Map of JessoreMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) rescued two girls while they were being trafficked to India from bordering Putkhali Pashchimpara area of Benapole in Jessore on Monday evening, reports UNB.The rescued girls were identified as Khadiza Akter, 15, daughter of late Ainuddin, and Beauty, 13, daughter of Manzil Hossain, hailing from Kishoreganj district.Commanding officer of BGB-21 lieutenant colonel Tarikul Hakim said that acting on a tip-off they conducted a raid in the village and rescued the teenagers.They were later handed over to Benapole port police station, he added.
File PhotoThe authorities seized the Physics question paper of the SSC examinations from 50 examinees in front of Mahila Samity High School in Chittagong on Tuesday morning.Executive magistrate Syed Murad Ali said a team detained the students of Chittagong Ideal School’s Patia branch and recovered the same copy of the physics question paper in their mobile phones.The examinees were however allowed to sit for the examination. Legal action will be taken against them after the examinations, said Syed Murad Ali.Question paper of all the eight examinations held so far have been leaked this year, which is a record.As many as 2,031,899 students are participating in the SSC examinations this year.The government has taken different measures to stop the leak of question papers, but to no avail.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda ZiaBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday filed a separate petition with the High Court seeking bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, reports UNB.Lawyers Nowshad Jamir and Kaiser Kamal, on behalf of the BNP chief, submitted the 880-page bail petition in the morning showing 31 grounds for granting her bail.The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Shahidul Karim is set to hear the petition on Thursday after hearing another appeal filed by her challenging her sentence in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.Earlier on Tuesday, lawyers of the BNP chairperson filed an appeal with the High Court challenging her sentence in the graft case. The court fixed Thursday for hearing it.On 8 February last, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former prime minister and BNP chairperson and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city.
Quazi Nawshaba AhmedRejecting the bail petition of actress Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed, a Dhaka court on Monday ordered the concerned authorities to admit her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for treatment, reports UNB.Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Asaduzzaman Nur passed the order after Nawshaba’s lawyer Shamol Kanti Dhar filed the petition seeking bail for the actress upon completion of her six-day remand in two phases in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. Earlier, Nawshaba was taken to DMCH as she fell sick at Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in the afternoon.Alimuzzaman, deputy commissioner under the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said Nawshaba was produced before a Dhaka CMM court on Monday as her two days’ fresh remand expired on Sunday.“When she was produced before the court, she fell sick. Later, she was taken to the DMCH for treatment,” said Alimuzzaman.DMCH officials said the DB police brought Nawshaba to the hospital around 3:45pm and took back after treatment at the medicine department of the hospital at 4:40pm. Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Amirul Haider Chowdhury on Friday put actress Nawshaba on a two-day fresh remand in the case when Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, a CTTC unit inspector and the investigation officer of the case, produced Nawshaba before his court on expiry of her four-day remand and sought a 10-day fresh remand.Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) detained the actress from Uttara area in the capital on 4 August over spreading rumours on Facebook over the attack on protesting students.In a Facebook live, Nawshaba claimed that the attackers killed two students and gouged out the eyes of another at Jhigatola intersection.In her post, she also requested people to get united, take to the streets to ‘protect’ the students as they were attacked by Bangladesh Chhatra League activists.
.Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will provide traffic updates on their official Facebook page from Saturday, aiming to ensure hassle-free journeys of Eid holidaymakers, reports UNB.RAB director general Benazir Ahmed at a press briefing at its media centre at Karwan Bazar came up with the move on Saturday.RAB will update the overall condition of traffic across the country on their Facebook page in every four hours, he said.The commuters will be able to learn about the traffic congestion on highways with the Facebook updates of RAB, he added.Besides, a special security measures have been taken for two weeks aiming safe journey of Eid holidaymakers.”A total of 245 patrol teams and 56 reserved teams have been deployed along with many special camps across the country. Special camps have been set up on both ends of Meghna Bridge and Gomti Bridge on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway to avoid traffic jam”, he said.”Along with that, on both ends of Mawa-Paturia ferry ghats security patrolling was strengthened. This year, commuters will not be allowed to use small vehicles for Eid journeys”, he added.
