Dhaka, April 19 (IANS) Authorities in Bangladesh have removed a police officer after tens of thousands of people defied the countrywide lockdown to attend the funeral of a Muslim cleric, triggering fears of rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Police Headquarters in a statement on Saturday night cited OC of Sarail Police Station in Brahmanbaria Shahadat Hossain Titu’s failure to take proper steps to prevent the gathering as the reason behind the decision to remove him, reports bdnews24.

On Saturday, thousands of people, without masks and in clear violations of social distancing, participated in the funeral prayers of Khelafat Majlish’s ‘Nayeb-e Amir’ Maulana Zubayer Ahmad Ansari, held at a madrasa in Bertola village under Sorail Upazila of Brahmanbaria district.

The cleric had passed away at his home on Friday night.

The gathering was so large that the authorities did not bother to stop it, according to media reports.

Before his removal, the OC said that many people from as far as Dhaka came to join the funeral prayers.

“We never thought there would be this many people. There was nothing we could do once the crowd began streaming in,” he was quoted as saying by bdnews24.

The tally of confirmed cases in Bangladesh currently stands at 2,144, with 84 deaths.




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