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Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300
Magh 11, 1420
Rabiul Awal 22, 1435
Regd. No. DA 6238
Vol 1 No 300
Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300 FRIDAY,


Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300 FRIDAY,

20 pages plus 32-page weekend supplement | Price: Tk10

Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300 FRIDAY,


Judge acquitting Tarique now in Malaysia

ACC tracks him after verifying travel papers

  • n Syed Samiul Basher Anik

Recently retired special judge Mota- her Hossain who acquitted BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman from a money laundering case is now staying in Malaysia, an ACC o cial said. The anti-graft body had launched a probe against Motaher Hossain follow- ing a “speci c allegation” scrutinised by three-member ACC team that found evidences of irregularity. “The commission came to know that the judge left the country after 53 days of delivering the judgement on the money laundering case. He left the country for Malaysia on January 8,” ACC Deputy Director and Inquiry Of- cer of the case Harun-ur-Rashid told reporters yesterday.

The judgment said Tarique
was acquitted from charges because he had mentioned the amount in his wealth submitted to the ACC

ACC sources said the commission got the information on his current position after scrutinising his travel documents. The allegations against the judge are amassing illegal wealth, abusing judicial power, earning huge wealth contradictory to his known source of income and amassing movable and immovable property in his and others’ names, the ACC Commissioner M Sha- habuddin said. The ACC imposed a bar on foreign trips of the former judge. But the judge had left the country before the ACC re- stricted his departure from the country. According to ACC document, the judge’s son studies in London. Mota- har bought a house in London. He also bought two apartments in Dhanmondi and has a lot of land in his village Natore.

The inquiry o cer briefed the re- porters yesterday after completion of questioning two of the stenographers from the speedy trial tribunal 4 and Special Judge’s Court 3 in connec- tion with the inquiry into the “illegal” wealth of the retired judge. The commission has taken state- ments from the two stenographers - M Abu Hasan of speedy trial tribunal 4 and M Nurul Islam of Special Judge’s Court 3. Meanwhile, the commission yes- terday served notices to the driver and bodyguard of the former judge to question them in connection with the alleged irregularity. ACC Deputy Director Har- un-ur-Rashid served notices to the judge’s bodyguard Badal Dewan and driver Shohrab Hossain to appear be- fore the commission on January 27 to give statements related to the inquiry. Judge Motaher Hossain, on No- vember 17 acquitted Tarique Rahman and sentenced his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years imprison- ment and ned him Tk40crore in a money laundering case involving Tk20.41 crore. The judgment said Tarique was ac- quitted from charges because he had mentioned the amount in his wealth submitted to the ACC. The ACC led the money laundering case on October 26, 2009 on charge of siphoning o Tk204.1m to Singapore between 2003 and 2007. The High Court on Sunday ordered BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman to surrender to the trial court in the money laundering case. The High Court accepted the peti- tion lodged by the ACC that appealed against the lower court verdict that ac- quitted Tarique in the money launder- ing case. l


A year has passed since the Tazreen Fashions blaze. A victim brings her seven-month-old son to join a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday, demanding

compensation for the a ected families


New ‘opposition’ ahead of JS sitting

  • n Kamran Reza Chowdhury

Sixteen newly-elected independent MPs yesterday formed an alliance with an aim to make “constructive criti- cism” of the treasury bench as the 10th Jatiya Sangsad goes into session on January 29. Awami League’s renegade candidate Hazi Md Selim (Dhaka 7 constituency) is the president of the new group. Jatiya Party (JaPa) Senior Presidium member Rawshan Ershad has already become the opposition leader, but her party has three representatives in the cabinet, raising criticism about its role as the opposition in parliament. In parliamentary practices, a par- ty ceases its opposition status if any

of its MPs takes part in the cabinet. The new alliance will now nominate candidates for the elections to wom- en’s reserve seats. Quamrul Ashraf Khan (Narsingdi 2) and Rustom Ali Forazi (Pirojpur 3) are the two vice-presidents while Razi Mohammad Fakhrul (Comilla 4) is the member secretary of the awlliance. Thirteen MPs yesterday had a meet- ing with Abdus Shahid, chief whip of the ninth parliament, and informed him about the decision on formation of the group. Three other MPs – Yousuf Abdullah Haroon (Comilla 3), Abul Kalam Azad (Gaibandha 4) and Swapan Bhattacha- riya (Jessore 5) – have also consented to joining the group, its leaders say.

Hazi Selim told the Dhaka Tribune that the alliance would tell “white is white and black is black.” But several MPs having no link with the Awami League politics told the Dhaka Tribune that they would praise the government for its actions while vehemently oppose the treasury bench’s “anti-people” decisions. “Primarily, we have constituted the group to nominate candidates for the elections to women’s reserve seats,” said Hazi Selim. “It will continue in parliament.” According to the law on election of the reserved seats, each of the political parties will get share of the 50 women MPs according to the party strength.


Field admin in acute crisis of manpower

  • n Mohosinul Karim and Rabiul Islam

Field administration in the districts across the country has been struggling hard for a long time to serve people due to severe shortage of senior o cials. Many posts of senior assistant com- missioner and assistant commissioner (land) at the deputy commissioners’ (DC) o ces have been lying vacant for a long time. O cials say they cannot conduct drives against adulteration and illegal establishments because of the lack of adequate manpower.






  • 3 A Dhaka court yesterday deferred

for the eighth time the proceedings in a case led for attempted murder of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the prosecution could not produce the last witness before the court.


B1 Import expenditure grew marginally in the political unrest-hit year of 2013, bouncing back from a negative growth in the previous year, due to increased imports of capital machinery and food items.


  • 6 At least 300 bighas of land are losing

topsoil every year, which is being used to manufacture bricks at 31 brick kiln elds in ve upazilas under the district.


  • 9 Indian police have arrested 13 people

over the gang-rape of a 20-year-old woman, who was allegedly assaulted on the orders of tribal elders, police said Thursday.


  • 11 Something must be seriously wrong

in our understanding of our nation.


  • 12 Suchitra Sen in her own words: I had

a good friendship with Uttam Kumar, a

deep one.

Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300 FRIDAY,

Hasina assures safety to minority communities

  • n Emran Hossain Shaikh,

from Jessore

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yester- day assured security to the minority communities and warned of stern ac- tions against the perpetrators of post- poll violence. Addressing a rally at the Shongkor- pasha High School grounds in Jessore, she said: “You [the minorities] are the sons of this land; you have full rights

to live here. If someone tries to attack you, we will protect you. The govern- ment is always by your side.” “We have amended the constitution so that people of every religion can live in the country with equal rights,” she


Hasina also claimed that BNP Chair- person Khaleda Zia has “turned into the ameer of Jamaat” and had been conspir- ing against the people of Bangladesh. The premier alleged that Ja- maat-e-Islam, backed by Khaleda, was carrying out anti-Islamic activities in the name of Islam. She said Jamaat had previously been banned in Pakistan, after the organisa- tion carried out attacks on the coun- try’s minority communities. Hasina also claimed that 40-45% voters cast their ballots by ignoring Khaleda’s calls to stop the election. “The only thing she [Khaleda] could do was to burn people in the name of her party’s movement just to protest



Judicial commission nds BNP, Jamaat involved

  • n Rabiul Islam

The judicial commission formed to

probe the 2001 post-poll violence on

minorities and Awami League men found involvement of several leaders of the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami in the incidents. A senior o cial at the home minis-

try said nothing had so far been done following submission of the report by the judicial commission. If the recommendations of the re- port were implemented properly recur- rence of such attacks on minority peo-

ple just after an election might scale

down, the o cial said.

As a result, after the election on Jan-

uary 5 the minority people came under

attacks in various districts including Jessore, Dinajpur and Gaibandha, the o cial added. Following the 2001 post-poll vio- lence, a three-member judicial com- mission comprising M Shahabuddin (president), former deputy secretary of home ministry Monowar Hossain Akhand and former additional DIG Mir

Shahidul Islam (now DIG police), was formed on December 27, 2009 to probe the violence. Although three months were given to complete the investigation, the com- mission worked on it for one year and

three months.

“We handed over the probe report to

the then former home minister Sahara


Magh 11, 1420 Rabiul Awal 22, 1435 Regd. No. DA 6238 Vol 1 No 300 FRIDAY,




Friday, January 24, 2014


Order on petitions for changing trial court on Monday

  • n Nazmus Sakib

The High Court has set Monday for passing an order on the defence’s pe- titions that had earlier sought the changing of the trial court that had xed January 30 for delivering verdict in two cases related to the recovery of ten-truck arms and ammunition. The bench of Justice Naima Haid- er and Justice Zafar Ahmed xed the date yesterday after hearing arguments from both sides over the pleas – led under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 – which also sought for complet- ing the cross-examination of a prosecu- tion witness. Supreme Court lawyers AJ Moham- mad Ali and Mohammad Ahsan repre- sented the petitioners – Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, Major (retd) Liakat Hos- sain, and Akbar Hossain, all of whom were accused in the case. Attorney General Mahbubey

Alam and Deputy Attorney General Khandaker Diliruzzaman argued for the state. Those accused in the cases and currently in jail, include former in- dustries minister Motiur Rahman Ni- zami, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, former directors general of the National Security Intel- ligence (NSI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim, former NSI directors Wing Commander (retd) Shahabuddin Ahmed and Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain, and eld o cer Akbar Hossain. Ahadur Rahman, the then o - cer-in-charge of Karnaphuli police sta- tion of Chittagong, lodged two cases on April 3, 2004 in connection with the incident of April 2, 2004, when the po- lice seized a huge cache of arms while it was being loaded on to 10 trucks from two engine-boats at the jetty of the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited. l

2 News Friday, January 24, 2014 TEN-TRUCK ARMS HAUL CASE Order on petitions for changing trial

A man is being treated at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital yesterday. The man, who is a gateman at Rajshahi University, received the injuries after miscreants blasted crude bombs

near the university’s Binotpur gate during rst year admission tests in the morning


38 Bangladeshis killed along border in 2013: BGB chief

  • n Our Correspondent, Jessore

The director general of Border Guard Bangladesh yesterday said at least 38 Bangladeshis were killed last year along the country’s frontier with India. Major General Aziz Ahmed revealed the information at a press conference held at the Jessore headquarters of 26 BGB Battalion. The border chief also said the BGB was constructing around 65 tin-shed buildings at Malopara in Abhaynagar, including two in Monirampur, where two women were raped recently. The structures are expected to be completed by mid-March, he added. l

Hindu idols damaged in Barisal, Sylhet

  • n Tribune Report

Unidenti ed miscreants damaged sev- en idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Barisal and Sylhet yesterday. In Barisal, four idols of a Hindu tem- ple located at the Maddhya Rajarchar area of Charmonai union was damaged sometime before the dawn. Bijoy Krishna Haldar, president of Maddhya Rajarchar Durga-Kali Mandir, said he found the idols of Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh partially damaged when he went to the temple early in the morning. Police were informed of the matter but no case was led until yesterday evening. Meanwhile, miscreants vandalised three Hindu idols in two temples in Sylhet, the rst temple located in the divisional city while the second in Dakshin Surma upazila. Additional Deputy Commission- er of Sylhet Metropolitan Police Md Ayub said police were trying to nab the individ- uals responsible for the attacks. l

New ‘opposition’ ahead of JS sitting


The independent candidates can also get shares in case of forming an alli- ance. “We have formed the group to main- tain a discipline in the House. We will collectively push issues of public im- portance,” Rustom Ali Forazi, a former BNP lawmaker, told the Dhaka Tribune. “The independent MPs have free- dom to praise or condemn the govern- ment. So, we will support the govern- ment for good works and oppose for bad decisions,” he said. Quamrul Ashraf, having no signif- icant political background, said the group would put its e orts to serve as an opposition in parliament. But, he said, it would praise the government, too, for its people-oriented moves. In the rst parliament of 1973, at least ve MPs tried to form an opposi- tion group against the Awami League government that won 287 seats out of the total 300 seats. Its leader Ataur Rahman Khan of Bangladesh Jatiya League demanded recognition as the opposition leader. But according to the announcement of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rah- man made on April 12, 1973, at least 10 MPs, be it independent or belonging to any party, could constitute an opposi- tion grouping in parliament. l

HC grants interim bail to Mahbub

  • n Nazmus Sakib

The High Court yesterday granted bail

to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s ad- viser and Vice-Chairman of Bangladesh Bar Council Khandker Mahbub Hossain in a case for instigating violence and obstructing police in performing their duties. In response to a bail plea, an HC bench comprising Justice Naima Haid- er and Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order. The bench issued a rule asking the

government to explain why the ac- cused-petitioner should not be grant- ed permanent bail in the case. The interim bail granted to Mahbub would remain in force until disposal of the rule, as per the court order. On January 4, a day before the 10th parliamentary election, miscreants hurled 10-12 crude bombs targeting the o ce of Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Ramna Division) Maruf Hossain and the next day police led the case with Ramna police station under the Explosive

Substances Act. On January 7, plainclothes police ar- rested Mahbub as soon as he came out of the National Press Club after attend- ing a discussion meeting on the Janu- ary 5 parliamentary polls. Meanwhile, upon a separate writ petition, another HC bench compris- ing Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Habibul Gani has directed the law enforcers to refrain from fur- ther harassing Mahbub or showing him arrested in cases where he was not an accused. l

Secretaries propose creating 709 new posts

  • n Mohosinul Karim

  • Di erent government o ces are going

to recruit at least 709 new o cials and

employees shortly. The secretaries committee on ad- ministrative development yesterday decided to recommend the government for creation of 709 posts of o cers. The decision came at the committee meeting held yesterday at the secretar- iat’s cabinet conference room. Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, who is also chief of the committee, chaired the meeting while members of the com- mittee and senior o cials of the cabi- net division and ministries attended. Cabinet Division’s Additional Sec-

retary Nazrul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune the committee approved all

proposals placed at the meeting from separate ministries and divisions. Only one proposal was deferred for the next meeting. The proposals have already got clearance from the Public Administra- tion Ministry and Finance Division. The cabinet division will send rec- ommendations to the Prime Minister’s O ce for approval, he added. According to the cabinet division of- cials, the proposal of Finance Division suggested creating 600 posts of auditor for upazila Accounts o ces, Chief Ac- countant o ces, Divisional Controller of Accounts o ces and District Ac- counts o ces under Controller General

of Accounts o ce. Of them, there will be 408 auditors for 408 upazila Accounts o ces, 106 for new 31 Chief Accountant o ces, 23 for six Divisional Controller of Accounts o ces and 63 for 42 District Accounts o ces. According to the Finance Division’s proposal, they have now 800 posts of auditors approved for 400 upazila Ac- count o ces. The government estab- lished eight new o ces recently. The other proposals approved in the meeting include 12 new posts for Rang- pur divisional o ce of BRTA, 42 posts for Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals, 47 for Brahman- baria deputy commissioner’s o ce, 12 for the Education Ministry and 11 for Madrasa Teachers Training Institute. l

