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Friday, August 23, 2019

Rohingya woman's NID data in EC’s server

Dhaka Tribune
Bilkis Irani
August 23rd, 2019

File photo of Nirbachan Bhaban, which houses the offices of the Election Commission and its secretariat, in Dhaka's Agargaon Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

EC to investigate duplicitous data entry

Recently, a Rohingya woman's national identity card (NID) was created using a fake name and address in Hathazari, Chittagong. Even her information is stored in the Election Commission's (EC) database.

According to the EC, this Rohingya woman’s name is Ramjan Bibi but she used her name as one ‘Lucky’ and apparently created fake national identity card.

After the incident was brought to light, the Election Commission took notice of it.

Earlier, a person’s NID in Barisal was altered by some unidentified person(s) even after a petition was being rejected by the Election Commission for changes.

Besides, another person’s name in the Noakhali district had been inappropriately included in the voter list, without an address, NID number of the applicant’s parents, signature of voter Identifier and supervisor.

Following the revelation of so many incidents, the all-important constitutional body became apprehensive. In an effort to better address the anomalies, EC has formed a team to investigate into these administrative incongruities.

Mohammad Shahabuddin, a technical expert of the Election Commission, said; “As soon as EC acknowledged a Rohingya woman’s illegal entry into the national database, authorities directed me to investigate as who carried out the illegal entry and where and how this action was executed.”

He said: “I searched and discovered that this Rohingya women’s name was included in the EC server, apparently, located at Hathazari, Chittagong. However, it was not yet determined as to who might have done the entry.”

Another technical expert at the EC said on condition of anonymity that the EC does have a very few designated officials, duly authorized, and have access to EC server. He further added that it was needed to have at least 5 to 6 people at several steps to enter a name of a citizen as a voter in the EC’s server.

Therefore, it will be easy to track down who were assigned to use the servers and which computer was being used. After an investigation everything will be clear, the EC official said.

When asked about the matter, Director Operations of NID Wing and Joint Secretary Md Abdul Baten told Dhaka Tribune that the Rohingya people were trying to become voters in Bangladesh, and some unscrupulous local individuals have been assisting them. They even try to get them married to locals in a bid to make them citizens.

He said it is necessary to investigate the one Rohingya woman being known as “Lucky” to highlight the incident for further steps.

There are around 1.1 million Rohingya people included in a separate database. EC could match her finger print and data with that of the new database.

After passing the prescribed steps, the newly registered voter's information, fingerprint and Iris scans are then cross checked in the EC database; whether they are Rohingya or not can also be verified with the help of technology.

It is not possible to be a genuine voter following all the security steps.

Baten said: “We are in a tight position. An investigation team was formed on Wednesday. We will uncover for sure what went wrong. A team of experts is expected to analyze all the technical issues. We will track down which computers were being used.”

EC’s computer server is secured worldwide, no data can be entered illegally. But there remain a few dishonest people who might have committed the crime, EC is trying to trace them, a team will investigate the matter and submit a report. Authorities will take action against fraudulent officials, he added.

Meanwhile, police have arrested Lucky and a young man namely Azizur Rahman in connection with the incident.

According to the police, Lucky applied for her passport. But police did not find her application information to be true and accurate. According to her passport when police went to her address to investigate, it made them suspicious.

Lucky has provided the address; Obaidullah Nagar of Mirzapur Union of HathazariUpazila, on her Passport Application Form. Father's name as Abdur Salam, mother Shaheda Begum. She introduced Azizur Rahman as her brother whose address and parents' names were the same.

According to the EC, her NID number is 41866368 in the server. Voter serial number 1761, voter area Mirzapur (ward number 2) (1290). However, after checking with the Hathazariupazila Election Office, it was found that the registration form of that number was not issued in the name of Lucky. There were no documents in the office on her name.

Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retired) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury said that instructions have been given to investigate into the matter. EC will take disciplinary action against those people who were involved in the NID scam incident.

There are 104.2 million voter’s data in the EC’s server.

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