Manikganj Shivalaya Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) BM Ruhul Amin celebrated his birthday at his office on Tuesday night despite the coronavirus pandemic, ignoring health safety and physical distancing protocols.
Photos and video footage circulating on social media show the UNO and seven-eight people celebrating the occasion. But none are wearing face masks nor are they maintaining social distancing.
The UNO celebrated his birthday by cutting a cake with "friends and family" at Shivalaya Upazila Parishad office on Tuesday night. This was followed by a "musical night" at his official residence.
More than 100 people, including Ghior UNO Irene Akhter and local upazila Chairman Rezaur Rahman, attended the event. These videos have been making the rounds on social media.
The government has already adopted a "no mask, no service" policy at government offices to curb the infection rate of the virus in Bangladesh. It has also been discouraging social occasions and mass gatherings to tackle the pandemic as many countries have been devastated by the second wave of the virus this winter.
Government officials have been carrying out awareness campaigns, while people without masks are being fined by mobile courts.
A local political party leader speaking on condition of anonymity said, "The birthday party of the government official at a time like this is totally unacceptable".
He commented that the pictures on social media would convey the wrong message to people, encouraging them to celebrate such social events.
When contacted, UNO Ruhul Amin claimed he had celebrated his birthday with friends and family. However, he did not comment on guests at the celebrations without masks on and without maintaining social distance.
Manikganj Deputy Commissioner (DC) SM Ferdous said he would look into the matter and act accordingly.