JP (Manju) candidate wins Kurigram 4 poll

  • n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

Jatiya Party (Manju) candidate Md Ruhul Amin has won from Kurigram 4 constituency. According to uno cial results, Ruhul Amin has bagged 32,607 votes while his nearest Awami League candi- date Md Jakir Hossain got 24,939 votes in all 106 centres. Assistant Returning O cer of Kuri- gram 4 Abdul Hannan con rmed the results to the Dhaka Tribune. He said: “The average turnout was about 31%.” The reelections in two postponed cen- tres -- Roumari Keramotia Fazil Madra-

sah and Char Bandaber Government Pri- mary School in Roumari upazila – ended 4pm yesterday amid tight security. The voting started at 8am and con- tinued without any break. Earlier, the commission wanted to hold the voting at the two centres on January 16 but failed to do so when the High Court issued a stay-order regard- ing the re-poll. In the Kurigram 4 seat, Awami League candidate Jakir Hossain plead- ed the Election Commission to hold a re-polling in some centres. JP candidate Ruhul Amin bagged 30,544 votes and Awami League candidate Jakir Hossain bagged 23,946 in the last poll. l

Ershad expresses gratitude to Hasina for new job

  • n Manik Miazee

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yes- terday expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for appointing him as her special envoy, while volun- teering to forgo the perks of the job. “We have to move forward leaving behind the disgraceful events of the past. The prime minister has taken me along for the journey. I will try my best to uphold that honour,” Ershad said in a statement yesterday. The former president also stated

that he did not want any personal facil- ities as the PM’s special envoy. “I do not need a government resi- dence and vehicle. I want to discharge my duties with the facilities I am get- ting as an MP,” the newly elected law- maker said. Ershad said he would try to work wholeheartedly to uphold the coun- try’s image. “I want to place the democratic mentality and liberal outlook of the people of Bangladesh to the world,” the erstwhile dictator said. l

Judicial commission nds BNP, Jamaat involved


Khatun on April 24, 2011,” Member Sec- retary AKM Monowar Hossain Akhand told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The complete report comprises ve pieces having a total of 1100 pages. “We prepared the report visiting around 35 to 40 districts.” The judicial body during its probe into the 2001 post-poll violence re- ceived 5,571 allegations of killing, rape, arson and looting by activists of the then ruling BNP-Jamaat alliance and it took into account 3,125 allegations, Chief of the Commission M Shahabud- din Chuppu said. “During the probe, we found a total of 355 politically motivated murders while 3,270 incidents of rape, arson, looting and other atrocities,” he said. The commission also found the in- volvement of some BNP and Jamaat leaders in the attacks on minorities and oppression on Awami League workers after the parliamentary polls in 2001. Shahabuddin said the names of BNP leaders Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, former home minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Abdul Wadud, Joynal Abedin (known as VP Joynal of Feni), Nadim Mostafa, HM Selim of Bager- hat, Maulana Shakhawat Hossain of Keshabpur in Jessore, Abdus Sobhan of Pabna, Maj (retd) Ha z Uddin Ahmed, Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, Ha z Ibrahim and Zahir Uddin Swapan were mentioned in the report. Jamaat leaders Matiur Rahman Nizami, Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher of Comilla and Delwar Hossain Sayedee were among the leaders who

led the atrocities on minority people and AL workers, he added. “We recommended bringing the people involved in post-poll violence in 2001 under trial, lling cases against the accused and restoring the cases withdrawn on political consideration, and providing compensation to the victims of political attacks,” the mem- ber secretary said. He also said the judicial commission also suggested forming short-term in- vestigation committees or investiga- tion commissions at district level in- volving additional district magistrate, additional police and an executive magistrate to probe the incidents of po- litical violence and attacks on minority, and setting up a monitoring cell at the home ministry to coordinator the tasks of the probe bodies. If the recommendation of the report was implemented, the incidents of at- tacks on minority might decrease, the chief of the commission noted. Asked about the steps by the home ministry, additional secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune that the law ministry was taking steps. Meanwhile, the High Court on Wednesday ordered the home secre- tary to submit within February 2 the ju- dicial probe report into the attacks that were carried out on the minorities and the then opposition members follow- ing the eighth parliamentary elections on October 1, 2001. The court also issued a rule seeking an explanation by two weeks as to why it should not direct the government to make public the inquiry report. l

Field admin in acute crisis of manpower


Usually, the o cials have to spend a lot of time to provide protocol to min- isters, state ministers and persons with equal status visiting the areas. According to the o cials at DC o c- es, people su er the most on the issues related to land. The public administration ministry says against 1,800 posts of senior as- sistant secretaries, as many as 1,434 are working now. In the eld administration, more 700 to 800 assistant secretaries (assis- tant commissioners) are required to deliver services properly as only 1,091 have been working, said o cials. “We deliver various services in- cluding mutation of land, settlement of fallow land and other land-related problems,” an assistant commissioner (land), known as AC Land, under Bari-

sal division said yesterday seeking an- onymity. “A huge number of posts of AC Land have been lying vacant for long all over the country. As a result, the people are deceived a lot,” the o cial told the Dhaka Tribune over phone. For example, a senior o cial at the eld administration explains, every DC o ce has an allocation of ve to six se- nior assistant commissioners. Unfortu- nately, a single o cer has to do every- thing now, which is very di cult. According to the ministry, a total of 146 posts of AC Land out of 487 are now lying vacant. Out of the 146 posts, 11 are vacant in Dhaka division, 38 in Chittagong, 15 in Rajshahi, 28 in Rangpur, 22 in Barisal, 11 in Sylhet and 21 in Khulna division. The land ministry gives appoint- ment in the AC Land post.

In Narail DC o ce, there are nine posts of assistant commissioners. Now seven assistant commissioners are working there. But three o cers would leave the o ce soon for training. As a result, four o cers will have to do the day-to-day jobs of nine. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Dep- uty Commissioner Abdul Ga ar Khan said: “We are working hard to deliver services to the people.” A UNO from Kishoreganj district said they could not conduct drives be- cause of the shortage of o cers. Senior Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sik- der of public administration ministry is aware of the situation. “We have noth- ing to do unless new o cers are ap- pointed. We are working on it,” he told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. Things would change when the o cers, cur- rently in training, join work, he said. l

Hasina assures safety to minority communities


the election,” Hasina said, adding that BNP-Jamaat people had attacked cit- izens including the minorities simply because they had dared to vote. She added: “The BNP leader had said the people did not cast their votes, but why did she attack those who went to polling centre?” Hasina warned of stern actions against the perpetrators of the post- poll violence, saying: “The government will not allow any kind of killing, vio- lence or militancy. Necessary measures will be taken against those who engage in such activities.” She added: “The government will ensure the security of the people.”

She also accused Khaleda of “telling lies” and claimed that after changing her own and her husband’s birthdays, the BNP chief had also changed the date of the poll to May 5 from January 5. The prime minister further criti- cized Khaleda for her controversial comments about Gopalgonj district. “She is angry at Gopalgonj being the birth place of the father of the nation Bangabangdhu,” she said. Apparently hinting at Khaleda, Ha- sina also said the BNP chairperson had missed the ‘election train.’ “Golapi re Golapi, you have missed the train; Golapi is now not in the train,” she said. State Ministers Narayan Chandra

Chando, Asaduzzaman Khan, Biren Sikder, local MP Ranjit Kumar Roy, MP of Jessore 3 constituency Kazi Nabil Ahmed also addressed the rally, which was presided over by Ali Reza Razu, president of the AL’s Jessore district unit. During her visit to the district yes- terday, the premier also met with the victims of the attacks on the minority community in Malopara of Obhoynagar upazila, and handed Tk20,000 to Tk1 lakh to each of the victimised families. She also gave a cheque of Tk10 lakh to the family of Jubo League lead- er Alamgir Hossain Shimul, who was killed during the blockade by the oppo- sition alliance. l



Friday, January 24, 2014



Prosecution fails to produce lone witness again

  • n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred for the eighth time the proceedings in a case led for attempted murder of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the prosecution could not produce the last witness before the court. Dhaka’s Fourth Additional Metropolitan and Session’s Judge AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan deferred the date until February 26. Additional public prosecutor of the court ABM Bashir Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune that the witness, former metropolitan magistrate M Afzalur Rahman, had been sick. The trial proceedings have been delayed because of his non appearance for long. According to the case, some Freedom Party leaders and activists had tried to kill Sheikh Hasina at her residence in Dhanmondi by throwing grenades on August 11, 1989. Then security guard Habilder Md Jahirul Haque of the Awami League president led the case against some unknown accused with Dhanmondi police station the same day. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) pressed charge sheet on February 20, 1997. Investigation O cer Md Khalequzzaman, also assistant superintend of police, pressed the charges against Freedom Party chief Let Col (retd) Farooq Rahman, Maj Bazlul Huda and 16 others. Of the accused, Humayun Kabir, Mizanur Rahman, Khondoker Amirul Islam and Md Shajahan alias Balu were present before the court yesterday. The IO made 13 witnesses in the case. Of them, 12 witnesses have already given their depositions. But

the deposition of then metropolitan magistrate Afzalur, who had recorded confessional statements of three accused, has been pending as he is sick. The court on July 11 last year sent a warrant of arrest for his appearance, but he did not comply with the order. Of the accused, Sohel alias Freedom Sohel, Md Golam Sarwar alias Mamun and Joj Miah are now in jail. Five other accused absconding from the beginning are Lt Col (retd) Khondoker Rashid, Jafor Ahmed alias Manik, Syed Nazmul Maksud, Gazi Imam Hossain and Md Humayun Kabir. Main accused of the case, Let Col Syed Farooq Rahman and Maj Bazlul Huda, were hanged in Bangabandhu murder case on January 28, 2010. Two other accused – Gazi Liakat Hossain and Rezaul Islam Khan – have died. Of the accused, Humayun, Rezaul and Liakat made confessional statement on September 23, 1996 before the court. Judge Afzalur recorded the confessional statements. According to the case details, on the night of on August 11, 1989 some militants who are also leaders of the Freedom Party attacked the Dhanmondi 32 residence of the Awami League president to kill her. They chanted slogans in the name of Freedom Party. Hasina, now the prime minister, was at her house during the incident. At that time, the security guard of her house opened re. At rst, police submitted nal report in 1996 during the rst tenure of the Awami League government. After re- investigation, the CID submitted the charge sheet. The court framed the charges against the accused on July 16, 1997. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 ATTEMPT TO MURDER HASINA Prosecution fails to produce lone

Members of the Alliance against bT Brinjal form a human chain at the capital’s Shahbagh yesterday, demanding a stop to the production of the genetically engineered vegetable as it

poses risk to public health and the environment


ACC seeks a davits of seven MPs from EC

  • n Tribune Report

The Anti-Corruption Commission yes- terday served letters to the Election Commission, seeking a davits and in- formation from seven ruling party law- makers who are now on the ACC’s radar. The letters were served to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, and sought the 9th and 10th parliamentary election a davits of the seven lawmakers, an ACC o cial said. On Wednesday the ACC assigned seven of its o cials to inquire into the

phenomenal rise in wealth and assets of three former ministers, a state minister, and four MPs. It requested the information from former health minister AFM Ruhal Haq, former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman, and MPs Abdur Rahman Badi of Cox’s Bazar 4, Aslamul Haque of Dhaka 14, Enamul Haque of Rajshahi 4 and Abdul Jabbar of Satkhira 2. Meanwhile Dhaka 14 constituency lawmaker, Aslamul Haque, has sent a

formal letter to the ACC deputy direc- tor, and investigating o cer in his case, Sheikh Faiyaz Alam, requesting to meet him at the ACC headquarters on Janu- ary 27. After the Election Commission pub- lished the wealth statements, submit- ted by candidates last month ahead of the 10th parliamentary polls, the media reported large discrepancies between the information they had provided and their previous submissions for the 9th general election in 2008. Following news reports of huge increases in the fortunes of several

prominent Awami League men and their family members over the past ve years, the ACC started collecting newspaper clippings and analysing the relevant documents, ACC o cials said. The o cials said the ACC had started inquiries into the seven lawmakers, and would also eventually conduct inquiries into the dozens of other candidates and relatives who are suspected of accumu- lating riches illegally. Meanwhile a senior o cial from the Election Commission said they were taking initiatives to provide information to the ACC investigating o cers. l

Khaleda’s adviser Mintoo freed

  • n Our Correspondent, Gazipur

Abdul Awal Mintoo, an adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was freed from Dhaka Central Jail in Kashimpur yesterday. Kashimpur Jail part-1 Superintendent Abdul Kuddus said the BNP leader was freed around 7pm after veri cation of court paperwork. Family, relatives and party leaders greeted the BNP leader at the jail gate, witnesses said. Law enforcers held Mintoo on November 9 and later showed him arrested in a case led over arson and explosion during recent agitation. Earlier, BNP Joint Secretary Mahbub Uddin Khokan and former lawmaker Sakhawat Hossain Bokul were freed from Kashimpur Central Jail on Wednesday. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 ATTEMPT TO MURDER HASINA Prosecution fails to produce lone

Police stand guard outside the gates of Baitul Mukarram Mosque in the capital yesterday afternoon, following Jamaat-e-Islami’s

announcement to bring out processions


Swechchhasebak League leader hacked to death in capital

  • n Kailash Sarkar

The general secretary of Ramna Thana unit of Swechchhasebak League, the volunteer wing of the ruling Awami League, has been hacked to death by unidenti ed criminals in the capital’s Moghbazar last night. The victim, Mahbubur Rahman Rana, 32, was attacked by a gang in front of a mosque at Moghbazar intersection around 7:00pm. The criminals rst created a panic in the area by exploding several bombs, after hacking Rana with sharp weapons they ed the scene whilst ring blanks. Locals rushed him to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, where doctors declared him dead at around 7:30pm. According to witnesses, a gang of four criminals on two motorbikes intercepted Rana while he was passing

through the area on a motorcycle along with one of his associates named Ripon. The attack was carried out very quickly by the criminals, said the witnesses. Meanwhile, Ramna Police Station O cer-In-Charge Mashiur Rahman con rmed the death and said police were now trying to ascertain the reason behind the killing, and arrest the killers. Police also said they recovered a sharp weapon and two unexploded bombs at the scene after the killers left. Rana, a former Chhatra League leader and resident of Chairman Goli of Moghbazar, was involved with underground politics, said local and police sources. Police and locals suspect the killing might be a result of an intra-party feud over control of the area. l

EC decides to deploy army in upazila polls

Intelligence sees no possibility of violence

  • n Mohammad Zakaria

The Election Commission has decided to deploy army Border Guard Bangla- desh, Coast Guard, Rapid Action Bat- talion (RAB) and police as striking and mobile forces in the upazila poll. However, o cials of di erent intel- ligence agencies told the EC that they saw no possibility of violence in the upazila parishad polls as candidates of all political parties will join the election race. Army was deployed for ve days in the third upazila parishads polls. The commission will this time

deploy 14 security personnel at each polling centre. But 15 lawmen will be posted at each vulnerable centre while

17 at each centre of the Chittagong Hill

Tracts and Haor areas. The EC held a meeting with principle sta o cer of the Armed Forced Division, representatives of law enforcing agencies, intelligence agencies yesterday on the upazila parishads polls. A senior EC o cial who was pres- ent at the meeting said members of intelligence agencies assured of vio- lence-free upazila polls. The armed forces (Army and Navy) will remain deployed for ve days from February 17 to 21 as striking force as the rst phase of the polls to 102 upazila parishads will be held on February 19, the o cial said.