The government ban on Hilsa fishing begins from 7 October. Prothom Alo File PhotoA 22-day ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transporting of people’s favourite hilsa fish will come into effect in Chandpur district from 7 October to protect the mother-Hilsa.The ban will be imposed on 60 kilometres area from Matlab Uttar upazila to Haimchar upazila and nearby a 40 km stretch of Char Alexander of Lakshmipur district. The ban will remain in force till 28 October, reports UNB.Last year, the period of restriction on catching hilsa fish was 20 days, from 1 October.Chandpur fisheries official Md Asadul Baki said 22 days from 7 to 28 October is the peak period for mother-Hilsa to release eggs.Necessary measures would be taken to create awareness on conservation of hilsa and its importance among the fishermen.To make the campaign a success, fisheries office and district taskforce will work for 24 hours, the officer added.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday ramped up pressure on the Myanmar government to accept a UN fact-finding mission tasked with investigating human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.Yangon officials said last week that they would deny visas to the three-person team mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate abuses reportedly committed by security forces in Rakhine state.“It is important that the Burmese government allow this fact-finding mission to do its job,” Haley said in a statement.“The international community cannot overlook what is happening in Burma – we must stand together and call on the government to fully cooperate with this fact-finding mission.”Myanmar’s de facto leader and Nobel prize winning democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected the UN fact-finding mission, arguing that the government is carrying out its own investigation.The north of Rakhine state has been under lockdown since October, when the military launched a campaign to hunt down Rohingya militants who staged deadly attacks on police posts.More than 90,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee their homes since last October, according to UN estimates.A UN report in February said the campaign against the Rohingya, who are denied citizenship and other rights in Myanmar, “very likely” amounted to war crimes.Haley said the violence in Rakhine continues to claim lives and that there were continuing allegations of sexual violence targeting women and children.In May, the Geneva-based rights council appointed Indira Jaising of India, Radhika Coomaraswamy of Sri Lanka and Christopher Dominic Sidoti of Australia to serve as the three members of the fact-finding mission.
An Indian visa. Photo: CollectedIndia has opened six new visa application centres (IVACs) in Bangladesh, raising the total number of IVACs to 15, announced its High Commission in Dhaka on Wednesday, reports UNB.The IVACs in Thakurgaon and Bogura will begin operation from 6 January while those in Cumilla, Noakhali, Brahmanbaria and Satkhira from 12 January.These new IVACs are being opened to further serve the needs and facilitate the access of Indian visas to Bangladesh nationals, residing in far-flung and remote areas of Bangladesh, said the High Commission.Currently, there are nine fully functional IVACs in different parts of Bangladesh. Those are in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Chattogram, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Barishal and Jashore.The opening of more IVACs reflect the continuing efforts of the High Commission of India, in collaboration with its outsourced partner the State Bank of India, to further streamline the Indian visa application process and strengthen people-to-people contacts between India and Bangladesh, the High Commission added.
Police recovered the bodies of two young men from Brahmanbaria and Narisingdi districts on Sunday, reports UNB.In Brahmanbaria, police recovered the body of a young man seven days after he went missing in Titas river at Majlishpur in Sadar upazila on Sunday.Abdur Rahman, 32, son of Rasun Ali Mia of the same village, went missing on 31 December, according to locals.Locals found his body floating in the river around 12:00pm and informed police.Later, police recovered the body from the spot and sent it to Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital for autopsy, said Salim Uddin, officer-in-charge of Brahamanbaria Sadar police station.In Narsingdi, police recovered the throat-slit body of an unidentified young man from near Bashordirtek bridge at Akhalia village in Sadar upazila on Sunday.Officer-in-charge of Madhabadi police station Md Abu Taher Dewan said, on information, police recovered the body around 11:30am and sent it to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital for autopsy.
