BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, July 31: In a major goof-up, the Assam government on Saturday included a famous photograph of Bangladesh’s 2014 floods in its interim report on the State’s latest flood situation to Union Home Minister Rajth Singh. The whole issue created a huge controversy, leaving Dispur red faced.
The embarrassed State government has placed under suspension SDO (Civil) Kaliabor subdivision Madhumita Bhagawati for sending the photo to the official WhatsApp group.
“The government has taken this act of SDO (Civil) Kaliabor subdivision Madhumita Bhagawati very seriously. This has caused enormous embarrassment to the State government. The government has, therefore, placed the officer under suspension with immediate effect,” said a government press release.
Now the question is: Is Madhumita Bhagawati only responsible for the goof-up? Sources said the interim report was checked by the high-ups of the Assam Disaster Magement Authority, top officials of the Revenue and Disaster Magement departments and top babus of the State government and also the Chief Minister’s office. But when the mistake was detected, the entire blame was put on a lower level official like Bhagawati, while the other top officials who went through the report escaped the wrath of the government, added the sources.
That famous picture was of Noakhali floods in Bangladesh, where a young boy rescues and carries a baby deer amidst floodwaters. The picture, taken by wildlife photographer Hasibul Wahab and distributed by Caters News Agency in February 2014, received global appreciation at that time, said the sources, adding that the photo showed the boy, Belal, in his 20s risking his life to rescue the baby deer with waters reaching his eyes.