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Category — Bangladesh

Hub Press Club bombed amid newspaper blockade in Balochistan

By Muhammad Zafar in The Express Tribune, Oct 26, 2017
QUETTA: Suspected militants hurled a hand grenade at the press club in Hub, an industrial town on the outskirts of Karachi on Wednesday night amid reports that newspapers could not be delivered throughout Balochistan – including the provincial capital – for the second day in row.

According to police, suspected militants hurled a hand grenade at the Hub Press Club, which landed near the peripheral wall of the compound. The wall was damaged, while windows of the building were shattered by the thud of the blast, but no one was injured.

Security forces rushed to the site and started investigation.

Meanwhile, local and national newspapers could not be distributed for a second consecutive day on Wednesday in Quetta and elsewhere in Balochistan.

The Anjuman-e-Akhbar Froshan asked the publishers on Tuesday night not to send their newspapers to the market as hawkers were not willing to distribute the dailies in Quetta and its outskirts.

Similarly, transporters have also refused to deliver newspapers to other districts of Balochistan amid threats from Baloch terrorist groups. The newspapers market remained closed throughout the day on Wednesday as no agent and hawker turned up.

The Anjuman-e-Akhbar Froshan said their hawkers would not distribute newspapers unless their security was ensured.

Alarmed by the situation, the provincial administration has ordered deployment of paramilitary troops at the media houses and newspaper market following threats from proscribed terrorist groups that accuse the media of being biased against them.

The provincial police chief, Moazzam Jah Ansari, also convened a high-level meeting on the orders of Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri on Wednesday to review the situation created by threats to newspapers.

The meeting pored over suggestions regarding provision of security to the media houses, press clubs, offices of newspapers, newspaper market and journalists. The police chief said that they would ensure safety and security of the media houses and media persons at all costs.https://tribune.com.pk/story/1541753/1-hub-press-club-bombed-amid-newspaper-blockade-balochistan/

October 26, 2017   No Comments

DU prof emeritus decries ‘govt conspiracy to consolidate power using textbook reform’ By Shadma Malik in Dhaka Tribune,January 13, 2017

Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury claimed that the mistakes in the 2017 textbooks were intentionally placed by the government to consolidate its power.
Prof Serajul alleged that the textbook mistakes were not irresponsible acts to be blamed on individuals, rather a sinister tactic employed by the government.
“Of the three branches of our education stystem, the mainstream (Bangla) is highly mistreated by the ruling party where the remaining (Madrasa, English Medium) are handled gingerly.”
A discussion titled “Scandal in textbooks and the future of Bangladesh” was organised by Bangladesh Chhatra Federation at the Munir Chowdhury auditorium in Dhaka University on Thursday.
The professor emeritus condemned the government, saying it had assented to the religious pressure group Hefazat-e-Islam’s demands. Prof Serajul claimed Hefazat’s recommendations regarding the textbook curriculum had been implemented by the government.
At the discussion, Prof Serajul compared the textbook saga with former British and Pakistani regimes’ attempts at consolidating their power with so-called “education reforms.”
“Where they failed, the ruling government succeeded,” Prof Serajul stated.
Prof Serajul’s allegations were well-received by the discussion group. The speakers vowed to set up an education movement against the government.
They said the education movement would be similar to ones against the Pakistani government before 1971.
Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan, associate professor of International Relations at DU, echoed Prof Serajul’s remarks.
He said: “There are no substantial achievements by the government. That is why spread such flowery remarks about the prime minister on the back pages of textbooks.”
“The NCTB curriculum has destroyed the creative thinking capacity of our youth,” Prof Tanzimuddin added.
The discussion was attended by Bangladesh Chhatra Front, Chhatra Union and Chhatra Maitri along with the Bangladesh Chhatra Federation.http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/education/2017/01/12/govt-power-textbook-mistakes/

January 13, 2017   No Comments

Nasirnagar attacks: Amnesty calls for Rasraj’s release Report on Dhaka Tribune, Jan 13, 207