117 upazila polls on February 27

The second phase polls to 117 upazi- la parishads will be held on February 27, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddih Ahmad yesterday an- nounced. Electorates will elect their chair- men, vice-chairmen and vice-chair- men for the reserved seats for women in the upazila parishad polls. The last date of ling nomination is February 2 and the nomination will be scrutinised on February 4 while the last day of withdrawing nomination is February 11. “As the commission has a bad experience with the violence-infested parliamentary polls it has decided to deploy army in the upazila polls,” he said.

When asked about whether union parishad chairman, mayor of municipality and upazila parishads could participate in the polls without resigning their posts the CEC said they could but they could not use any facilities of local administration during the polls. However, EC o cials said the com- mission had decided to hold polls to 74 upazila parishads on March 15, 72 upazilas on March 25, 65 upazilas on March 31 and 57 upazila parishads on May 3. Polls to four upazila parishads were postponed as the local government and rural development ministry decided to re- x the demarcation of Rangpur sa- dar, Kaunia, Gangachar and Pirgacha upazila parishads. l

AL men’s houses burnt down after sermon

  • n Tribune Report

Alleged activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir launched an “inspired” attack on the houses of three Awami League men in Kurigram yesterday, following a sermon (mah l) by a local Jamaat leader lambast- ing the present government. Miscreants also cut down about 250 trees belonging to one of the victims. The incident took place at the Sarodob village of Holokhana union around 1:30am. Locals said Jamaat had orchestrat- ed the attack by organising a religious gathering and calling upon its supporters to wage jihad against what it called the “atheist” government.

The gathering was organised at the vil- lage’s Chhatkalua Government Primary School, in which Bhurungumari Jamaat leader Abdur Bari was the main speaker. In his speech, he said: “The current government is a collaborator of India, an atheist. They burnt down the holy Quran. So it’s our religious duty to ght a jihad against them.” One of the victims, Soljar Hossain, joint convenor of the union unit of Awa- mi League, said the attack was led by local Member Mokter Hossain, joined by more than a hundred Jamaat-Shibir men. “We ran for safety as soon as they launched the attack. They torched my two houses and cut down more than 250 of my trees,” he said. l

Third witness in Mir Kashem case on February 2

  • n Udisa Islam

The defence yesterday ended cross-ex- amination of the prosecution’s second witness who said war crimes suspect Mir Kashem and his cohorts had tor- tured pro-liberation people at Daleem Hotel in Chittagong City. Md Sanaullah Chowdhury, 67, gave his deposition at the International Crimes Tribunal 2 on January 16. After the end of the grilling by Mizanul

Islam, the prosecution sought time for placing further witness. Later the tribunal adjourned the proceeding until February 2. The witness said he had been freed after a week of con nement as he signed a bond mentioning that he would inform Kashem, the alleged al-Badr commander of Chittagong district, about the freedom ghters of the area. Following his deposition, the tribu- nal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman

Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam ad- journed the trial until yesterday upon a defence plea. Sanaullah during the questioning yes- terday said it was not true that Kashem had not had control over the members of razakar and al-Badr forces – collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces. De- fence counsel Mizanul suggested that from November 7, 1971 to the victory of Bang- ladesh, the accused had not been in Chit- tagong. The witness said it was not true.

Justice Shahinur Islam then asked the defence counsel whether he admit- ted that Kashem had been in Chittagong until November 6. The defence counsel replied in the a rmative. On November 18, formal trial against the Jamaat executive council member, also key nancier of the party, began with the prosecution’s opening statement. Kashem is facing 14 counts of crimes against humanity committed in Chit- tagong during the 1971 Liberation War. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 ATTEMPT TO MURDER HASINA Prosecution fails to produce lone




Friday, January 24, 2014

Bishwa Ijtema begins under ve-tier security

  • n Mohammad Jamil Khan

The rst phase of Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after the Hajj, begins today on the east- ern bank of Turag under an intensive, ve-tier security arrangement. Lakhs of Muslim devotees from around the world have already arrived at the venue to participate in the three- day event which will conclude with a Final Prayer (Akheri Munajat) on Sun- day, only to follow another three days of preaching starting on January 31. Like previous years, the event will feature sermons on fundamental is- sues of Islam, group supplications and recitations from the holy Quran. Devo- tees from 32 districts are joining the rst phase of Ijtema while those from the remaining 32 districts will join the concluding phase. Organisers say all preparations have been taken to ensure that the event is held smoothly and without any disrup- tion, with the help of 5,000 volunteers working for the past few weeks to pre- pare the ground for the accommoda- tion of the devotees. All utilities and safety matters have been taken care of, they said, with the assistance of public service organisa- tions and law enforcement agencies. The whole 160-acre land will be kept under 24-hour surveillance by over 12,000 security o cials – both uniformed and plainclothes – prepared with helicopters, closed-circuit televi- sions (CCTV) and aerials. Each tier of security will be super- vised by an assistant superintendent of police. “Security o cials have been monitoring the ground since January 18 and they will remain in operation till February 3,” said Abdul Baten, Gazi- pur’s superintendent of police. Besides, 12 mobile courts will ex- amine the quality of food sold and 50 medical camps will provide emergency

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 Bishwa Ijtema begins under ve-tier security Mohammad Jamil Khan

Scores of devotees gather at the banks of Turag River yesterday to take part in the Biswa Ijtema which is set to start today MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

medical services. In order to expand the medical cov- erage of the 50-bed Tongi general hos- pital, 50 more beds have been added while regular leaves of all doctors, joined by doctors from 17 districts of the Dhaka division, have been cancelled. The organisers have built 4,000

makeshift toilets across the ground as well as a two-storey lavatory for for- eign nationals, with arrangements for regular electricity and water supply. In this regard, Mohammad Moniru- zzaman, director of water supply divi- sion of Tongi, said about 70 gallons of water would be provided through 13

deep tube-wells installed in the ground. This year, organisers are expecting a large turnout of participants from as many as 100 countries including China, USA, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UK. MA Mannan, mayor of Gazipur city corporation, told the Dhaka Tribune

that he had given necessary instruc- tions to all departments involved to perform their tasks properly. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway and Bangladesh Road Transport Au- thority have arranged special train and bus services to carry the visitors to and from the venue. l

Police constable on remand for murder

  • n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court yesterday placed police Constable Shawkat Ali on a three-day remand in a case led against him for his alleged involvement with the mur- der of a man whose decapitated body was found at the city’s Rajarbagh Po- lice Lines barrack on Tuesday Metropolitan Magistrate Asa- duzzman Noor passed the order after Tofael Ahmed, o cer-in-charge (in- vestigation) of Paltan police station, produced Shawkat before the court seeking a 10-day remand in the case. Police detained Shawkat from the Rajarbagh Police Lines barrack early Wednesday, following information from the family members of the victim. Earlier on Tuesday, the police found

a beheaded body from the roof of a ve-storey building at Rajarbagh traf- c police barracks, while the severed head was later recovered from a nearby pond on Wednesday. The deceased was identi ed as Nan- nu Munshi, a village quack (kobiraj) from Bakkhana village in Jhikargachha upazila of Jessore.

Police sources said Nannu had al- legedly collected around Tk1 lakh 70 thousand from Shawkat in phases, with the promise of resolving marital disputes between the constable and his wife. On Monday, Nannu came to Shawkat and demanded more money, prompting an altercation on the roof- top that eventually led to the murder of Nannu by Shawkat. l

Foreigners involved in illegal VoIP remanded afresh

  • n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court yesterday granted police four more days of remand to question 37 foreigners and ve Bangladeshis ac- cused of running an illegal VoIP busi- ness in a case led with Uttara West police station last month. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate An- war Sadat passed the order when Md Kajemur Rashid of Rab 1, who is also the investigation o cer (IO), produced the suspects before the court and re- quested seven days fresh remand for further interrogation in the case led under a telecommunication act. At the same time, defence coun- sel Md Sanaullah Miah led a petition against the remand and sought bail for all the detained accused.

After hearing both sides, the court or- dered four days remand for each of the accused and rejected their bail pleas. According to the case statement, law enforcers detained 43 suspects, includ- ing eight women, with a large quantity of illegal VoIP (voice over internet pro- tocol) equipment from a house in the capital’s Uttara area on December 22. The detained foreigners include ve Chinese and 32 Taiwanese nationals who do not have any permit to work in this country. On December 24, another Dhaka court placed 42 of the detainees on two days’ police remand, while one Bangla- deshi suspect was granted bail. In his petition yesterday, the IO mentioned further remand was needed as three Taiwanese police o cials were

now in Dhaka to jointly interrogate the foreigners over the illegal business pro- viding phone services over the inter- net. The Taiwanese o cers, who arrived in the city on January 17, were named as Huang Wen Chin, Lin Chun Hsien and Huang Chun Chein. On December 23, Abu Reza Mus- tafa Kamal of Rab 1 led a case against 45 suspects under section 35(2) of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act 2001 (amended 2006). Two of the ac- cused, Faruk Hossein and Latifunnessa Shamsuddin, are on the run. According to the telecommunica- tion act, anyone operating any telecom equipment without a licence faces a maximum of 10 years in jail or a ne up to Tk300 crore, or both. l

BNP Vice-Chairman Khoka denied bail

  • n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected bail prayer of BNP Vice-Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka in four cases led with Ramna, Mohammadpur and Shahbagh police stations. Metropolitan Session Judge Md Ja- hurul Haque passed the order after hearing the petitions. Defence Counsel Md Sanaullah Miah said they would appeal in the High Court against the order. Earlier, a Metropolitan Magistrate court rejected bail petitions of Khoka in the cases. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) per- sonnel arrested the former Dhaka City Corporation mayor from a residence in the capital’s Uttara area on December 4. On November 12 last year, police led a case against 26 opposition activ- ists, including Khoka, for an arson at- tack on a human haulier. l

Jubo Dal leader dies in RAB ‘gun ght’

  • n Our Correspondent, Laxmipur

A Jubo Dal leader was killed in a “gun- ght” with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at the village of Dharnapur in Charshahi union, Lakshmipur yesterday. The deceased was one Didarul Alam, 40, general secretary of Jubo Dal’s Charshahi unit. Sources said the gun ght took place at the village sometime around 1:30am. Major Shahed of RAB 11 said: “The criminals opened re while we were conducting a drive to detain some local hoodlums.” In retaliation, RAB personnel red back. The gun ght left Didar Bahini Chief Didarul Alam dead on the spot, he added. Major Shahed said they had red close to 60 rounds of ammunition while the criminals red 40. Lakshmipur sadar police station O - cer-in-Charge Iqbal Hossain said various cases, including ones pertaining to mur- der and extortion, were led against Di- darul in numerous police stations. l

National Labour Policy 2012 handed over

  • n Tribune Report

Manusher Jonno Foundation, in co- operation with the government, pub- lished the National Labour Policy 2012. Copy of the policy along with the English version was handed over to the government yesterday. Executive Director of the foundation Shaheen Anam handed over a copy of the policy to State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque (Chunnu) at the conference room of the ministry at the secretariat yesterday, says a press release. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 Bishwa Ijtema begins under ve-tier security Mohammad Jamil Khan

Weather to remain dry

  • n UNB

Weather may remain dry with tempo- rary partly cloudy sky over the country until 6pm today. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the river basins and light to mod- erate for elsewhere over the country during midnight till morning, Met Of- ce said. Night temperature may rise slightly and day temperature may remain near- ly unchanged over the country. The sun sets in the capital at 5:39pm today and rises at 6:42am tomorrow. Country’s highest temperature 30.2 degree Celsius was recorded yesterday in Sylhet and Sandwip and lowest 10.5 degrees in Srimangal. Highest and lowest temperature recorded in some major cities yesyterday were:

City High Low Dhaka 28.5 15.0 Chittagong 29.6 15.2 Rajshahi 27.5 13.7 Khulna 27.0 13.0 Sylhet


DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 Bishwa Ijtema begins under ve-tier security Mohammad Jamil Khan

PKSF Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad speaks at a discussion meeting at the National Press Club yesterday


Muhith: Metro rail work to speed up

  • n Asif Showkat

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the progress of the work of metro rail will be sped up as the scheme has been marked as a fast-track project. The minister was speaking to jour- nalists yesterday after a meeting with

the outgoing chief representative of Ja- pan International Cooperation Agency Takao Toda. The new Jica Representa- tive Mikio Hateada arrived in Dhaka on

November 18. Dr Takao Toda, however, said the

progress of the work on metro rail was sluggish due to a lack of Bangladeshi

engineers in the project. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Oc-

tober 30 laid the foundation stone for the country’s rst-ever metro rail project. Of the total cost of Tk22,000 crore taka (around $2.8bn), Jica, a govern- mental agency of Japan, will provide about Tk16,500 crore, while the Bangla- desh Government will provide the rest. In the rst phase, 11km would be completed by 2019, 4.4km more by 2020, and the remaining 4.7km by 2022. On Wednesday, a meeting of the Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee at the Prime Minister’s O ce decided that six projects including the Padma bridge, a deep sea port and the metro rail, with a total cost of $15.5bn, would be marked as fast-track. The projects are expected to remake the country’s

economic outlook, improve communi- cations and accelerate GDP growth. Minister also said, “We are comfort- able working with Jica because the Japanese development agency has en- hanced nancial and technical support in the last ten years.” He also said Asian Development Bank was also a good development partner of Bangladesh. “We have taken concession loans from ADB but in the near future we will take non-concession loans from them,” he said. Muhith also hoped that new govern- ment’s development would be visible in the next ve years “just as in the last ve years.” l

Jamaat observes protest programme

  • n Tribune Report

Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday observed processions in few districts as per an- nouncement to protest across the coun- try against the “state terrorism, killing, disappearance and attack on houses.” A key ally of the 18-party combine, Jamaat, and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir held processions in No- akhali, Lakshmipur, Comilla, Pabna and Cox’s Bazar, party sources told the Dhaka Tribune. In the capital, the city unit held a procession in Gopibagh area at 2pm.

