KOLKATA: A Bangladeshi diplomat posted at the country’s deputy high commission here was unceremoniously withdrawn after he allegedly had a sexually explicit chat with an Indian woman.
A letter issued by Mohammad Mahmudul Haque, assistant secretary (establishment-1) of the Bangladesh foreign ministry on January 18, asked Muhammad Saniul Kader, the first secretary (political), to leave Kolkata within 24 hours and report to the ministry’s Dhaka office. The letter, accessed by this newspaper, asked him to leave all his responsibilities and return as he was transferred to Dhaka.
Confirming the diplomat’s recall, deputy high commissioner Toufique Hasan in Kolkata said they had zero tolerance on such matters.
“This is a very sensitive matter and we maintain zero tolerance on such issue. After conducting a preliminary inquiry we released him. Now the investigation is being conducted by our counterparts in Dhaka,” Hasan said.
Kader left India and entered Bangladesh through the Petrapole-Benapole border in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas on January 19. India’s Border Security Force officials posted at the Petrapole immigration office said Kader crossed the border around 11.40 am that day.
Sources in the deputy high commission said on January 16 the woman accessed the Facebook page of the high commission and shared the WhatsApp chats and videos of Kader. “She sent the evidence through messenger of the Facebook page,” an official at the deputy high commission said.
He said the issue was brought to the notice of Hasan, who immediately communicated the matter to the foreign ministry in Dhaka. “Our headquarters informed the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka. The PMO took the matter seriously as the issue was very sensitive and asked the ministry to withdraw Kader immediately,” the official said. Kader, he said, refuted the allegation claiming the video was “superimposed.”
This newspaper reached out to Arindam Bagchi, joint secretary XP with India’s ministry of external affairs through a message and an email, but there was no response. Kader was posted at the deputy high commission office here about a year back. He is an officer of the Bangladesh Civil Service.