The upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Bandarban’s Alikadam upazila, Mehruba Islam, has smashed the trophies to pieces in front of everyone instead of distributing those to the winners’ and the runners’ up team at a football tournament in district.
The incident took place on the Chaykong Model High School ground on Friday evening.
A video clip showing the UNO smashing the trophies spread on social media platform Facebook, sparking criticism over her doings.
Local public representatives said there will be demonstration on Saturday protesting the smashing of trophies and demanding the withdrawal of the UNO.
According to locals and public representatives, the Abashisk Juba Shawdhin Samaj Club organised a football tournament on the Chaykong Model High School ground. The final match was held on Friday while UNO Mehruba Islam was the chief guest at the tournament’s prize distribution event.
The UNO addressed the event before distributing the prize. She said, “I will keep the trophies to myself as long as you will not become tolerant to each other. I will hand over those once another match is held.”
The audience altogether shouted saying ‘no’, ‘no’. She then continued saying, “If there was no trophy, would we not play in the tournament? Now I will start the game by breaking the trophies.” She then smashed both trophies to pieces instantly.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Saddam Hossain, president of Abashisk Juba Shawdhin Samaj Club, said the final match between Abashisk Junior XI and Referfari Bazar XI ended with a draw and the former won the game through a tiebreaker, but the opponents objected to the result.
Later everyone including referees and players settled the matter and there were no further trouble, but they never imagined the chief guest would smash the trophies in such manner during the prize distribution, he added.
Chaykong union parishad chairman Jaynal Abedin said both teams locked into argument during the announcement of the winners. The UNO might have thought if trophies are distributed discontent will continue among the players of both teams, so, she did not distribute the trophies and smashed those instead.
Alikadam upazila parishad chairman Abul Kamal took to social media protesting the incident. He wrote on Facebook that the UNO Mehruba Islam dishonoured the people of Alikadam. Abul Kamal also demanded withdrawal of the UNO.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, personal secretary of upazila parishad chairman Mohammad Mostafa Kamal said, a rally has been called in the afternoon protesting the incident. Chairman Abul Kamal is scheduled to address the event as chief guest.
Mehruba Islam could not be reached for comments as her phone went unanswered after repeated attempts.
Speaking to newspersons, Bandarban deputy commissioner Yasmin Parvin Tibrij said the incident was very unfortunate and no one should behave in such manner. If there is any controversy, the UNO could have been kept the trophies in her custody instead of breaking them and she then could have taken next steps. They are looking into the matter, the DC added.