Earlier, the party announced that a rally would be held at 2pm at the north gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. But no party activist or leader was seen at the venue. However, a large number of police- men were seen guarding the area. On Wednesday, party’s acting sec- retary general Sha qur Rahman in a statement asked party men to observe the protest programme “peacefully.” He claimed that in the last two weeks, the joint forces – comprising members of BGB, police and RAB – had killed 26 Jamaat-Shibir activists. l

Four people killed

  • n Tribune Report

Four people were killed in separate in- cidents in Lalmonirhat, Narayanganj, Jhenaidah and Faridpur yesterday. Of the victims, two were school students and one was an infant, report our cor- respondents. In Lalmonirhat, a schoolboy was found dead in Char Kurul of Dharla River in village Mogholhat yesterday. The deceased was Rayhan Islam, 13, of Rowmari para area in Kurigram town, he was a student of class eight at Kurigram Govt High School. Rayhan was kidnapped from Row- mari para area in Kurigram town on January 18, said the police. In Narayanganj, a school student named Jahidur Rahman was killed in Sonargaon upazila. Jahidur was stu- dent of class seven of Kachpur Omor

Ali High School. Police recovered the body of Jahidur at 11am. The throat of the boy was slit and packed up in a sack from an embankment of Sadipur union under Sonargaon upazila. In Jhenaidah, a two years old girl was strangled to death allegedly by her mother at Solaimanpur village under Kotchandpur upazila. The kid was Sumaya Khatun, 2, and the mother was Rafeza Khatun. A case was led with Kotchandpur police sta- tion. The body was sent to Jhenaidah Sadar Hospital morgue for post mor- tem examination. In Faridpur, a driver was found dead at his rented house at village Algi un- der Bhanga upazila early yesterday. The dead was Rubel Sheik, 25, of vil- lage Heraldi. Sub-inspector Lyakot of Bhanga police station said they arrest- ed Pinki, wife of the deceased. l



Friday, January 24, 2014


Poor facilities at city corporation libraries irk readers

Lack of manpower, funds cited as hurdles to development

  • n Abu Hayat Mahmud

Dhaka residents are being denied prop- er library facilities, as authorities of the bifurcated city corporation have failed to ensure the supply of new books, journals or build proper infrastructure for the city’s public libraries. The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) is in charge of 16 public libraries, while Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) runs seven more libraries, all of which have been set up in small rooms that are mostly in the corporations’ zonal o ces or community centres. During recent visits to public librar- ies of both city corporations, the Dhaka Tribune found that all the libraries con- tained only a handful of books, while some of the libraries did not even have any chair or table. No reader was found using the facili- ties of the libraries, which lacked librar-

ians and failed to o er adequate books, journals or IT facilities. The DSCC-run Paltan Communi- ty Centre Public Library, located in a small room on the second oor of the community centre building, contained only a handful of books on a single showcase. The library – which was also used as the prayer room – had no other furni- ture in the room. Seeking anonymity, a couple of em- ployees of the community centre told the Dhaka Tribune that although for- mer councilors had carried out some development work for the libraries in the past, no development had been carried out since the splitting of the city corporation. Elsewhere at the DNCC’s zonal of- ce near Mogbazar’s Nayatola Park, the Wahab Memorial Public Library o ered a couple of showcases full of books

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 5 Poor facilities at city corporation libraries irk readers

A public library inside Paltan Community Centre


and some tables and chairs; but had no newspapers, journals or collection of new books. Saidur, caretaker of the library, said the corporation authority had stopped its subscription to newspapers and journals but was unable to explain the reason behind the suspension of the subscription. Arifuzzaman, a resident of Noya- tola, said: “Earlier, I used to go to the library to read newspaper, journals and books on di erent topics. But I have lost the interest because of the lack of newspapers, journals and new collec- tion of books.” Meanwhile, the DNCC had reported- ly been using two of its public libraries – Mirpur Public Library and Commis- sioner Saidur Rahman Newton Memo- rial Public Library – for conducting de- partmental works of the corporation’s zonal o ces.

Khandker Millatul Islam, social wel- fare and cultural o cer of the DSCC, said: “We are trying to develop the public libraries to make it special and unique. For this reason, we have re- cently bought many new books for the libraries.” He, however, said the public librar- ies were not being developed for man- power shortage. Admitting that most libraries did not have any librarian, Millatul said: “We are trying to appoint librarians for each library, and hope that it will be possible immediately.” He added that furniture and other necessary materials would also be bought once the librarians are appointed. DNCC Social Welfare and Cultural O cer Md Abdul Bari said: “After the division of the city corporation into two parts, both corporations are facing major manpower shortages.” l

Titas detects 1.5 lakh feet illegal gas pipeline

  • n Aminur Rahman Rasel

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribu- tion Company Limited has removed over 11,000 feet of illegal gas pipeline in Dhaka and its adjacent districts. It has also detected around 2 lakh feet more of illegal pipeline. “We have so far dismantled 11,597 feet of illegal distribution pipelines of diameters ranging from one inch to three inches since September 2013,” Ti- tas Managing Director Md Nowshad Is- lam told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “We have disconnected gas connec- tions to 48 households in Gazipur per- manently. The remaining pipelines will be dismantled soon,” he said. Di erent zone o ces of Titas de- tected more illegal pipelines in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Narsingdi and Gazipur. A Titas o cial said: “Not getting gas connections, many consumers are


Pipeline diameter

Illegal pipeline detected

Pipeline disconnected

Dhaka city, adjacent

One-three inch

146,960 feet

5,272 feet


One-two inch




One-three inch

11,200 feet



One-two inch

22,400 feet


19,9160 feet

11,597 feet

setting up illegal connections and risky gas distribution networks in di erent areas in the capital with the help of the members of certain syndicates com- prising Titas o cials and contractors.” On May 7 last year, the government lifted the embargo on new gas con- nections after three years. It then said gas distribution companies could not set up new connections to households if they did not have distribution net- works in the areas concerned. Nowshad said Titas o cials had faced hurdles during their drive to re-

move illegal distribution networks. “Even sometimes my o cials were as- saulted,” he said. He said the company had led cases and GDs with relevant police stations against households with illegal distri- bution lines. All the stations have been asked to conduct drives to spot and dis- mantle illegal distribution networks in di erent city areas, he said. The Titas MD said he had transferred several employ- ees for their suspected involvement in laying out of illegal networks and setting up illegal connections to households. l

HC summons DoE, DG on Buriganga pollution

  • n Nazmus Sakib

The High Court yesterday summoned the director general and director of en- forcement of the Department of Envi- ronment, to appear before it on Febru- ary 5, over a writ petition lodged to stop the pollution of the Buriganga River. It also issued a rule seeking an ex- planation, within two weeks, as to why inaction of the administration in tack- ling the river pollution should not be held illegal. The HC bench of Justice Quazi Re- za-Ul Haque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain passed the order in response to the plea of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh. Manzil Murshid, the counsel for the petitioner, told the journalists the court also ordered all concerned authorities to take measures to cease the dumping

of garbage at Shampur point of the river within 48 hours and submit a report to the court, within ten days, in this regard. The bench also ordered the Dep- uty Commissioner of Dhaka District to conduct a mobile court drive every month to take action against the owner and sta of industries responsible for dumping rubbish on the river. The court further directed the O - cer in Charges of Shampur and Ramna police station to regularly monitor the situation. In addition, the High Court ordered the shipping secretary to form a committee comprising o cials of BIWTA, environment and industries ministry for an industrial waste man- agement system. Shipping secretary, Industry secre- tary, BIWTA chairman and seven oth- ers have been made respondents in the writ petition. l

Environmentalists demand reduction in dust pollution levels

  • n Tribune Report

Environmental activists have demand- ed immediate steps from the govern- ment to reduce dust and air pollution across the country. The demands came from a human chain, jointly organised by Poribesh Bachao Andolon and Ban- gladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development, in front of the National Press Club in the capital yesterday. Speakers at the human chain claimed dust particles in the air have been causing various types of diseases, such as lung cancer, bronchitis, breath- ing problem, asthma and tuberculosis by entering into human bodies through the nostrils. “The worst victims of the dust pol- lution are children, patients and senior citizens,” they added. Apart from reducing dust pollution, the activists also demanded regular cleaning of roads and footpaths, re- moval of soil deposits after digging up roads for repairing utility services and an end to dumping construction ma- terials on public places. They empha- sised on proper waste management in the city and urged city corporations to be more careful while collecting and transporting garbage. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE News Friday, January 24, 2014 5 Poor facilities at city corporation libraries irk readers

Activists of Poribesh Bachao Andolan, wearing dust masks, form a human chain in front of Institute of Fine Arts in Shahbagh yesterday, demanding mandatory steps in curbing dust




Petition led for cancelling bails of accused

  • n Tribune Report

The tribunal dealing with Jahan- girnagar University student Zubair Ahmed murder case would give order on the appeal for cancelling bails of six accused Chhatra League activists on Sunday. Public Prosecutor SM Ra qul Islam of the Speedy Trial Tribunal 4 submit- ted the application yesterday. The move came after a general di- ary was lodged by a student of Jah- angirnagar University on January 19 with Kotwali police against six of the accused who had attacked and gave death threats to Syed Nazmul Hossain and Rajibul Islam – friends of Zubair outside the Judge’s Court the same day. The accused threatened them in presence of Estate O cer of the uni- versity Azim Uddin, a former Chhatra League leader of the unit. l

The two students are batch mates of Zubair, who was brutally beaten and hacked on January 8, 2012 on the cam- pus. He died the following day. They have been involved with “Shontrasher Biruddhe Jahangirnagar” – a platform carrying out demonstrations to end vi- olence on campus, since the killing. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the proceedings until January 29 as the prosecution failed to produce the sev- enth witness in the case yesterday. Outside the premises, around 30 ac- tivists of the platform formed a human chain for an hour at noon demanding cancellation of bails of the all the ac- cused as they have been threatening the activists demanding justice for Zubair. All the 13 accused, who are leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League – ruling Awami League’s stu- dent wing, are now on bail. l

CU recovers occupied land

  • n CU Correspondent

Chittagong University authorities yes- terday evicted an occupier from the campus as he had been illegally posses- ing two acres of land of the university. Mohammed Samsuzzaman, assis- tant commissioner for land, said the eviction drive was jointly carried out around 1pm by the university admin- istration, Hathazari land o ce and po- lice. The occupier Mansur Shah, alias Lal Bhandari, had built di erent estab- lishments including residential house, hatchery and dairy farm. Zaker Ahmed, deputy registrar of CU, said the establishments of the grab- ber will be used as a camp for the Ansar members on the campus. University o cials said about 495 acres land worth around Tk2000 crore of CU have been illegally occupied for a long time, and the authorities will continue the drive to get back the land from grabbers. l

Talented teenagers

making short lms

  • n Maria Salam

Green arrow production of Rajshahi commenced its journey four years ago. Some inspired school going teenagers were inspired by a musical lm made by a Dhaka based production house in Rajshahi. After having passed many obstacles they formulated the house ‘green arrow’. Arif and Joy started it as the name of A.R.J lm production to make lms oriented in Rajshahi. Later Ayon and Naem joined them along with Ashiq, Fahim, Nimon, Shaon. Ayon led the pack and they made a ground breaking video called ‘ Bhalobasha hoini bola’ that created a lot of hype around the city. They used personal digital camer- as for the production. Their journey continued with some other good productions. They were in- spired and started making music vid- eos with own artists. ‘Priyare oh priya’,

a music video was made with the song of local artist Fardin. He was also the composer and lyricist of that piece. The encouragement pushed them further and they started making short lms. They did not look back since. Shamimul Alam Shaon said a short lm of their house ‘Oghoton’ is going to be released on the Valentine’s day of 2014. They are also working with an- other short named ‘Shohanubhuti’. They have also made a drama on awareness named ‘Cholo bodlai’. It is written by Sheuly , directed by Fahim and edited by Ashikul Alam. Some chil- dren including Imon, Ariyan, Ahasan Habib and Samiul Alam acted brilliant- ly on it. Green Arrow production said, they are not receiving the kind of media support which goes with their quality and passion, hence they are falling be- hind. They urge all the electronic and print media to support them. l

Registration opens for IT talent contest

  • n Tribune Report

The online registration process for par- ticipating in Bangladesh IT Talent Con- test 2014 is currently going on. Twenty contestants will get employ- ment opportunities in Japan and grad- ually, the quali ed IT professionals will get opportunities in di erent Japanese companies operating in USA, Canada and other countries by rotation. The selected talents would be given training on Japanese language as well as on Japanese standard professional IT training free of cost. Final year students of di erent computer science and engineering pro- grammes of the country, graduates or software professionals will be eligible to participate in the IT talent contest. The contest will be held in four phases. In the rst phase, preliminary selec- tion will be completed through online MCQ and IQ test. In the second phase, a problem solving contest will be con- ducted, judged by local IT experts. In the third phase, contestants will be se- lected through interviews by local ex- perts, and in the nal phase, Japanese employers will nalise the candidates by taking further interviews. The rst and second phases will be held on Feb- ruary 22 and February 28 consequently. In the selection process, former Google Vice-President and current Chairman of Bangla Business Partner (BBP), Japan Norio Morakami, will be present as the guest judge. For details, please visit http://itcon- or l