Sahidullah, a man from the Rohingya community, holds his son on his lap as he speaks with Reuters inside his shack at a camp on the outskirts of Jammu on 5 October 2018. Photo: ReutersIn hotels and restaurants near the beach at Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh, international and local aid workers sent to help the Rohingyas in the world’s largest refugee settlement talk nervously of the major challenge ahead – the weather.Cox’s Bazar was mainly known as Bangladesh’s top local tourism spot, famed for the world’s longest natural sea beach, until the 2017 arrival of more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar in a human exodus of unprecedented scale.Joining thousands of Rohingya Muslims already in Cox’s Bazar, they cleared forests and built shelters from mud and bamboo to create a sprawling mass of camps that now house more than 900,000 people, of which 80 per cent are women and children.Over 18 months the Bangladesh government, with thousands of staff from about 145 non-government organisations (NGOs) and aid agencies, have brought order to the chaos, building more stable shelters, roads, sanitation and setting up community projects.But while life in the settlement has started to stabilise, aid workers said they were rushing to secure the camps for the longer term with no sign of the crisis ending and one factor hanging over them – the monsoon in May then cyclone season.”This is not an easy place to work because we are constantly worrying about things over which we have no control,” said Nayana Bose, spokeswoman for the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) that coordinates the humanitarian agencies’ work.”It’s challenging in terms of terrain, weather, and population,” she said, adding this made it harder than other refugee crises and Bangladesh’s biggest ever humanitarian task.Aid workers recalled how the early months of the crisis were focused on life-saving work, such as building shelters and latrines, food supplies, and dealing with health emergencies.They worked around the clock in the camps located about 40 km (25 miles) south of Cox’s Bazar – a 1.5 hour drive that can take much longer depending on traffic on the pot-holed roads where aid agencies’ four-wheel drives vie with auto rickshaws.Fly In, Fly OutMost international staff came for three month stints but as time went on were replaced by staff on six month and one year contracts, working eight week shifts before flying out for one week of rest and recreation and to visit their families.Leisure activities are limited in Cox’s Bazar, with alcohol in Muslim Bangladesh only available at some international hotels, so some aid staff set up yoga classes and book clubs.Women must be dressed conservatively so swimming is not an option, although some aid workers value beach walks, and international workers are told not to leave hotels after 10:00pm.Firas Al-Khateeb, a spokesman for the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, said he had worked with refugees in five other countries but the Rohingya crisis was more challenging.First there was the sheer numbers involved, then language problems as most Rohingya are illiterate, complicating awareness campaigns about risks in the camps, and also the fact the Rohingya are not recognised by Myanmar and have nowhere to go.Chances of the crisis ending soon are remote. Bangladesh’s government has vowed not to repatriate anyone unwillingly, garnering global praise for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who just won a third term despite reports of poll irregularities.UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said on 25 January it was clear the Rohingya cannot return “in the near future” with the situation unchanged and Myanmar still denying all accusations of persecution.”The Rohingya are stateless and had been suffering back home. Some talk about the freedom they have here,” said Al-Khateeb, whose organisation is frequently quoted saying the average length of stay in a refugee camp is around 15-20 years.Getting ReadyBut he added that the weather was a major problem, with efforts now underway to make the camps as secure as possible in case of a severe monsoon or cyclone season. Last year the Cox’s Bazar area was not badly hit.Anjum Nahed Chowdhury, a project manager with Christian Aid working on disaster risk reduction with BRAC, Bangladesh’s largest NGO, is focused on strengthening bamboo for shelters, digging ditches, landslide protection, and building brick roads.”We must be ready for the monsoon season and we are much better prepared this year. If the cyclones had been bad last year it would have been a disaster,” she said.While life in the camps is becoming normalised, the Rohingya are not allowed to formally work as this could impact local jobs, but they can earn about $5 a day on NGO projects in camps.With this they can trade with each other at stalls that line the main roads winding through the camps that sell food, plastic toys and clothes as stray dogs and cows wander past.Gemma Snowdon, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme, said food in the camps was also changing to a longer-term plan.At first they handed out rice, lentils and oil but now they are supplying people with cards with monthly amounts based on family size with which they can buy fresh food, dried fish and eggs from stores set up by local retailers in the camps.Another programme, run by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Organization for Migrants (IOM) and WFP, is supplying all households with stoves and a monthly canister of LPG to reduce pollution and deforestation.The loss of forest has been a key source of tension with some local people, who are now outnumbered two to one by the Rohingya, and lost some traditional income from the forest.While other locals, like Theotonius Gomes who runs the Mag Darin restaurant, have welcomed the influx of aid workers which has boosted businesses and prompted the government to start work on an international airport terminal and extended runway.But all the aid work comes at a cost.Last year UN agencies and NGOs launched a $950.8 million appeal to provide essential humanitarian assistance, including to nearly 400,000 Bangladeshis in nearby communities, some of whom are as poor as the Rohingya, in a bid to diffuse tensions.A new funding plan will be launched later this month, with initial drafts of the proposal, seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, showing the target will be about $920 million.Aid groups are well aware raising funds could get harder as the crisis rolls on and new emergencies hit the headlines.”But this emergency is not over yet. Still the Rohingyas need our help and support,” said Al-Khateeb.