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for immediate and unconditional release Rasraj Das, arrested over last year’s attack on Hindus in Brahmanbaria’s Nasirnagar.
The 25-year-old fisherman was arrested on October 30 and charged with “hurting religious sentiment.”
A Brahmanbaria court rejected Rasraj’s bail application on January 3. The next hearing is scheduled for January 16.
In a statement on Thursday, the London-based rights body urged the Bangladesh government to “promptly investigate the attacks on the Hindu community.”
It also asked to “bring those suspected of responsibility to account in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty.”
Also Read- Chairman Ankhi confesses paying for vandals’ truck
A mob attacked Hindu-dominated localities in Nasirnagar on October 30, injuring more than 100 people and damaging at least 17 temples and over 50 houses over a post shared on Facebook from Rasraj’s profile.
In a report, police concluded that the illiterate fisherman had not uploaded the image.
The owner of a cyber cafe was arrested for his alleged role in uploading the controversial morphed photo. So far, 106 people have been arrested.
http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/01/13/nasirnagar-attack-hindus-amnesty-calls-rasrajs-release/

January 13, 2017   No Comments

Stranded Pakistanis demand relocation: by SM Najmus Sakib in Dhaka Tribune, Jan 12, 2017

Urdu-speaking people of Bangladesh yesterday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the speaker of parliament, demanding relocation of the community’s people before the start of any eviction drive.

As part of their “Walk towards National Parliament” programme, the Urdu Speaking Youth Rehabilitation Movement (USYRM) yesterday brought out a procession towards the Jatiya Sangsad around noon from the Geneva Camp, popularly known as Bihari Camp, at Mirpur 11 in Dhaka.

However, they were barred by police at the Mirpur 10 intersection where they held a short rally. From there, a five-member delegation of the stranded Pakistanis escorted by police went to the parliament and submitted the memorandum to representatives of the PM and the speaker.

At the rally, Sadakat Khan Fakka, president of USYRM, said: “In 2014, the prime minister assured us of relocation before launching any eviction at our camp.

“But the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, and the Ministry of Housing and Public Works have started plot distribution ignoring our plea. The Housing Ministry started plot distribution hiding camp location, luring expatriate Bangladeshis to take our shelter away driving out our people.”

Elaborating the sufferings of the community, Sadakat said: “Even local politicians often kill camp residents. They torch our houses locking them from outside, burn us to death. There is no accountability for killing a Bihari as the torching alive of 13 Biharis in Mirpur two years back proves.”

He said more than 100,000 people are currently residing at the Mirpur Geneva Camp where the ministries are distributing plots. “If we are evicted without being rehabilitated, these people will face untold sufferings.”

He said: “In 1972, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman allocated the area at Mirpur (sections 10,11,12) under Pallabi thana and elsewhere in the capital, under the initiative of Red Crescent Society, for setting up Geneva Camp for the Biharis who were being persecuted at the time since the end of Liberation War. And since then we have been living there.

“We will launch a tough movement if our demand is not met.”

Supporting the demand of Urdu-speaking people, Khalequzzaman, secretary of Bangladesh Socialist Party, urged the government to pay heed to the stranded Pakistanis’ sufferings, and to take measures to relocate them at any possible area in Dhaka.

Among others, leftist leader Saiful Haque, Shahidulla Kaisar, central committee member of Nagorik Oikya, Fahim Hossain Raju, president of Urdu-speaking Student Movement, addressed the rally.http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/01/12/stranded-pakistanis-demand-relocation/

January 12, 2017   No Comments

Nasirnagar Mayhem:’Organiser’ UP chairman held report in the daily star, Jan 6,2017

Brahmanbaria:  Dewan Atiqur Rahman Ankhi, allegedly an organiser of the October 30 hate attack on Hindus in Nasirnagar, was arrested in the capital’s Bhatara yesterday.

A patrol team from Bhatara Police Station in the early hours detained Ankhi, chairman of Haripur Union Parishad in Brahmanbaria and also a local ruling Awami League leader.

Officials then contacted the detectives from Brahmanbaria who were already in Dhaka to detain him, said Mafidul Islam, officer-in-charge (DB) of the district police.

Iqbal Hossain, additional superintendent of police in Brahmanbaria, told this newspaper that the arrest of Ankhi is a big success as they believe the motive, masterminds and main instigators would be found through interrogating him.

According to the ASP, Ankhi is “one of the key instigators and organisers” of the attack that left more than a hundred Hindu houses and some 17 temples vandalised and looted in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria over an anti-Islam post.

A team led by OC Mafidul took Ankhi to Brahmanbaria later in the day.

On November 29, police arrested Jahangir Alam, owner of Al-Amin Cyber Point and Studio at Horinber Bazar in Haripur, who allegedly played an active role in inciting locals against Hindus after the post appeared on the Facebook wall of Hindu fisherman Rasraj Das.

Police say someone else uploaded it using the account of Rasraj as part of a conspiracy.

In his confessional statement at the Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court in Brahmanbaria on December 8, Jahangir said Ankhi ordered him to gather people and hire trucks for the attack.