30 KU teachers resign from administrative posts

  • n Tribune Report

Some 30 teachers of Khulna University have resigned en masse from 33 admin- istrative posts, including head of de- partment and hall provost, protesting the insult of one of their fellows. The teachers submitted their resig- nation letters to the o ce of the uni- versity’s registrar on Thursday, univer- sity sources said. Asked why they resigned en masse, Dr Anirban Mostafa, one of the teach- ers, said Prof Dr Afroza Parveen, acting director of the Fine Arts Institute, was insulted at the academic council meet- ing held on January 18 over her continuation as the director of the institute. He said they resigned from di erent administrative posts protesting insult of the Dr Afroza and three to four other reasons. University sources said acting head of the Development Studies Discipline Prof Dr Mostafa Sarwar questioned the validity of Dr Afroza’s continuation as the acting director of the institute whereas a senior professor joined the institute two months ago. He said as per the rules, the senior profession should be made director of the Fine Arts Institute and Dr Afroza had no rights to attend the academic council meeting as acting director. Following the incident, Dr Afroza rendered her resignation letter to the vice-chancellor on Wednesday. Contacted, KU Vice-chancellor Prof Dr M Fayekuzzaman said he heard about the resignation of several teachers and was trying to resolve the problem. Registrar Dr Amir Hossain, however, said he was yet to get the resignation letters. l




Friday, January 24, 2014

Two ‘robbers’ lynched in Noakhali

  • n Our Correspondent, Noakhali

Two suspected robbers were killed by a mob at Sonadia under Hatiya upazila, Noakhali in the early hours of yesterday. The deceased were Haque Saheb, 32, and Mahabubul Alam Madhu, 30. Syed Md Fazle Rabbi, o cer-in- charge of Hatiya police station, said a gang of robbers had come by the area known as Hilton Market. Sensing their presence, locals sur- rounded the robbers and managed to catch two of them. The locals subjected them to bat- tery, in which both Haque and Mahbub died on the spot. Upon being informed, police came by the spot and recovered the bodies before sending them to Noakhali Medi- cal College Hospital for autopsy. The OC said Haque Saheb had been accused in seven cases, which include murder, rape and robbery, while Maha- bubul Alam Madhu was accused in two. A case was led in this connection with Hatiya police station. l


Industrial usage wearing away fertility,

authorities look the other way

  • n Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat

At least 300 bighas of land are losing topsoil every year, which is being used to manufacture bricks at 31 brick kiln elds in ve upazilas under the district. Farmers are sometimes lured by the brick kiln owners into selling the sur- face layer of their farmland’s soil which ultimately hits production. The Agriculture Department in the district is yet to take any steps to save the farmland from the clutches of brick kilns owners. Many agriculture o cials alleged that they ceased to take action against the owners because of their political and economic power. Agriculture o cials, brick-manufac- turing labourers and local farmers said the topsoil of nine to 10 bighas of land were necessary to manufacture about 10 to 12 lakh bricks. They said at rst, the brick kiln own-

ers collected topsoil from the neigh- bouring farmland surrounding the brick kiln areas in the locality by tempt- ing them into selling the upper layer of their land; sometimes they even used force. Jibon Chandra Saha, manager of a local brick kiln at Madonerchak vil- lage in Lalmonirhat Sadar, said the owners purchased the topsoil of one- bigha farmland between Tk6,000 and Tk12,000 from the farmers. A brick kiln owner bought topsoil of nine to 10 bighas of farmland every year, he said. Kashem Ali, 60, a farmer at Bamon- erbasa village of Kaliganj upazila, said he was forced to sell topsoil of his two bighas of farmland to a local brick kiln owner this year. “Like me, all other farmers in the village are losing topsoil of their farmland every year, he said, adding that he sold topsoil of one-bigha

farmland for Tk8,000 only. Another farmer Nazrul Islam said:

“I know topsoil is very important for cropland, but I had no way but comply with their demands to save my land.” Farmers Jamal Uddin, Mansur Ali, Abdul Jabbar, Meher Ali, Sultan Miah and others in the village in Lalmonirhat Sadar said the brick kiln owners cashed in on the topsoil purchase by digging out the surface layer of soil at least two feet in depth. It was not possible for us now to get 50% output, and ultimately the fertility of farmland is being lost, they said. “I got about 40 maunds of paddy from two bighas of farmland three years ago, but the production has de- clined by 50% as I sold the topsoil to a local brick kiln owner,” said farmer Farhadul Islam in Doljor village under Aditmari upazila. Contacted, ASB Brick Kiln owner Sahidul Islam at Bamonerbasa village

under Kaliganj upazila said they knew the topsoil was very fertile for produc- ing crops, but the farmers sold that to them. “We never face any protest from the Agriculture Department for using the topsoil in our brick kilns,” he said, de- nying the allegations that the farmers were forced to sell the topsoil of their land. Agriculture and Environment Coor- dinator Mamunur Rashid of an NGO, RDRS, said the use of topsoil for brick manufacturing badly hit crop output. He called upon the authorities con- cerned for immediate steps to stop dig- ging out the surface layer of soil. Admitting that the topsoil is used in the kilns, Deputy Director Abdul Mazid of the Agriculture Extension Depart- ment said he would take necessary steps with the help of district adminis- tration to save the farmland from being barren. l

Police yet to recover snatched revolver

  • n Our Correspondent, Sirajganj

Two months have passed by but the re- volver that pickets managed to snatch from a member of the Detective Branch of Police, during a general strike in Sirajganj in November 2013, has not yet been recovered. Police said pickets of the BNP-led 18-party alliance grabbed the revolver, which was loaded with 7 rounds of bul- lets, from Sub-Inspector Rejaul Karim while he was performing his duties in the town’s Khedon Sarder Square on November 27 of last year. The police later recovered a maga- zine and the bullets, but the revolver is yet to be found, said o cer-in-charge of DB police, Nasir Uddin. A case was led accusing 45 of the pickets while 9 other individuals, in- cluding the district Jubo Dal president, were detained in connection to the case. The detainees are Jubo Dal President Abu Said Sweet, Shahjamal Hossain Bhuttu, Ashraful Islam Roni, Md Hashu Sheikh, Ringku Sheikh, Alamgir Alam, Lutfur Bhuiya and Ashraful Islam Dipu. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE Nation Friday, January 24, 2014 Two ‘robbers’ lynched in Noakhali Our Correspondent, Noakhali Two

Farmers collect salt at Rangikhali village in Cox’s Bazar yesterday


Poor road conditions derail Birganj business

  • n Our Correspondent, Dinajpur

The people in Birganj upazila of Dina- jpur district have been su ering long as a 180km connecting road is lying in a sorry state. According to sources, of the road, 30km stretching from Shibrampur, Po- lashbari, Shotogram, Paltapur, Sujalpur, Nijpara, Vognagar, Sator, Mohonpur, Ka- birrajhat, Goplaganja to Laterhat area, 40km from Tajmohol Cinema square of Birganj municipality to Kalimela, 15km from Muktijoddha Nam-Folok square to Baliahat and 40km from Birganj Degree College square to Goerahat area, are in bad shape. Passengers and drivers of several vehicles nd it di cult to ply across

the road because of potholes. Many accidents occur due to this poor condition. Engineering Department o cials were seen conducting surveys a few days ago but the road hasn’t seen any renovation yet. Upazila chairman, vice-chairman, women vice-chairmen and 11 union parishad chairmen said that they were aware of the matter and demanded au- thorities’ help to repair the road. Upazila Enginner of Local Govern- ment Engineering Department (LGED) Md Musa said; “The survey was done and we applied for allocation to the government to repair the road.” Locasl also demanded immediate repair to the road. l

Man to die for killing wife

  • n Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong

A Chittagong court issued the death penalty to a man for killing his wife for dowry. Women and Children Repression Tribunal-1 Judge Md Rezaul Karim pro- nounced the verdict yesterday. The convict was identi ed as Ab- dul Hannan, 25, hailing from Jafrabad village of Chandnaish upazila of Chit- tagong while another accused Rabeya Khatun, mother of Hannan, was ac- quitted from the case. On April 19, 2001, Hannan strangu- lated his wife Nargis Akter for dowry

of TK50,000. Nargis was ve months pregnant at the time. Her body was found lying in a cane eld the following day. Akter’s father Dudu Miah led a case with Chand- naish police station later on the same day. On July 25, 2001, police submitted the charge sheet and it was framed on January 31, 2002. Out of 19, a total of eight persons testi ed in the case. Hannan has been absconding since August of last year. Hannan and Nargis, both hailing from Charpara village under Jafarabad union of Chnadnaish, were married in 2000. l

Water crisis hits irrigation in Khagrachhari

  • n Our Correspondent,


Around 70,000 acres of land have remained uncultivated at eight upa- zilas in Khagrachhari this year due to shortage of irrigation facilities. According to District Agriculture Extension (DAE) O ce, although Khagrachhari is covered with hills, mountains and rocky soil, there are over 1 lakh acres of cultivable land. Most of the land is located on the bank of three rivers Chengi, Feni and Mainee. Of the total cultivable land, only 25,000 acres of land were bought under boro cultivation, 5,000 acres under vegetables and 5,000 acres of land under winter crops cultivation this year.

Farmer Sauprue Marma, 45, of Apar Perachhara under sadar upazi- la in the district said over 1,000 acres of land at his village had remained uncultivated because of water crisis. “We cultivate all the land during rainy season and sit idle rest of the year as there are no irrigation facili- ties,” he said. Rupananda Chakma, 42, a farmer of Dullatali village under Laksh- michhari upazila in the district, said more than 1,500 acres of land at his village remain uncultivated during dry season for acute water crisis. “We cannot set up tube-wells to meet our daily requirement of water, let alone cultivating Boro, he said, adding no initiatives were taken from the government’s end to solve the water crisis so that farmers

can bring their land under cultiva- tion of di erent types of crops. Environmental activist Abu Daud Muhammad said farmers in Kha- grachhari are usually depended on three rivers that are lling up with siltation. “Rivers remain waterless as these are lled with soil and have not been dredged for even a single time,” he said. Sub-Assistant Agriculture O cer of district DAE Ranjit Chakrobory said there was no deep tube-well in the district for irrigation facilities. The three rivers which farmers mostly depend on are going to die because of siltation, random hill cutting and deforestation. “There are 525 diesel operated small pumps in the district used by

hill farmers during boro cultivation, but these remain useless as there is no water in the river,” he added. Deputy Director of Khagrachhari DAE Abdul Matin said most of the land remained fallow for lack of irrigation facilities. But the production chart of the district can be changed if we are able to bring the uncultivable land under boro cultivation through setting up some barrage, embankment and creek barrages. Replying to another query, Abdul Matin said Khagrachhari Hill District Council had set up over 100 creek barrages aiming to change boro cul- tivation, but most of the time targets are not ful lled because of corrup- tion of constructors and shortage of DAE o cials monitoring. l

Friends for punishment of Rayhan’s kidnappers

  • n Our Correspondent, Kurigram

The students of Kurigram Govern- ment High School staged demon- astrations and blocked Kurigram- Chilmari and Kurigram-Rangpur highways at Zero Point Shapla Chat- tar for one hour yesterday. The classmates of Rayhan held the demonstration demanding the punishment of those who kid- napped killed him after kidnap. Later, agitated students and the inhabitants of Hashpatalpara area submitted two memorandums to the deputy commissioner and po- lice super demanding punishment of the culprits. Police recovered the body of the

13-year-old boy from Moghol Haat Char area in Lalmonirhat on Mon- day. It was alleged that the kidnap- ping was conducted by Nazrul’s wife Jhorna, tenant of the victim’s house and her son Sagar, an SSC candidate from Kurigram Collectorate School & Collage. Police said Sagar called Rayhan outside the house to play on Satur- day. On the next day, the kidnappers demanded ransom and the victim’s father Ershadul Haque provided the money but the abductors demanded more money. As the victim’s family failed to manage the extra money, the abductors killed Rayhan. Police detained Jhorna and Sagor. l

DHAKA TRIBUNE Nation Friday, January 24, 2014 Two ‘robbers’ lynched in Noakhali Our Correspondent, Noakhali Two

Students form a human chain in Kurigram town yesterday


DHAKA TRIBUNE Nation Friday, January 24, 2014 Two ‘robbers’ lynched in Noakhali Our Correspondent, Noakhali Two




Friday, January 24, 2014



How the ‘Media Has Failed Women’ has failed

DHAKA TRIBUNE Long Form Friday, January 24, 2014 7 How the ‘Media Has Failed Women’ has

Apparently, in case of women, certain articles of clothing pose a bigger threat than rearms. This sign was outside the entrance of a church in Georgia


  • n Niyonta Nahia Chowdhury

R ise and shine. Feminism

is the air. Body po sitiv-

ity, body image, female

empowerment, sexism,

objecti cation, and misog-

yny are some words that seem to be

continually ung around on laminated gold papers, like ery shuriken hurling through the air. All these terms and their meanings are nicely lumped into one video that has been stampeding the Internet since the beginning of December last year – How the Media Has Failed Women in 2013. Here, we see glimpses of female gures ranging from Malala Yousafzai to Sandra Bullock to Hillary Clinton to Miley Cyrus to Rachel Maddow to Rihanna, some portraying positive representation and some negative,

What is questionable is the indication that the media directors are the sole perpetuators of certain social constructs in the media

with the common themes of positivity being intelligence, talent, leadership and achievement, and the common themes of negativity being body exposure, sexualisation, rape culture perpetuation, and methodic snide mocking, which is in e ect bullying, from male peers. No one will argue the intentionality of the media in presenting informa- tion in such ways as to create and inculcate in viewers certain social constructs, and no one will argue the collective failure of eliminating rape culture and the societal disadvantages of women, but what is questionable is the indication that the media directors are the sole perpetuators of these constructs in the media. Such an indication, when extend- ed to include women exposing their bodies or sexualising themselves, assumes a lack of agency on the wom- an’s part and adopts the view that she is an unknowing victim of exploita- tion, or assumes a lack of intelligence on her part and adopts the view that she is an unknowing victim of societal indoctrination, catering to hegemonic cis-male privilege. How is this sheep-like view of women any better than however the

media is portraying them? Women, like the pop artists referenced in the video, are highly successful in their careers and are talented musicians as well as creative performers, irre- spective of whether or not their style can be reconciled with one’s artistic preferences. So are they really being exploited or are they turning it around and exploiting that very exploitation of women, to their own advantage? A huge issue is the dated no- tion of correlating self-respect and dignity with attire (or lack thereof). If self-presentation is the issue, and if pop artists like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus are coerced products of a culture that fetishizes hyper-sexu- alization, who will reasonably argue that those women who wear a hijab or burkha are any less coerced into their decision by the cultures relevant to them? Women face presentational pres- sures from both sides of the spectrum. Today, if I go out wearing a niqab, I’m a product of religious oppression. The day after, if I go out wearing a short skirt, I’m a “slut.” There is no escape. On a clothing-style scale of 1 to 10, we have to shrink and squeeze ourselves somewhere in the range of 4 to 6; tres- passing beyond that in either direction would put us women in dangerous territory. Also, by de nition a “slut” is a fe- male who engages in sexual relations indiscriminately. Even if we were to naively assume that one’s wardrobe spells out one’s sexual lifestyle, so what if a woman did have multiple sexual relations? Since which stage of evolution is sexuality exclusively male domain? Sociologically speaking, and in the words of Anthony Giddens, sexuality and relationships in the post-modern world are apparently governed by con- uent love, a liberal and contingent romantic construct that had come to be under “pressures of female sexual emancipation and autonomy.” Why is it then that when a man has many sexual experiences, those are seen as conquests and he is perceived as a “player,” and a woman with sim- ilar tendencies still gets the label of “slut” or some other derogatory term, not only by men but also by other women. To give a little personal anecdote, I have been schooled in supposedly the best private school in Dhaka and the tasteless sexism I have witnessed, and also personally experienced from both the authorities and my peers, in the latter years of my time there, had generated in me a raging disgust that had entirely masked the earlier happy memories and left me with avoidant tendencies. I was called in and shamed, my parents were called in and blatantly lied to. Two of the least caustic (and ltered) examples of two di erent authorities’ dialogues: “You’re the girl. You’re the one society will always point to. You’re a very intelligent lady and we have high expectations of you, and not just academically. I hope you will not disappoint us,” and “If there

weren’t these distractions like your- self, he could have done something very big by now.” The former person’s approach

focuses on me and eloquently informs me that if I don’t conform to their idea of standard female behaviour, there can be repercussions. The latter person’s approach, skilfully and won- derfully articulates her view that I am holding back “Da Man.” Technically, we were both students of the school, but I had been dehumanised and reduced to a mere object, an object of distraction for the male student. There is good reason I limited the second quotation to just one sentence, and don’t feel comfortable sharing the rest of what was said. Needless to say, these were references to a relationship

