The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has suspended four of its employees for some important files having gone missing.
The files had sensitive information, mostly related to equipment procurement for several medical colleges and institutes.
The suspended staff are computer operators Ayesha Siddika and Joseph Sardar, and office assistants Badal Chandra Goswami and Mintu Mia.
Medical Education and Family Welfare Division Secretary Md Ali Noor disclosed the information on Tuesday. "We took the decision to suspend the employees today, following an investigation," he told reporters at the Secretariat.
Departmental action is also being taken against the four employees, he added.
At least 17 files which were stored at the office of the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division at the Secretariat mysteriously went missing recently.
The missing files included several documents related to purchases for the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College, the Rajshahi Medical College and other medical colleges, vehicle allocation and purchase-related documents for training schools, documents of the Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening programme, purchase documents of the Directorate General of Health Services, and files of a project under the Bureau of Health Education.
Health ministry Deputy Secretary Nadira Haider filed a general diary (GD) with Shahbagh police station on 28 October, immediately after it was discovered that the files were missing.
Afterwards, the ministry also formed a four-member probe committee to look into the matter. Additional secretary of the ministry (administration division) Md Shah Alam headed the committee comprising joint secretary of the ministry (Medical Education), Md Ahsan Kabir, Deputy Secretary (Medical Education-1) Mohammad Abdul Kader, and Deputy Secretary Mallika Khatun.
Following the GD, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police started a shadow investigation.
The investigation team visited the Secretariat on 31 October and gathered evidence from the room where the files went missing.
CID officials interrogated the staff in the room. Later, six employees of the room were taken to the CID office for further investigation. They were Joseph, Ayesha, Badal, Bari, Mintu and Faisal.