- November 19, 2017
In the frontier area of Hili in Dinajpur district, truants and street children working in the lucrative smuggling trade are pooh-poohing the notion that poverty need be anybody’s destiny.
Rahmat always wanted to be a school teacher, but the sudden death of his parents in a 2014 road accident changed all that.
Alone after his parents’ passing, the twelve-year-old drifted from Dinajpur town to the frontier land port of Hili.
Islami Oikya Jote, a founding partner of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, yesterday quit the political combine.
However, hours after that announcement came, two former members of the Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) said that the IOJ was still with the alliance.
During its triennial council at the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh auditorium yesterday evening, IOJ chief Abdul Latif Nejami announced that they were severing their long-time ties with the BNP.
It has been nearly a decade since the last time the BNP-Jamaat-led 20-party alliance was in state power.
And now, the unravelling of the political combine, that was rumoured to have begun last year, has come to the fore with the quitting of a long-time partner – the Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ).
The IOJ was one of the founding partners and the third biggest member of the alliance that started off as a four-party combine 17 years ago under the leadership of the BNP.
BNP Standing Committee member RA Gani was shifted to the intensive care unit of Square Hospital last night as his physical condition deteriorated.
Syrup Kabir Khan, an official of the BNP chairperson’s media wing, told the Dhaka Tribune that Gani was admitted to Square Hospital on Wednesday due to various old-age complications.
Gani was set to be taken to Thailand on Friday for better treatment.
“But his situation worsened suddenly on Thursday night,” he said.
With religious sermons by Islamic scholars after Fazr prayers, the first phase of Biswa Ijtema is set to commence today on the banks of Turag River in Tongi.
Ignoring yesterday’s countrywide hartal enforced by Jamaat-e-Islami, scores of Muslims from 17 districts of the country has already amassed at the venue to perform Ijtema, the second largest congregation for Muslims after the Hajj.
The 160 acre land was already full of devotees although the organisers divided the Ijtema in four phases for the first time this year.
The daylong general strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami passed off without incident in the capital and no untoward situation was reported elsewhere in the country either.
The city remained busy as usual, with people commuting to their workplaces by both public and private transports, and businesses opening on time. There were also queues of passengers waiting for transports at many bus stops.
The number of buses and other public transports was not very high on the road in the morning but it increased as time went by.
Police in Dhaka have claimed that the elder brother of Saiful Haque Sujan, a UK-based businessman who later became a computer hacker for the Islamic State and killed in an air strike in Syria on December 10, is also involved in terror financing in Bangladesh.
At least five family members and relatives of Saiful including his wife Saima Akhter Mukta and elder brother Ataul Haque Sabuj are currently working for the IS either in Syria or in Spain, several police officials confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.
Saiful was killed near Raqqah in a US-led air strike.
Teachers of Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University yesterday abstained from work and staged sit-ins protesting what they described as discrimination against teachers in the eighth pay scale.
During the sit-in held in front of the Arts Faculty building, Dhaka University teachers threatened to go on indefinite strike from January 11 if their demands were not met by then.
They also demanded punitive measures against government officials who had opposed the “peaceful movement” of teachers.
The government yesterday decided to form a task force to solve immediately the discrimination in salaries and grades created after awarding the eighth pay scale, prompting the public university teachers to go for demonstration.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the three-member core committee of secretaries to form the task force, following an unscheduled meeting at her Cabinet Division office at Bangladesh Secretariat, officials said.
The family members of Felani Khatun still hope that they would get justice for the murder of the 15-year-old girl by the members of Indian Border Security Force in 2011.
On the fifth anniversary of her death yesterday, Felani’s parents organised special prayers and free foods for the poor and destitute people at their house in Kurigram.
Along with motorised vehicles, Padma Bridge will also be open to trains when the bridge is inaugurated, the tentative date of which has been set in December 2018.
“We hope to open the rail connectivity from the very first day” Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday in presence of Railways Minister Md Mazibul Hoque.
However, the Railways Ministry have yet to float any tender to construct the railway connectivity through the bridge.
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday interrogated three former BASIC Bank officials over a Tk2,200 crore loan scam.
The three – former deputy managing directors Fazlu Sobhan and Md Selim, and former deputy general manager Sipar Ahmed – were detained in connection with the investigation of the 56 cases filed by the commission in September last year. They were named as the prime accused in the cases.
They were brought to the commission in the morning and grilled in the ACC chairman’s room amid strict confidentiality.
The sluggish pace of climate resilient infrastructure projects in Barguna has triggered the ire of the locals, who also claim that substandard performance by authorities concerned and poor construction materials were making matters worse.
Under the Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (CCRIP), the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) plans to construct a climate resilient road in Dhalua union and redevelop Barguna Sadar upazila’s Amtoly Bazar, which was nearly destroyed during Cyclone Sidr.
The government is going to implement a fully-fledged e-filing system in ministries and government divisions in March this year aiming to digitilise Bangladesh under the Access to Information programme, official sources said.
As part of developing a strong information and communication system among the government agencies, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will execute the e-filing system in all ministries offices.
The system is currently run at a few ministries and divisions as a pilot project.
The government is set to conduct a census to determine the number of undocumented Rohingya Muslims living in Bangladesh.
In the primary stage, photographs and data on Rohingyas living in six districts – Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Patuakhali – will be collected.
The project titled “Census of the undocumented Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh” is slated to begin this month and will likely end in March.
The Detective Branch of police early yesterday arrested the owner of the 14kg smuggled gold seized on December 23 from Shahjalal International Airport.
Mahmudul Hasan Roni, 25, was arrested from the capital’s Banasree area in Rampura in a gold smuggling case filed with the Airport police station.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of DB police Manjur Murshed said the arrest was made following confessional statement of Biman technician Abdus Sattar.
A large number of level-crossings have illegally sprung up over the years in the eastern zone of Bangladesh Railway allegedly due to lax monitoring of the authorities concerned.
The unapproved level-crossings have increased the risk of accidents by manifolds as some 50 trains leave and reach Chittagong Railway Station every day.
According to the Bangladesh Railway, over 65% level crossings situated in eastern zone of Bangladesh Railway were constructed without approval from the authorities concerned.
Authorities at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University yesterday declared the institution closed for five days starting tomorrow after cracks developed in one of its dormitories following the January 4 earthquake.
The decision came in an emergency meeting between the university’s department heads and teachers, led by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Md Alauddin.
Sylhet divisional fire service office is not properly equipped with appliances and equipment to conduct swift rescue operation as the area is situated on the danger zone of earthquake.
Despite having allotted two sophisticated ladders for the unit one year ago, they are yet to manage a garage for the machinery and in absence of which they could not bring those to the district finally.
They are a turntable ladder and a snorkel ladder which are considered very effective equipment to carry out rescue drives during any earthquake-ensued disasters.
After battling to stay alive for over a month, Jahangir Alam succumbed to his injuries on February 26, 2015, in the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, a grizzled old rickshaw-puller tells this correspondent.
“Forty—six percent of Jahangir’s body was covered in burns after his truck was firebombed in Char Matha, Bogra town, on January 23 last year,” 60-year-old rickshaw puller Syed Ali says, recalling the events that lead to his only son’s painful and untimely death.