  • I was in at the time. Needless to say,

All I did was exist and that was criminal enough to warrant systematic humiliation

  • I was the villain. Needless to say, the

boy was never called in. No I did not sexually assault him whenever I saw him. I did not otherwise “distract” him with my rampant sexuality when- ever I saw him either. All I did was talk to him – that too conversations I don’t recall ever ini- tiating myself, considering I was very aware that every little nuance in my movements and sneezes were being observed. In other words, all I did was exist and that was criminal enough to warrant systematic humiliation. It wasn’t just me, although with lesser frequency and vigor, there were also other girls who were monitored and, when the perceived need be, spoken to. Such is the hypocrisy of elitist private schools that claim themselves to be liberal and progressive. I have grown up in a culture that religiously and systematically teaches

only di erence is that one is ght- ing against it and rejecting it (but is denounced as encouraging it), and the other is hiding from it as protection (and is denounced as accommodating to it). Like many others, all my life, I had the constant awareness of this condi- tion at the back of my head, this con- dition of being female, and once and for all I would like to start dressing and behaving according to my own set of ideals and my own aesthetic sense without thinking of how male-domi- nated the world is and how my choice of dressing will be perceived to relate to that. What is it about the sight of the female body that sets o so many cues of threat? Why is it that one form of exposure is acceptable but another isn’t? It is clearly not that the very idea of exposure is unacceptable. Here is

While one half of the feminist world is screaming about body positivity and denouncing obligatory covering up, the other half is equating being classy to not exposing our bodies

women to keep themselves in check; a tted top, gym shorts, or even the slightest slip of my dupatta would attract the gaze of ve hundred rick- shawalas and condemnation by ve hundred relatives. While one half of the feminist world is screaming about body positivity and denouncing obligatory covering up, the other half is equat- ing being classy to not exposing our bodies. The irony lies in that both have male objecti cation in mind; the

where the wild hypocrisy lies, the hy- pocrisy of art, the hypocrisy of being. Nudity and sexuality are accept- able only when presented within a certain framework, authenticated by a certain context, therefore only when it appeals to a certain kind of aesthetic. Brooke Candy’s partial nudity is in- acceptable, but Kate Winslet’s nudity in Titanic is beautiful. Silk Smitha’s semi-nudity is profane, but Vidya Bal- an’s semi-nudity while depicting that same Silk Smitha merits her multiple

international awards. Anne Hathway’s nudity in Havoc is acting, but Rihan- na’s raunchiness is classless. Natalie Portman’s nudity in Hotel Chevalier is art, but Miley Cyrus’ bawdiness means she is letting the music industry pimp her into the world of stylised pornog- raphy and glamorous prostitution. Then there are classic nude por- traits that have been hailed through- out history – Albert Moore’s A Summer Night, Albrecht Drurer’s Adam and Eve, and of course Michael Angelo’s David. By virtue of the fact that nudity and sexuality are represented in art form, they must have some sort of perceived beauty. But that beauty is criminalised when it is those very things of which those art forms are a representation, us, our bodies, that are presented similarly. What is it about dynamic visual representation that threatens people’s sense of social structure? It is socially acceptable to talk about nudity and sex (but then again only in con- ditioned settings), to write about nudity and sex (but then again only in moderated language), to privately engage in sexual activities (but then again only in traditionally accepted styles and circumstances), but it is not at all acceptable to be publicly sexual or claim sexuality. My disapproval of this schism between action and representation, and the double standard of propriety is valid only in so far as the action isn’t inherently nasty or ugly. I am not saying, for example, that just because we defecate, we should also cele- brate feces and glorify them in visual representations. But there is nothing inherently nasty about the human body and sexuality. So yes, we have talked about the double standard of the media, we have talked about how it has failed women. Now let’s talk about the double standard of feminist groups and the double standard of every woman, every man and everyone else of all other gender identities that perpetuate body-shaming and sexuali- ty-shaming culture. l

The author is a student of Clinical Psychology and Literary Arts at Sarah Lawrence College and Bristol University.






Friday, January 24, 2014




UN expert: CAR risks spiralling into genocide

Adama Dieng warns of ‘high risk of crimes against humanity and of genocide’

  • n Agencies

The UN chief’s special adviser on geno-

cide prevention has warned of a “high

risk of crimes against humanity and of

genocide” in the Central African Re-


Adama Dieng and other UN o -

cials briefed the Security Council on

Wednesday on the continuing and un-

precedented violence between Chris-

tians and Muslims in the country.

More than half the country’s 4.6m

people need assistance, according to

the UN, and nearly onem have ed

their homes after mostly Muslim Sele-

ka rebels seized power in a March coup

d’etat that ousted former President

Francois Bozize.

Christian self-defence groups

known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machete)

have taken up arms against them, and

the UN estimates that retaliatory vio-

lence has claimed thousands of lives.

The o cials spoke of children being

beheaded, entire villages burned and

a complete breakdown of law and or-

der, and they urged the deployment of

more peacekeepers as soon as possible.

“The level of hatred between these

communities shocked me,” Dieng said,

listing widespread reports of summa-

ry executions, mutilation and sexual

violence among the “widespread and

massive” human rights violations.

Restoring peace will be di cult “with-

out addressing the current culture of

impunity,” he added.

Dieng and the other o cials spoke

8 DHAKA TRIBUNE DHAKA TRIBUNE International Friday, January 24, 2014 AFRICA UN expert: CAR risks spiralling

A woman reacts as red cross workers retrieve the bodies of people killed on January 22, following an attack by Anti-Balaka Chrisitan

militiamen in the majority Muslim PK 13 district of Bangui


after a visit last month as violence


Despite the dark outlook for the

country, they expressed hope at this

week’s election of Catherine Sam-

ba-Panza as interim president, and at

the $496m in humanitarian assistance

newly pledged by international donors.

They also welcomed the approval by

European Union foreign ministers this

week of a potential joint military force

of about 500 troops to assist the rough-

ly 1,600 French troops and about 4,600

African troops trying to restore order.

Samba-Panza pledged after her elec-

tion to hold talks with armed groups.

“I want to meet with the armed

groups and listen to them,” she told

reporters. “If they took up arms, then

there is a reason for that.”

The statements came as the Red

Cross said it had found 11 corpses, most

burnt beyond recognition, dumped in

the capital Bangui.

Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the

Central African Red Cross Society, said

nine of 11 bodies collected from Ban-

gui’s mostly Muslim northern neigh-

bourhood of PK11 earlier this week had

been set alight. l

S Sudan seeks peace deal

South Sudan’s government and rebels

are expected to sign a peace deal later

Thursday aimed at ending the month-

old con ict in the world’s newest na-

“There is going to be a signing cere-

by the South Sudanese parties

at 5:00 pm (1400 GMT) today,” media-

tors from the regional bloc IGAD said in

Fighting broke out between ri-

val army units in the capital Juba on

December 15, with President Salva

Kiir accusing his sacked deputy Riek


tion, mediators said.



a statement.



AFP, Addis Ababa

Machar of attempting a coup.

The con ict quickly deteriorated

into all-out war between the regular

army, who are being backed by Ugandan

troops, and defectors and ethnic militia,

with the violence also pitting Kiir’s Din-

ka tribe against Machar’s Nuer group.

The peace deal presented by IGAD me-

diators is expected to cover a cease re

agreement and address the issue of 11

detainees close to Machar who were ar-

rested after the ghting started.

Aid workers and analysts say the

con ict has left up to 10,000 dead,

while around half am people have ed

their homes. l

Morocco repeals ‘rape marriage law’

suicide in 2012. Her parents and a judge

had forced the marriage to protect the

Morocco’s parliament has unanimous-

ly amended an article in the penal code

family honour.

The incident sparked calls for the

that allowed a rapist to escape prosecu-

tion if he married his underage victim.

The amendment to Article 475 of the

law to be changed. The tradition-

al practise of forced marriage can be

found across the Middle East and in

penal code, rst proposed by the coun-

try’s Islamist-led government a year ago,

was amended by lawmakers on Wednes-

day, parliamentary sources said.

The article in question made inter-

national headlines in March 2012 when

Amina al-Filali, 16, was forced to marry

a man who had allegedly raped her.

After seven months of marriage to

the 23-year-old man, she committed

countries such as India and Afghani-

stan, where the loss of a woman’s vir-

ginity out of wedlock puts a stain on a

family’s honour.

Right activists hailed the amend-

ment, while stressing that much more

remained to be done to promote gen-

der equality, outlaw child marriage and

protect women from violence in the

North African country. l


Ukraine opposition sets 24-hour deadline

  • n Agencies

Ukrainian protesters will go “on the at-

tack” if President Viktor Yanukovych

does not swiftly o er concessions, oppo-

sition leader Vitali Klitschko has pledged.

After erce clashes on Wednesday,

Klitschko told tens of thousands of pro-

testers crammed into Kiev’s Indepen-

dence Square that Yanukovych could

resolve the situation without blood-

shed by calling early elections.

“If Yanukovych does not make con-

cessions, then yesterday we will go on

the attack,” Klitschko said.

His comments came as at least three

demonstrators were killed - the rst

fatalities in two months of anti-govern-

ment protests. Pitched battles raged in

the centre of the Ukrainian capital as

protesters hurled stones and Molotov

cocktails at police and security forces

responded with tear gas, stun grenades

and rubber bullets.

Ukraine’s prime minister has tak-

en a hard line against demonstrators

outing anti-protest laws, saying “ter-

rorists” had taken to the streets of Kiev

and that opposition leaders should be

held responsible for the deaths.

“I am o cially stating that these are

criminals who must answer for their

action,” Mykola Azarov said.

He said the police did not have live


The country has been gripped by

protests since Yanukovych rejected a

deal with the European Union and in-

stead signed a pact with Russia.

For the past two nights, demonstra-

tors and police have been clashing in

Kiev’s city centre. Two of the victims

on Wednesday died from gunshot

wounds. The third died in a fall from

the top of a football stadium.

The bodies were found before police

moved to tear down protesters’ barri-

cades near o cial buildings in central

Kiev and chase demonstrators away.

Helmeted riot police moved in on

hundreds of protesters, dismantling

barricades, beating many with trun-

cheons and ring shots at some.

The police drove demonstrators

down a hill towards the main protest

site on Independence Square, where

protesters have set up an extensive

tent camp and rallied around the clock

since November 21.

But the protesters soon returned,

building barricades from giant sacks of

snow and hurling stones and rebombs

at police lines. There was no immedi-

ate police move on the main camp. l


  • n Agencies

try very hard.”

UN envoy to meet Syria rivals to mend splits

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi

is set to meet both Syrian delegations

separately on Thursday, a day before

their rst negotiations when he will try

to bring them into the same room.

“Tomorrow I am going to meet

them separately and see how best we

can move forward,” Brahimi, speak-

ing to a news conference after all-day

ministerial talks in the Swiss resort of

Montreux on Wednesday, said.

“We will try to see if we meet Friday

morning separately and hopefully by

Friday afternoon both sides will sit in

one room,” he said later.

Describing the challenge ahead,

Brahimi said: “We have no illusion that

it is going to be easy but we are going to

With no one ready for serious con-

cessions, world powers will be looking

for short-term deals to keep the pro-

cess moving forward, including on lo-

calised cease res, freer humanitarian

access and prisoner exchanges.

Brahimi said he had indications

from both sides that they were willing

to discuss these issues.

After a day of formal speeches, UN

leader Ban Ki-moon urged Syria’s re-

gime and opposition to nally work

together at the table.

“The world wants an urgent end

to the con ict,” Ban said in a closing

8 DHAKA TRIBUNE DHAKA TRIBUNE International Friday, January 24, 2014 AFRICA UN expert: CAR risks spiralling

UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) walks behind UN Secretary General

Ban Ki-Moon prior to a press conference closing the Geneva II peace talks


press conference at the talks in the

Swiss town of Montreux on Wednes-

day. “Enough is enough, the time has

to come to negotiate.”

Ban also told reporters that he had

urged the Syrian government to release

detainees as a con dence-building


Even if the sides are willing to talk

about limited con dence-building mea-

sures, expectations for the peace pro-

cess remain low, with an overall solu-

tion to the three-year war still far o .

Russia, which co-sponsored the

Montreux meeting with the United

States, said the rival Syrian delegations

had promised to sit down on Friday for

talks which were expected to last about

seven days.

About 40 nations and internation-

al bodies were gathered, but no direct

talks are expected until possibly Friday

– when opposition and regime delega-

tions will meet in Geneva for negotia-

tions that o cials have said could last

seven to 10 days. l

Iran president says elections ‘best solution’ for Syria

  • n AFP, Davos

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

said Thursday that elections would be

the best way of ending the civil war in

Syria and warned the West it could not

impose a political solution on Tehran’s

neighbour and ally.