On October 29, four to five trucks were hired, and people gathered through an announcement over a loudspeaker were taken from Haripur union to Nasirnagar upazila headquarters around noon.

Reaching the upazila headquarters, they burnt tyres to draw attention of people, distributed copies of the Facebook post and gave instigating speeches against the Hindu youth and his community, said local sources.

The following day, men of Ankhi and Jahangir came from Haripur on trucks and pickups and joined a rally at Ashutosh Pilot High School ground in the upazila.

A section of participants of the rally took part in the mayhem, witnesses and victims said.

In his statement, Jahangir also said Ankhi gave him Tk 10,000 for truck rents. He himself and four of his friends contributed Tk 11,000.

Police have so far arrested 109 people in the eight cases filed for the attack and six including Jahangir has so far given confessional statements in court. http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/brahmanbaria-mayhem-organiser-chairman-held-1341055

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Neo-JMB’s Marzan, 1 other killed in ‘gunfight’ with police report on bdnews24.com, Jan 6,2017

Nurul Islam Marzan, the Neo-JMB leader who is one of the key figures behind the Gulshan café attack, has been killed in a gunfight with police alongside an accomplice at Dhaka’s Mohammadpur.

The incident took place around 3am at Mohammadpur’s Beribadh area, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s counter-terror unit chief Monirul Islam told bdnews24.com on Friday morning.

He said they managed to confirm the identity of Marzan but could not identify his associate.

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2017/01/06/neo-jmbs-marzan-1-other-killed-in-gunfight-with-police

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Hasina blames Jamaat for Gaibandha MP Liton’s murder

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directly blamed Jamaat-e-Islami for the murder of Gaibandha MP Manjurul Islam Liton.
The Awami League chief spoke about Liton’s activities to prevent Jamaat in the northern district at a meeting in the Ganabhaban on Wednesday.

“He (Liton) was always there against the Jamaat. Even Ghulam Azam wanted to hold a meeting there, but he didn’t let it happen. He prevented it,” the prime minister said.

“Since then, the Jamaat has been irked at him. There were several attempts to kill him. And now they (Jamaat) have finally succeeded,” she added.

Ruling Awami League lawmaker Liton was shot by unidentified assailants at his home at Shahbaz in Gaibandha’s Sundarganj Upazila last Saturday. He died in the hospital after one and a half hours. Witnesses said five youths took part in the killing mission.
The Awami League leaders have been blaming the Jamaat since the beginning, but the party has denied the allegation, saying the ruling party actually wants to hide the real culprits.

Liton’s sisters have urged the law-enforcing agencies to consider all angles in the investigation into the murder.

But Liton’s wife Syeda Khurshid Jahan Smrity, a leader of Gaibandha Mohila Awami League, has also pointed the finger at the Jamaat.

She told the media on Tuesday that Liton foiled former Jamaat chief and convicted war criminal Ghulam Azam’s rally in Sundarganj in 1998 and the Jamaat murdered her husband to take revenge.

“Jamaat goon Hefza, who had been injured in firing by him (Liton) at the time (of foiling the rally), and many other notorious Jamaat thugs had been threatening to kill Liton through mobile-phone messages and calls,” she said.

This is the first time in a decade that any ruling MP has been murdered. Awami League MPs Ahsanullah Master and former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria were murdered in Gazipur in 2004 and in Habiganj in 2005 respectively.

Several BNP leaders have been convicted for Ahsanullah murder and accused in Kibria murder case.

Hasina said the BNP, a key ally of Jamaat, was doing the ‘politics of murder’. “Killing is in the BNP’s character,” the prime minister said.

She urged the leaders of her Awami League party to be alert over assassination plots.

“I don’t know what plans they (BNP and Jamaat) have in mind. They have turned to secret murders after failing to topple the government through movement,” she said.

Speaking about the shooting of a boy by Liton, the prime minister said he was a ‘victim of character assassination’.

On Oct 2, 2015, fourth grader Shahdat Hossain Sourav was shot at both legs while walking early in the morning with his uncle in Sundarganj. The shots were allegedly fired from MP Liton’s gun. The boy took treatment at Rangpur Medical College Hospital for a long time.

MP Liton had to spend some days in jail in a case started by Sourav’s father over the shooting.

Hasina said, “It pains me how the newspapers wrote about the incident and conducted the character assassination of Liton.”

“No one revealed the actual incident. Actually he (Liton) was ambushed. The boy was injured in the shooting at that time,” the prime minister claimed.

