Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the plunderers of relief goods meant for mitigating the needy people's hardship arising out of the coronavirus outbreak would not be spared.
"So far, a few reports have surfaced regarding arrests of some people for misappropriating relief goods. I hope everyone involved in these misdeeds would be arrested. No mercy would be shown to them. If necessary, immediate punishment would be given to them through mobile courts," she said.
The prime minister said this while interacting through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban here with public representatives and officials of 16 districts under Khulna and Barishal divisions on the current coronavirus situation and mitigating the hardships arising out of the ongoing shutdown.
Divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, police supers, civil surgeons, public representatives, journalists, representatives of the armed forces, Awami League leaders, doctors, nurses and imams took part in the programme.
The premier said: "We are trying our best to help all, including wage earners, day labourers, small traders and the people who couldn't seek relief due to their social dignity, by reaching foods to their doorsteps as they are passing their days in hardship as they have no works due to the shutdown in wake of the coronavirus pandemic."
Noting that a few incidents of relief misappropriation are hurting the nation, she said: "This is a matter of hatred. So, I request all not to indulge themselves in such misdeeds."
The premier asked the concerned authorities, particularly the local administration and law enforcement agencies, to take necessary steps to ensure that people follow the 'stay-at-home' and practice social distancing during the ongoing shutdown.
In this context, she said, "We are trying our best to contain the spread of the virus. Bangladesh is a densely populated country and it would be tough to check coronavirus spreading without support of the countrymen. All must stay at home and be alert so that the disease cannot spread further."
She asked the local administrations to conduct massive campaigns to make the people aware to follow the health ministry's time to time directives.