Speaking as edgling Syrian peace

talks entered a second day on the other

side of Switzerland, Rouhani told the

World Economic Forum that the Syri-

an people should be allowed to decide

their own destiny. “The best solution

is to organise free and fair elections

inside Syria,” Rouhani told the World

Economic Forum in Davos.

“No outside party or power should

decide for the Syrian people and Syria

as a country.” Describing a con ict that

has been raging for nearly three years

as a “major catastrophe,” Rouhani said

Iran was deeply concerned by the in ux

of foreign ghters he described as “ter-

rorists” into Syria. “Millions of innocent

people have been killed, maimed or

made homeless - it is a miserable situa-

tion and very sad,” Rouhani said. “All of

us should work together to push terror-

ists out of Syria and advise the countries

who support them that this is not their

own best interests - their next stop will

be their own countries.” l

Berlusconi, ex-prostitute investigated

  • n AFP, Rome

Former Italian prime minister Silvio

Berlusconi is being investigated for

tampering with witnesses in a trial that

saw him sentenced to jail for having sex

with an underage prostitute, a court

said Thursday. Berlusconi, his lawyers

and several young women including

the ex-prostitute nicknamed “Ruby the

Heart Stealer,” are being investigated in

the wake of the July verdict, which the

media magnate has appealed.

Thebnaire has denied having sex

with Ruby at what prosecutors had de-

scribed as erotic parties held at his lux-

ury residence outside Milan.

The scandal-tainted 77-year-old is

now being investigated for having cor-

rupted witnesses, including by paying

the women at the parties monthly sums

to testify that the gatherings were just

innocent dinners. Judges at the case

had said that it “is proven” that Berlus-

coni had sex with Ruby, a then 17-year-

old exotic dancer whose real name is

Karima El-Mahroug, “in exchange for

money or valuable objects.”

The three-time premier – no stranger

to the courts during his political career

– was also sentenced to a year in prison

for tax fraud last year which led to his

ouster from parliament and stripped of

his protection from the law. l

Rouhani: Possible to end US-Iran animosity

  • n Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it

was possible to turn more than three de-

cades of enmity with the United States

into friendship if both sides made an

e ort. He was speaking in a Swiss tele-

vision interview on Wednesday after

arriving at the World Economic Forum

in Davos where he will court the global

business community and meet a series

of oil company executives on Thursday.

Asked whether there could one day be

a US embassy again in Tehran instead

of the Swiss embassy representing US

interests in Iran, the president told pub-

lic RTS television: “No animosity lasts

eternally, no friendship either lasts

eternally. So we have to transform ani-

mosities into friendship.” l




US eases uniforms for religious observance

  • n Agencies


order and discipline,” spokesman Lieu-

tenant Commander Nate Christensen

The US military has eased restrictions

said in a statement. As long as a unit’s

on religious tattoos, hairstyles or ap-

mission is not put at risk or its safety

parel that troops can display while in

jeopardised, the regulations would al-

uniform, as long as they do not jeop-

low an exception to standard “clean-

ardise “unit cohesion.”

cut” grooming standards on religious

The Pentagon said on Wednesday

grounds, including facial hair or other

the rules it unveiled marked the rst

hairstyles, tattoos and piercings that

time the agency had laid out a general

re ect a soldier’s spiritual faith.

policy on the issue.

However, certain apparel or other

“The new policy states that mili-

expressions of religious faith would

tary departments will accommodate

not be permitted if it “interferes with

religious requests of service members

the wear or proper function of special

unless they have an adverse e ect on

or protective clothing or equipment,”

military readiness, mission accom-

such as helmets, ak jackets or ight

plishment, unit cohesion, and good

suits, Christensen said. l

Three dead, 30 missing in Canadian re

  • n AFP, Montreal

lation of about 1,400 people.


Authorities said at least nine people


A re at a Quebec residence for elderly

were injured, one seriously, and were

people has killed three people, with 30

being treated at nearby hospitals.

more missing, police said Thursday.

The Red Cross created a makeshift

The re at the residence, which

shelter at a local school where 16 peo-

housed some 50 to 60 elderly people,

ple rescued from the inferno spent the

broke out shortly after midnight.

night, according to a representative,

The home is located in the small

Myriam Marotte, who spoke to local

town of L’Isle Verte, which has a popu-

television. l




HK tycoon doubles bounty to marry off gay daughter

Azeri gay rights leader commits suicide

A Hong Kong tycoon may double a

A leading Azerbaijani gays rights activist

“marriage bounty” to nd a male suitor for

killed himself after writing in an online

his gay daughter to US$130m, despite his

suicide note that he could not go on living

initial o er attracting 20,000 candidates,

in “this country and this world,” police said

a report said. Two years ago, wealthy

on Thursday. Isa Shakhmarli, 20, chairman

property developer Cecil Chao made

of Azerbaijan Free LGBT, a Baku-based gay

global headlines by o ering a reward of

rights advocacy group, was found dead

HK$500m ($65m) to any man who could

on Wednesday after reportedly hanging

persuade daughter Gigi to marry. He is now

himself using the rainbow-coloured ag of

considering increasing his o er, a report in

the gay pride movement. “We received a

a Malaysian nancial publication said. The

call from his loved ones reporting a suicide,”

77-year-old tycoon “hinted this gure could

a police spokesman for the Yasamal district

be doubled (to HK $1bn) if someone could

of Baku told AFP. “Police o cers found his

capture her heart,” The Edge said. “I don’t

body at the scene. An investigation into the

want to interfere with my daughter’s pri-

suicide is being carried out,” the police said.

vate life. I only hope for her to have a good

Homosexuality is stigmatised in the mainly

marriage and children as well as inherit my

Muslim but o cially secular former Soviet

business,” Chao told the publication. But

country. Many gays and lesbians say they

this fresh attempt at a nancial sweetener

experience routine harassment and attacks

for any man who can win Gigi’s heart has

and are shunned by friends and family after

left her upset and her female partner of

coming out. In an emotional farewell note,

nine years Sean Eav “distraught,” the South

Shakhmarli asked friends to let his mother

China Morning Post said. “I don’t think my

know he loved her and said that he had

dad’s o ering of any amount of money

left the door to his at open. “I am leaving.

would be able to attract a man I would nd

Forgive me for everything. This country

attractive,” the 33-year-old daughter told

and this world are not for me,” Shakhmarli

the Hong Kong newspaper. “I would be

wrote in a message to friends on the social

happy to befriend any man willing to do-

networking site Facebook. “You are all

nate huge amounts of money to my charity

guilty for my death. This world cannot han-

Faith in Love, provided they don’t mind

dle my true colours. Goodbye,” the message

that I already have a wife. “Third and lastly,

said. A video posted onto an Internet news

thank you Daddy, I love you too,” she said.

site showed medics at the scene trying, and

Gigi is reported to have married Eav in a

failing to resuscitate Shakhmarli as friends

ceremony in France in 2012, though same-

wept in the background. A torn rainbow

sex marriages are not recognised in Hong

ag can be seen hanging from the ceiling.

Kong. Chao’s initial dowry o er issued the

Vugar Adigozalov, a close friend and former

same year attracted 20,000 responses

colleague of Shakhmarli at the gay rights

from around the world but failed to change

organisation, told AFP that his family had

Gigi’s mind.

di culty accepting his sexuality.


DHAKA TRIBUNE International

Friday, January 24, 2014




Elders in India order gang-rape The unmarried Santhal victim was suspected of having an a air
Elders in India order gang-rape
The unmarried Santhal victim was suspected of having an
a air with a Muslim man in West Bengal
the complaint before the police, were
Subalpur village, about 240 kilometres
AFP, Kolkata
arrested,” Sudhakar said.
(149 miles) west of state capital Kolkata,
Indian police have arrested 13 people
Tribal or caste-based village coun-
after the couple were discovered togeth-
over the gang-rape of a 20-year-old
cils composed of elders exert enor-
er. “The head of the village council
woman, who was allegedly assaulted
mous in uence over rural life, partic-
held an urgent meeting in the village
on the orders of tribal elders, police
ularly in northern India, often issuing
square on Tuesday when the girl and
said Thursday.
diktats and punishments for moral and
her lover were called,” Sudhakar said.
The attack on Tuesday took place in
other perceived o ences.
“The girl and her lover were tied to
a remote village in West Bengal state
The attack again casts India’s record
two separate trees and ned 25,000 ru-
where the unmarried woman from the
on sexual violence into the spotlight
pees each as a ne for having an a air,”
Santhal tribal group was suspected of a
after national outrage over the fatal
he said. “As the parents of the girl, who
relationship with a Muslim man from a
gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in
were also present at the meeting, ex-
neighbouring village.
December 2012.
pressed their inability to pay the ne,
The elders, who comprise the infor-
The incident also echoes an attack
the head of the village council ordered
mal village council, initially imposed a
on a woman in neighbouring Pakistan
that she should be raped by the villag-
ne of 25,000 rupees (400 dollars) on
in 2002 on orders of a village council
ers as punishment,” he said.
her family, but they were unable to pay,
to avenge her 12-year-old brother’s al-
The man was freed after he agreed to
district police superintendent C. Sud-
leged impropriety with a woman from
pay the ne within a week, but the wom-
hakar told AFP.
a rival clan.
an was taken to a shed where the attack
“The girl was gang-raped for hav-
Six men were sentenced to death
was carried out, he said. The woman,
ing an a air with a youth of another
for the rape of the illiterate Pakistani
who was recovering in a local hospital
community and failing to pay the ne
woman Mukhtar Maiher in a landmark
in Birbhum district, identi ed to police
which was imposed by the village
ruling there. But ve were later acquit-
all 13 attackers. They are expected to
council,” he said.
ted and the main culprit had his sen-
appear in a district session court in the

Suspects in a gang-rape case are led by police to a district courthouse in Birdhum district near the village of Subalpur, some 240

kilometres west of Kolkata


“All 13 men, including the chief of

the village council, who were named in

tence reduced to life imprisonment.

The incident in India took place in

nearby town of Bolpur later Thursday,

Sudhakar said. l

Pakistan Shias protest over bus bombing

  • n AFP, Quetta

Thousands demonstrated in cities across

Pakistan on Thursday against the killing

of 24 Shia Muslim pilgrims in a bomb

attack, as their relatives refused to bury

their bodies in a powerful gesture of pro-

test. The roadside blast on Tuesday hit a

bus around 60 kilometres (40 miles) west

of Quetta, the capital of south-western

Baluchistan province, which has been

the focus of growing sectarian violence

in Pakistan.Up to 2,000 people, most of

them Shias, demonstrated on Quetta’s

busy Alamdar Road with the bodies of the

bombing victims, refusing to bury them

until action is taken against militants.

There were also demonstrations in

Karachi and the Punjab cities of Lahore,

Multan and Rawalpindi, against what

protesters called the “genocide” of Pa-

kistani Shias. Members of Quetta’s Haz-

ara ethnic community, which is largely

Shia, began their protest on Wednesday

and braved freezing temperatures to

spend the night in the open. They say

they will not bury the victims’ bodies

until a military operation wipes out

militants and their sanctuaries from

the outskirts of Quetta and nearby

Mastung district, where Tuesday’s at-

tack happened. l

Abe sees World War One echoes in Japan-China tensions


Reuters, Tokyo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

has said Japan and China should avoid

repeating the past mistakes of Britain

and Germany, which fought in World

War One despite their deep economic

ties, according to his main government

spokesman in Tokyo.

Abe was speaking on the sidelines of

the World Economic Forum in Davos,

Switzerland on Wednesday.

His comments were provided by Chief

Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga after

the Financial Times said Abe had told

reporters that China and Japan were in a

“similar situation” to Britain and Germa-

ny before 1914, whose close economic

ties had not prevented the con ict.

He also said China’s steady rise in

military spending was a major source

of regional instability, the newspaper

reported. Suga said earlier in the day

that Abe’s comments should by no

means be interpreted to mean that war

between the two Asian giants was pos-

sible, noting that Abe had said dialogue

and the rule of law, not armed forces

and threats, were needed for peace and

prosperity in Asia. Sino-Japanese ties,

long plagued by what Beijing sees as

Japan’s failure to atone for its occupa-

tion of parts of China in the 1930s and

1940s, have worsened recently due to

a territorial row, Tokyo’s mistrust of

Beijing’s military buildup and Abe’s De-

cember visit to a shrine that critics say

glori es Japan’s wartime past.

Suga told a news conference that

Abe - noting that this year is the 100th

anniversary of the start of World War

One - said Britain and Germany clashed

despite their deep economic ties.

Asked if China and Japan might

clash militarily, Abe replied that such

a con ict “would be a great loss not

only for Japan and China but for the

world and we need to make sure

such a thing would not happen,”

according to Suga. l

Nepal takes step towards new


  • n Agencies

Leaders from across Nepal’s politi-

cal divide have pledged to draw up a

constitution for the Himalayan nation

within a year as the new parliament

convened for the rst time.

More than two months after an elec-

tion which was marred by fraud accu-

sations from the defeated Maoist party,

the assembly tasked with agreeing on

the constitution held its rst meeting

in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

While there were threats from the

Maoists of street protests if they end up

feeling marginalised in the constituent

assembly, they did join the other par-

ties in promising to reach an agreement

within the next 12 months.

“There should be no doubt that we

will be able to complete the new con-

stitution within one year and at the

same time we want to assure that we

will soon agree on a coalition govern-

ment,” said Sushil Koirala, leader of the

Nepali Congress party.

Koirala’s party has the most seats

but is short of a majority. The assem-

bly is likely to choose him as the next

prime minister.

His words were echoed by Baburam

Bhattarai, a former Maoist prime min-

ister who is also a member of the new

601-member assembly.

“On the occasion of the rst meet-

ing of another constituent assembly

today ...

let us commit to deliver a pro-

gressive constitution within a year,” he

said on Twitter. The pledges lent an

air of optimism to the new assembly

- which will also double up as a parlia-

ment - nearly two years after lawmak-

ers last met.

The Maoists only reluctantly agreed

to take part in the assembly last month

after initially threatening to boycott it

over accusations of vote-rigging in the

November 19 polls.

They were soundly beaten by both

the Congress and the Uni ed Marx-

ist-Leninist (UML) parties, which are

still locked in negotiations over form-

ing a new coalition government.

The former rebels won Nepal’s rst

post-war elections in 2008 by a land-

slide, two years after signing an agree-

ment to end a 10-year uprising against

the monarchy. As part of the deal, King

Gyanendra agreed to stand down.

But the ensuing four years were

marked by a series of short-term coa-

lition governments, mainly led by the

Maoists, and the rst assembly broke

up amid rancour in May 2012.

Koirala said his party would strive

to reach a consensus but warned that

a parliamentary minority would not be

allowed to scupper an agreement.

