- March 20, 2018
Critics brand the commission spineless and subservient to the governmentAn all round rejection of the polls, scores of reports, television footage, video clips, and witness accounts dispel even the slightest doubt that the city polls were unfair. Even winning candidates have acknowledged the allegations, even if partially, saying fouls are inevitable in a sport.
This, however, sharply contradicts the statements of the Election Commission claiming the polls in the two Dhaka city corporations and Chittagong were fair and consequently calls its integrity into question.
The government is ready to face any questions related to the city corporation elections in the Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue.
“We will not raise the city corporation election issue but if the US side does it, we are prepared,” said a senior official of the foreign ministry.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will lead the Bangladesh side in the two-day fourth partnership dialogue, while US State Department Under-Secretary Wendy Sherman will represent her country.
Incidents of massive violation of electoral rules, including ballot stuffing, intimidation, booth capture and clashes, undermined the integrity of the city corporation polls, the Election Working Group said yesterday.
“The situation at 90% of the polling centres was dangerous,” Kamrul Hasan Manju, an EWG steering committee member, said at a press conference.
The High Court yesterday observed that a person convicted on contempt charges by the International Crimes Tribunal could appeal to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, seeking justice.
An HC bench comprising of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo made the observation, disposing of a writ petition filed by 12 noted citizens.
The Appellate Division yesterday started the appeal hearing of condemned prisoner Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid against the ICT 2 verdict sentencing him to death for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
The hearing started at the four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha.
The other members of the SC bench are Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Hasan Foyez Siddique.
All three mayoral candidates backed by the ruling Awami League have won in the elections to Dhaka North and South and Chittagong city corporations that were marked by unbridled vote-rigging and only nearly 44% of voters.
Annisul Huq has unofficially been declared mayor of Dhaka North. He bagged 460,617 votes while his closest contender, BNP-backed Tabith M Awal, got 325,080 votes.
A crude bomb blast in a flat in the capital’s Adabor injured at least two people yesterday. The injured are Anowarul Islam and Nuru Miah.
Officer-in-Charge Azizul Haque of Mohammadpur police station said, upon information, a police team led by Sub-Inspector Mahabub Hossain went to the third-floor flat of a multi-storied building at Road 4 of Dhaka Udyan area in Adabor at around 11am and sent the injured to National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR). The team also recovered 14 more crude bombs, he added.
Observing that Tuesday’s city elections were very much fair, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said this was a victory for democracy and the public, as militants and terrorists could not win the polls.
“This is the victory of democracy, this is the victory of the masses … at least this is not the victory of militants, terrorists and those involved in subversive activities,” she said.
At least four Ansar members were injured yesterday when they clashed with the police during demonstrations demanding outstanding election duty remunerations.
Saifullah Rasel, Ansar commander of Dhaka city west zone, said Ansar members started protests at the capital’s Technical intersection yesterday evening urging authorities concerned to pay the dues for election duty. But the police launched a sudden attack on the demonstrating men and injured four of them, Rasel claimed.
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred again the indictment hearing of BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 63 others accused in a case filed for torching vehicles in the capital.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Alamgir Kabir Raj passed the order following a time petition filed by defence counsel Sanaullah Miah. Yesterday was the scheduled date for the hearing but police did not produce Fakhrul before the court.
The seismograph at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) seismological centre is out of order and has been in the state for more than three years.
In the wake of the recent series of earthquakes in the Himalayan region, one of which had devastating effects in Nepal, not having a functional seismograph is a little risky since Bangladesh has long been under threat of major earthquake, sources at the PSTU told the Dhaka Tribune.
Newly elected Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon yesterday said he would embark on his work with the Dhaka Dialogue he promised in his election manifesto.
The dialogue will be held with the participation of city corporation authorities, civil society members, urban planners, architectures, engineers, relevant government authorities and professionals. It will be aimed at devising a long-term plan to turn Dhaka into a livable and modern city.
Terming the BNP’s activities centring the much-hyped city corporation elections staged drama, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has opined that the party deliberately adopted the way of controversial role to create an issue for its movement.
Customs department officials of Shahjalal International Airport early yesterday detained a man and recovered 94 Bangladeshi passports from his possession.
Saiful Islam, 36, is also a suspected human trafficker and smuggler, said the officials.
His suspicious movements drew the attention of the officials, and they started following him after he landed at the airport at around 11pm on a flight of Malinda Airlines.
Dhaka north’s mayor-elect Annisul Huq has said that he would not live in the government-provided accommodation and not take police security unless absolutely necessary.
Annisul, who enjoyed the ruling party’s backing in Tuesday’s Dhaka North City Corporation election, told this to reporters at his Banani residence yesterday.
The DMP is yet to take any significant action in connection with the violence that broke out between rival groups of Awami League during Tuesday’s Dhaka city polls.
Even though clashes were reported by the media from different polling centres across the city, only five cases have been filed so far, accusing 1,500 unidentified people; the cases were filed in the Kafrul, Rampura, Ramna and Kotowali police stations.
Even before the monsoon has set in, the Brahmaputra River is already wreaking havoc in Kurigram.
The heavy downpour and scattered nor’westers have caused the water level to rise and trigger the erosion.
At least five villages of Jatrapur union of Sadar upazila are the worst effected.
15 families of Garuhara and Balodipara villages have already lost their land, houses and livestock. Many families are spending sleepless nights fearing the river erosion.
Bangladesh and India have signed the final draft of the bilateral agreement on coastal shipping, which allow river vessels to travel between the neighbouring countries, during a secretary-level meeting held at New Delhi.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan confirmed this at a press conference in the Secretariat yesterday.
“The final agreement will be signed when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Bangladesh,” the minister said.
Convicted rapist and serial killer Rasu Khan has appealed against the death sentence he was awarded last week.
The Chandpur jail authorities had filed the appeal on April 23, just a day after the verdict, in line with a request by the convict, the district prison officer said yesterday.
Sixty-one electricity connection applicants of 27 villages in Gurudaspur, Natore have not yet been given the meter connections even after two years of submitting the consumer’s deposit to the concerned offices.
The victims claimed that whenever the offices were approached, they were given excuses of corruption by the technicians and the hope that they would be given the electricity connections after completion of investigation. But the victims alleged that the authorities are not taking any effective steps to resolve the matter.