She said the media ‘exaggerated’ the issue.

“After the case was started, his gun licence was taken back. After the seizure of his gun, he was always in panic of attack. And just that thing has happened now. He has been shot dead at home,” the prime minister said. Addressing the reporters, she said, “Carry out character assassination if you want to, but please don’t do something which can cause the loss of life.”  http://bdnews24.com/politics/2017/01/05/hasina-blames-jamaat-for-gaibandha-mp-liton-s-murder

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Why foreign operatives active in sovereign Bangladesh, asks Khaleda Report in Prothom Alo, Jan 2, 2017

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday called on the activists of her party’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) to resist conspiracy against the country.

“It’s you who should resist the conspiracy against the country. You the youths and students should tell the masses what these people (incumbents) are doing. You must rise up,” she said addressing the founding anniversary programme of the JCD in the capital.

Also the former prime minister, Khaleda alleged, “They [AL] are conspiring to destroy the country in a planned manner with the assistance of them [India] the way Lhendup Dorjee did [allowing Sikkim to merge with India]. She [Hasina] might do worse than Dorjee.”

Khaleda Zia also called on them to make them prepared for street agitation to be launched at an opportune time.

Khaleda claimed the proclamation of independence was made by late president Ziaur Rahman, although it was not his duty to proclaim the independence. “The onus was on the politicians of that time, who were bargaining for power at that time.”

“They should have proclaimed independence when they saw the bargaining fell apart and attacks were made on Bengalis,” said the BNP leader.

Khaleda went on to say, “His [Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s] fellow politicians requested him time and again to declare the independence. Even after that he didn’t make the declaration.”

“He wanted to be the prime minister of Pakistan, not of Bangladesh,” said the former prime minister.

Khaleda also claimed that the people joined the liberation war in response to the call of Zia.

She pointed out that the AL is continuously carrying out a smear campaign against Zia. “I won’t say anything about that. The people will come to know how ugly they are.”

She claimed Zia announced the proclamation of independence and after the liberation he returned to the barrack without clinging to power.

She also shed some light on how hundreds of country people suffered during the feminine of 1974.

Dwelling on the “misdeeds” of the present AL regime, Khaleda Zia said the AL government is enacting new laws one after another to cling to power.

In reference to extra judicial killings, she alleged that it is the police who shot them to death after taking them to a certain place.

“Killing and enforced disappearance must be stopped. The police should be told “you should not shoot people to death”.”

Calling the members of the police to stop shooting at whims every now and then, Khaleda alleged the police oftentimes shoot youths in their legs.

“They [members] are also Bangladeshis. How they can shoot their fellow citizens in their legs. Or, are they not Bangladeshis?” asked Khaleda as with the audience giving a huge applause.

“People have every doubt whether they are Bangladeshis. People also want to know how many foreign intelligence operatives are active here. We need to know this. Why will there be foreign operatives in Bangladesh? Foreign operatives can’t be active here. It is a sovereign and independent country.”

She was also critical of the killing of Bangladeshis by India’s Border Security Force personnel and ridiculed Bangladeshi intelligentsia for not speaking out against the border killing.

In oblique reference to the killing of Gaibandha AL MP Manjurul Islam Liton, Khaleda said, “I don’t want to know who is AL and who is BNP. They are humans. I want that all the killing must be stopped.”

About the reconstitution of the election commission, Khaleda said, “A neutral election commission is not enough. Apart from it, a neutral election-time government is required to ensure a free and fair election.”

Khaleda asked students to tell the people, farmers about the misdeeds of the AL.

“You need to a vow to save the country from the hands of looter and killer government.”

In reference to a video that went on viral on the internet depicting how the members of the police were setting fire to the Gaibandha Santal houses, Khaleda said it suggests that they did the same thing during the street agitation by the BNP-led alliance.

“In order to misguide the people, this police made the arson attacks and killed the people,” she added.

The former prime minister alleged that a game and a conspiracy is on centring on the country.

She said the people will never forgive those who are “conspiring to hand over the country to a foreign force.”

The BNP chairperson hoped that she will lead the party to return to power through reorganising it and waging a movement in due time.

“I had led the anti-Ershad movement. I was on the streets with you [people]. I had brought the BNP to power thrice. The party will be brought to power again through reorganising it and giving leadership to those who are qualified,” she said. http://en.prothom-alo.com/bangladesh/news/134693/Why-foreign-operatives-active-in-sovereign

January 2, 2017   No Comments

Ershad: Next general polls could be my last one By Afrose Jahan Chaity in The Dhaka Tribune, Jan 2, 2017

Jatiya Party (JaPa) Chairman HM Ershad Sunday said the next general election could be the last one of his life.