Hours before the meeting, a se-

nior member of the Maoists warned

that his party’s resolve should not be

underestimated despite its reduced

presence in the assembly. “We will

have to be vigilant and may resort

to street protests to ensure that our

agendas are addressed by the con-

stituent assembly,” Ganesh Man Pun

told AFP.

In a scene underlining the divisions

within the war-torn nation, about three

dozen members of a Maoist splinter

group, which boycotted the November

election, held a sit-in protest, waving

black ags outside the assembly. l

China conducts long-range nuclear missile drill: military

  • n AFP, Beijing

China’s military has released images of

an intercontinental ballistic missile with

enough range to reach the United States,

as Beijing is involved in a series of rows

threatening to embroil Washington.

ple’s Liberation Army Daily newspaper

on Tuesday.

Further images showing soldiers

dressed in protective suits, suggesting

that the drill was simulating the launch

of an armed warhead, were also posted

on the news portal, attribut-

The pictures of Chinese soldiers

ed to the newspaper.


ring a Dongfeng-31 missile, said it was the rst time

which is said by experts to be able to

that images of such an exercise had

carry nuclear warheads 8,000 kilome-

been released.

tres (4,960 miles), appeared in the Peo-

The images could not be found on

the PLA Daily’s website when checked

by AFP on Thursday.

China is embroiled in a series of ter-

ritorial disputes with its neighbours in

the South China Sea, and is locked in a

row with Japan in the East China Sea

over islands administered by Tokyo

and claimed by Beijing.

The US has a security alliance with

Japan and Vice President Joe Biden

said last month that a strategic shift to

Asia would continue. l

International Friday, January 24, 2014 9 ASIA Elders in India order gang-rape The unmarried Santhal

Marrying outside the caste often brings deadly retribution in parts of India


Father sues son for low- caste India marriage

  • n Agencies

A father in the eastern Indian state

of Bihar is suing his only son for def-

amation after he married a woman

from what is still perceived by some

as a lower caste, saying he had dam-

aged the family’s reputation and social


A court is scheduled to hear the case

soon on the petition led by Sidhnath

Sharma who is seeking damages amount-

ing to Rs 100,000 ($1613) and a ban on his

son Sushant Jasu from using the family

surname, reports said on Thursday.

“For ages, it has been an accepted

tradition of arranged marriages within

your own caste,” Sharma, a lawyer from

the upper-case Bhumihar group told the

AFP news agency from Danapur town,

near the provincial capital Patna.

“But when my only son ended that,

it not only stunned me, it also a ected

my social status,” reports quoting Shar-

ma said.

The son, a tax o cial works in the

western state of Gujarat. He married

the purportedly lower caste bank o -

cer from Danapur, last November.

Sharma, who led his case in De-

cember 2013, reportedly warned that if

his son continued to use the surname,

he would ask for Rs. 10,000 ($161) in

copyright fees each time he was seen

using it.

Interestingly, the son’s mother sup-

ports his marriage. “If my son is hap-

py with his marriage, I should openly

back him. Time has changed now, one

should understand it,” said reports,

quoting her.

India’s caste system has one of its

strongest votaries in the eastern state

of Bihar, considered one of the poorest

in the country.

The centuries-old caste system plays

a major role in people’s social relations

and can determine marriage, educa-

tion, employment and land ownership.

O cially, caste discrimination is illegal

and violators can be sent to jail. Several

couples have been killed by enraged rel-

atives for defying the caste system and

marrying outside their own caste.

The government on the other hand

publicly encourages inter-caste mar-

riages and in Bihar state even hands

out a bonus to the extent of Rs 50000

($800) for those marrying across caste

barriers. l

Thai court defers election date ruling, capital calm

  • n Reuters, Bangkok

Thailand’s Constitutional Court on

Thursday deferred a ruling on whether a

general election scheduled for February 2

can be postponed, as protesters who say

they will boycott the vote kept up pres-

sure on the government to step down.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

declared a 60-day state of emergen-

cy in Bangkok and surrounding areas

from Wednesday, hoping to prevent an

escalation in the protests now in their

third month.

The Election Commission says the

country is too volatile to hold a gener-

al election now and that technicalities

mean it is anyway bound to result in a

parliament with too few lawmakers to

form a quorum.

The government says the decree

to hold the election on that date has

been signed by the king and cannot be


“The Constitutional Court has ac-

cepted this case and we will look at the

legal issues involved. If there is enough

evidence, we may hand down a deci-

sion tomorrow,” said court spokesman

Pimol Thampithakpong.

The protests are the latest eruption

in a political con ict that has gripped

the country for eight years. The emer-

gency decree failed to clear the dem-

International Friday, January 24, 2014 9 ASIA Elders in India order gang-rape The unmarried Santhal

Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gestures as she leaves the Royal Thai Air

Force Headquarters, after a cabinet meeting in Bangkok


onstrators, though the capital has been

relatively calm this week.

Broadly, the con ict pits the Bang-

kok middle class and royalist establish-

ment against the mainly poorer sup-

porters of Yingluck and her brother,

ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who

was toppled by the military in 2006.

Nine people have been killed in out-

bursts of violence, including two gre-

nade attacks in Bangkok last weekend.

A leading pro-government activist

was shot and wounded on Wednesday

in Thailand’s northeast, a stronghold

of the Shinawatra family, in what po-

lice said may have been a political at-

tack, adding to fears the violence could


A ruling in favour of the Election

Commission would deepen Thailand’s

political quagmire, already weighing

on investor enthusiasm for Southeast

Asia’s second-biggest economy.

The main opposition Democrat Par-

ty says it will boycott the vote. Protest

leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former

Democrat minister, wants democracy

suspended so that a “people’s council”

can push through electoral and politi-

cal changes.

Thais living overseas have already

voted and some advance voting takes

place around the country on Sunday.

The protesters have said they would

try to disrupt the election.

On Wednesday, an unidenti ed

gunman opened re on Kwanchai Prai-

pana, a leader of Thailand’s pro-gov-

ernment “red shirt” movement and a

popular radio DJ.

The attack in Udon Thani, about 450

km (280 miles) northeast of Bangkok,

was the most signi cant violence out-

side the capital and illustrates the risk

that the turbulence could spread to

other parts of Thailand.

Just a day before, Kwanchai had

warned of a nationwide ght if the mil-

itary launched a coup, as widely feared.

So far the military, which has been

involved in 18 actual or attempted

coups in the past 81 years, has kept out

of the fray. Police are charged with en-

forcing the state of emergency and are

under orders from Yingluck to show

restraint. l

Indonesia jails bomb maker in Myanmar embassy plot

  • n AFP, Jakarta

An Indonesian court Thursday jailed

an Islamic extremist bomb-maker for

seven-and-a-half years for his role in

a plot to attack the Myanmar embassy

to avenge the killing of Rohingya Mus-


Separiano is the fourth person to be

jailed over the failed plot to bomb the

mission in Jakarta, which came amid

rising anger in Muslim-majority Indo-

nesia at the plight of the Rohingya in

mainly Buddhist Myanmar.

The 29-year-old was arrested in May

the night before the attack was due to

take place, carrying a backpack full of

pipe-bombs as he rode a motorbike

with another alleged plotter in Jakarta.

At a previous hearing the court

heard he had plotted with other mili-

tants over Facebook and had attended

sermons by rebrand cleric Abu Bakar

Bashir, the alleged spiritual leader of

the terror network behind the 2002 Bali

bombings. Bashir is now in jail.

The South Jakarta District Court

Thursday found Separiano, who

like many Indonesians goes by

one name, guilty of charges under

anti-terror laws. l




Friday, January 24, 2014

10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I
10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I

Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue

I n her address to BNP supporters on Monday, Khaleda Zia

made some in ammatory comments about the recent joint

forces’ drive against militant activity.

We deplore those of her remarks that question the profes- sionalism of the armed services and law enforcers. It is wrong

to portray legal law enforcement actions as an “attack” on the people. The BNP chairperson has every right to criticise the govern- ment and question its decisions. However, it was poor judg- ment on her part if she had meant to imply some truth in the strongly

denied reports of the “involvement of foreign forces” on Bangladeshi territory. As a former prime minister and respect- ed political leader, we

We would expect the BNP leader to take more care when referring to disputed rumors

would expect the BNP leader to take more care when referring to disputed rumors in her political rhetoric. She should have at the very least acknowledged the tenuous nature of these rumours and the fact that the Inquilab newspaper has apologised for the way in which it reported on them. Hence, while we are very clear in our view that the gov- ernment is wrong to have closed Inquilab and that journalists should not be locked up for mistaken reports, we are critical of Khaleda Zia’s choice of words. They draw attention away from recent positive moves by the BNP to pro er an olive branch and encourage those in the government that clamour for punitive action against political views with which they disagree. We hope that a return to calmer words by all sides will help ensure a healthy atmosphere for dialogue.

Vigilante justice is not the answer

I t is a deeply troubling sign for law and order that two ac-

Noor have by now been found dead.

cused in the attack against Awami League MP Asaduzzaman

The attack on Asaduzzaman Noor on December 14, which left ve people dead, including four local AL men, was an outrageous act of aggression by Jamaat activists and its student wing, Islami Chattra Shibir, which was carried out with the tacit support of the BNP. The incident sparked widespread outrage from the local community and local politicians of both AL and BNP denounced the attack. Unfortunately, it seems that BNP activists who were accused of the attack on Asaduz- zaman Noor are now being murdered in retri-

bution, almost certainly either by law enforce- ment or those a liated with the ruling party. Every person accused of a crime deserves to have his day in court and be punished according to the due process of

Every person accused of a crime deserves to have his day in court and be punished according to the due process of law

law. Extrajudicial killings of this sort only satisfy short-term desire for revenge at the cost of long-term deterioration of the rule of law. Action is now needed from the government to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack on Noor are brought to justice instead of facing assassinations outside of the purview of the law. Similarly, the people responsible for these assassinations should be also held responsible and punished according to the law. The AL leadership also has the duty to denounce these crim- inal acts, deter their cadres from further acts of violence, and to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that justice is served.

10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I

Letters to

the Editor

10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I

Muslim-Hindu relations

January 21

During the liberation war, I was a child, and have very few memories of that time. We lived in a village

near Padma River, not far from Kushtia town. Some family members, including Hindus from Kushtia town,

stayed in our house for a number of days. We also helped many members of Hindu families in our village

and in adjacent villages, including holding goods for them. My father gained their faith by doing honest

business and other activities with them. Many of them went to India, and when they came back, got back

their goods from my father.

After the war, my father felt insecure staying in the village, so he bought a house in Kushtia town from

a Hindu family. That family went to India but whenever they returned, they met with our family. Our house

was close to the main road, and many of our neighbours were Hindus. All of us lived there for a long time,

like one family.

Times for our neighbours have gone downhill since, which is why I nd recent events extremely disturb-

ing. For instance, several incidents of mayhem occurred during the AL-led government, in which many of

the victims were Hindus and minorities. Locals said they had called police, ruling Awami League leaders,

and the administration, on their mobile phones but nobody came to help. Police were seen after 9:00pm,

when it was all over.

Mawduda Hasnin

Solar power brings bliss in remote villages

January 15

If solar projects are running so successfully

in these remote areas, then why aren’t such

programs replicated in urban areas? This envi-

ronment-friendly technology will go a long way

in reducing the energy shortage of the country.


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Bengali screen goddess Suchitra Sen January 17 Atiq Rahman We will never forget you. Tareen Khan

Bengali screen goddess Suchitra Sen

January 17

Atiq Rahman

We will never forget you.

Tareen Khan

My favourite actress!

Laila Shabeer Ahmed

Masha’allah! A very pretty lady!

Rakib Uddin

I love Suchitra Sen. We lost an invaluable talent

and a world-class actress. It’s a great loss for

us. We mourn for her and wish her a heavenly

peaceful life.

Hasina Rahman

Rest in peace, Suchitra Sen.

Dialogue if BNP leaves Jamaat, says minister January 17 Ronnie Mr Shahriar Alam only confirms that

Dialogue if BNP leaves Jamaat, says minister

January 17


Mr Shahriar Alam only confirms that his

“government” is not the least interested in any

“dialogue” with the BNP-led opposition alliance.

By trotting out this lame new line about BNP

having to sever its alliance with Jamaat being

a prerequisite for dialogue with the party is

untenable. Notwithstanding my own strong

advocacy for BNP’s abandoning Jamaat, I’d insist

it’s the sole prerogative of BNP to decide who to

link with, and who to leave, in its political alliances.

BNP has not demanded of the AL to, say, delink

with the ridiculous JP ensemble, as a condition

to start dialogue. If the incumbent government

sticks to this recalcitrant line, few people would

need convincing anymore about which party is

deliberately scuttling dialogue and a negotiated

settlement to the prevailing political crisis in



Jamat-e-Islami has been declared by the High Court

as a party involved in war crimes and crimes against

humanity. No political party who pursues politics of

constitutional democracy and welfare of the state

and its people cannot and should not keep any rela-

tionship with a party like Jamaat on its own accord.

It is unfortunate that a large and democratic party

like BNP insists on retaining its alliance with Jamaat,

thus bringing disgrace to itself and its supporters. As

BNP is a pro-liberation war party, its alliance with an

anti-liberation party ought to cease forthwith. It is

in the best interest of BNP to act soon and proceed

with meaningful dialogue for an inclusive election as

early as possible.


WaliulHaqueKhondker: I will always agree, in princi-

ple, with your arguments about BNP’s tragic embed-

ding with a vile entity like Jamaat-e-Islami. I will also

continue to stridently advocate the cessation of this

ultimately unnecessary and harmful (to BNP) alliance.

It’s fatuous and disingenuous, though, to wrongly

con ate the ideologies of BNP and Jamaat and Co, as

many people do.

That said, I also resent and reject the Awami

League, of all people, to be righteously demanding

BNP’s immediate severance with Jamaat as a starting

condition for any negotiated settlement between the

two parties regarding holding new elections and re-

lated issues. This is staggering hypocrisy. Given AL’s

own multiple and sordid dalliances with religious ob-

scurantists, including an unrepentant anti-liberation

Jamaat, they should quit harping on this issue for

cheap political points.

I maintain that it remains the prerogative of the

BNP to decide its future with Jamaat. I believe they

should snap links as soon as possible, not because the

new AL “regime” demands it, but because BNP makes

a vital course correction of its own choice.


10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I
10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I




10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I






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10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I


10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I


10 DHAKA TRIBUNE Editorial Friday, January 24, 2014 Careless rhetoric harms hopes for dialogue I