard he was a doctor probably from Jamalpur’s Sarishabari… shame on him.”

He also claimed that the government is destroying the country’s culture, sense of courtesy and long tradition. “You have already destroyed politics in the country. Will you now ruin the minimum values and respect for our mothers and sisters?”

Fakhrul regretted that Murad was once involved with Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student affiliate of the BNP. “He was the publicity secretary of Chhatra Dal’s Mymensingh Medical College unit. He later joined Bangladesh Chhatra League.”

However, Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal’s Dhaka south unit Convener Golam Mawla Shaheen, who was at the event, instantly protested Fakhrul’s comment and urged him to withdraw it claiming Murad was never involved with Chhatra Dal.

“Don’t talk nonsense. You don’t know about it,” Fakhrul replied

As Shaheen continued shouting, Fakhrul repeatedly asked him to stop, creating a chaos. Later, other senior party leaders brought the situation under control and convinced Shaheen to remain silent.

Standing by his comment, Fakhrul said it is unfortunate that Murad was an activist of Chhatra Dal once. “Later he became a leader of Chhatra League and its president [of Mymensingh Medical College unit]. It’s unfortunate that such a person was there in Chhatra Dal at that time.”

BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas also said that making indecent remarks against Khaleda Zia, who is fighting for her life, and her family members cannot be tolerated. “We will not tolerate such comments… the Secretariat has been desecrated by giving such dirty person a place in the cabinet.”Dhaka Tribune

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