Vowing to run for the national election independently, Ershad said: “I am at the fag end of my life. I don’t know how much time is left. Next parliamentary polls could be the last one for me.”

He also said he wants to live with his party and expects nothing else from life.

Once a dictator, Ershad said: “I have dedicated my life to this party. I don’t want to come into state power to become more influential. I want to keep Jatiya Party alive.”

Ershad was addressing a programme in the capital’s Suhrawardy Uddan yesterday to mark JaPa’s 31st founding anniversary.

He even gave a justification about taking over the state power and, thus, highlightinghis plans to develop the country.

Ershad declared 14 pledges, especially including those of establishment of provincial government, reforming electoral system, full-fledged upazila system, electricity and gas facilities to every household, employment, rehabilitation accommodation (Guchchhograam) in every upazila, and quota system for religious minorities in cabinet.

Chaired by Dhaka South city JaPa President Syed Abu Hossain Babla, the programme was inaugurated by Ershad where Raushan Ershad, JaPa senior co-chairman, her deputy G M Quader and the party’s general secretary ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader, among others, also addressed

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/01/02/ershad-next-general-polls-last-one/

 

January 2, 2017   No Comments

Gaibandha MP shot dead at home: Report in The Daily Star, Jan 1, 2017

Manzurul Islam Liton, ruling Awami League lawmaker of Gaibandha-1 constituency, was killed after unknown assailants opened fire on him inside his home at Sundarganj upazila of the district yesterday evening.

Four men stormed the MP’s home in Bamondanga area around 6:00pm and shot him when he was in his guest room, said Atiar Rahman, officer-in-charge of Sundarganj Police Station.

Liton’s brother-in-law, Bedarul Ahsan, said four men arrived at the gate of the lawmaker’s home on two bikes after Magrib prayers and said that they wanted to meet the AL leader.

Later, they stormed the guest room and shot Liton, who was having tea there, he said, adding that all the attackers had their faces covered with scarf. They shot him at close range.

“I was talking to my sister [wife of Liton]. Suddenly, there were gun shot sounds,” Bedarul said, adding that he then heard the lawmaker calling for help.

“When I entered the room, I saw him [Liton] lying on the floor. By that time, the attackers had fled on the bikes firing shots in the air,” he added.

Critically injured Liton was rushed to the Rangpur Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead at 7:30pm, head of the hospital’s surgery department Bimal Kumar Roy said.  Bimal said five bullets had penetrated the MP. Two had hit him in the chest while the others went in his left hand.

Police could not immediately give any specific reason behind the attack.

Asked whether the incident had anything to do with internal conflict of the local AL or militancy, Ashraful Islam, superintendent of police in Gaibandha, said they were investigating the matter.

Talking to The Daily Star around 12:30am today, he said several of their teams were working and two suspects had been picked up.

A two-member AL delegation went to Gaibandha last night from Dhaka to enquire about the incident, BM Muzammel Haque, a member of the delegation, told The Daily Star. The other member is Jahangir Kabir Nanok.

PROTESTS: Leaders and activists of local AL and its associate bodies demonstrated at several places in Gaibandha and Sundarganj upazila last night.

Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque said the perpetrators would be arrested soon.He claimed that yesterday’s incident happened after MP Liton had asked a police team guarding his home to leave.

Liton had drawn widespread flak after he allegedly shot a 10-year-old boy in Gaibandha on October 2, last year.

Sourav Mia, son of Sazu Miah of Gopalcharan village in Sundarganj, was shot twice in his legs.

Sazu filed an attempted murder case against Liton the following day.

Liton was arrested on October 14 at Uttara in the capital.Born in Shahbaz Masterpara area in Bamondanga of Sundarganj in 1968, Liton became a lawmaker of Gaibandha-1 through the January-5 national elections in 2014.Liton mentioned farming and business as his profession in his affidavit submitted to the Election Commission.

Earlier, two AL lawmakers — Ahsanullah Master and Shah AMS Kibria–were killed in 2004 and 2005.On May 7, 2004, gunmen shot dead Ahsanullah, also the then president of Jatiya Sramik League at Noagaon near the legislator’s house in Tongi.  On January 27, 2005, former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria was killed in a grenade attack during a public meeting in Habiganj.http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/gaibandha-mp-shot-dead-home-1338601

January 2, 2017   No Comments