The perpetrators will face exemplary punishment for trying to create panic, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told the media at a function in Dhaka on Thursday.
“The Bridges Division has spoken to the intelligence agencies and RAB. They are (investigating the rumour),” Quader said.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also ordered authorities to find out the people who have propagated such an unscientific, unrealistic, ridiculous idea. They should face exemplary punishment,” the minister said.
Police in Bhola detained a man on Wednesday night on charges of spreading on social media the rumour that “children were being abducted for sacrifice by beheading.”
Police did not say whether the suspect has links with any political group, but Quader pointed the finger at the BNP.
“The opposition party is trying to mislead the people by spreading rumours, having failed in elections and agitations. For what else should such a weird, unbelievable idea that ‘human heads, blood will be needed to construct the Padma Bridge’ be spread on social media?” the Awami League general secretary asked.
“It’s an attempt to create panic across the country,” he said.
The Bridges Division in a recent notice urged the people not to be confused by the rumour.
The function where Quader spoke was organised for the signing of a deal to appoint consultants for Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway project.
Bangladesh Bridge Authority, which is implementing the project, signed the Tk 3.04 billion deal with Spanish engineering consulting firm Typsa, DOHWA Engineering of South Korea, and DDC of Bangladesh.
The total cost of the project to construct the 24-kilometre elevated expressway is estimated to be over Tk 169 billion.
Once built, the expressway will link the airport to Dhaka EPZ via Abdullahpur, Dhaur, Jirabo, and Baipail.
The project is expected to start in December, Quader said.