Speedy trial for trafficking
Seventeen women and children trafficking cases will be tried
in the Speedy Trial Tribunals, while 344 are under trial in different
trial courts and 25 are under investigation. An inter-ministerial meeting,
held on Sunday on human trafficking, decided to try sensational women
and children trafficking cases in the Speedy Trial Tribunals in order
to check human trafficking after being threatened with sanctions by
the United States. Five-hundred and sixty-two cases had so far been
filed against 616 persons on trafficking charges. Twenty-four people
had been convicted for trafficking, 23 had been given life terms and
one had been awarded rigorous imprisonment for 10 years. The meeting
also formed a monitoring cell comprising representatives of ministries
of home and law, Attorney General's office and NGOs to pursue the trafficking
cases. The meeting identified Dhaka, Barisal, Benapole, Satkhira, Chapainawabganj,
Darshana and Dinajpur as vulnerable points for human trading. -New
held for Banshkhali carnage
police 27th June arrested a man at Khankanabad village for suspected
involvement in the Banshkhali carnage. In a predawn raid, the Banshkhali
police arrested Akbar, pushing the number of arrested in the case to
30. Akbar is accused in a number of cases, the police claimed. Eleven
persons of a single household, including seven women and a four-day
infant, were burnt alive early November 19, 2003. - New Age, 28th
US Ambassador Harry K Thomas yesterday warned Bangladesh of
withdrawing either the GSP (generalised system of preferences) facility
or export-import bank financing if it does not adhere to labour standards
and allow trade unionism in its exclusive trade zones by the month-end.
The US envoy said at a 'Meet-the-Press' address titled "US-Bangladesh
Relations", celebrating the golden jubilee of the National Press
Club at its VIP lounge yesterday. The cabinet on May 23 approved a draft
law titled, "EPZ Workers Association and Industrial Relations Act,
2004" to allow limited trade unionism in the six exclusive trade
zones. Dhaka made an agreement with Washington and other donors on May
10 to adhere to International Labour Organisation standards, including
the rights to association and collective bargaining, at the EPZs (export
processing zones) by June 30. The government decided to allow limited
trade union activities in the exclusive industrial areas from November
1, 2006. -The Daily Star, 29th June.
for Bangla Bhai's arrest
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry K Thomas yesterday condemned
the Sunday murder of Khulna Press Club President Humayun Kabir Balu
saying radicals including Bangla Bhai, religious and political extremists
should be arrested immediately. Thomas said, "Fundamentalist groups
have killed Humayun Kabir Balu. Fundamentalists are killing journalists
today, they might kill everyone tomorrow. Police should now arrest Bangla
Bhai and other fundamentalists." -The Daily Star, 29th June.
over Balu murder case
The investigation of the murder of the Khulna-based Janmabhumi
editor, Humayun Kabir Balu, also the Khulna Press Club president, was
transferred to the Detective Branch Tuesday evening. The police, meanwhile,
sent four of the detained to jail after seeking 10-day remand for them.
The Purba Banglar
Communist Party (ML) has sent a fax message to the Khulna Press Club
claiming the responsibility which said the killers had been serving
self-interest and there is no interest of the common people or revolution
involved in the murder. -New Age,30th June.
killed in last 6 months
As many as 2,078 people including three journalists were killed
in last six months, showing an upturn in murders comparing to the killings
of corresponding time last year, according to Bureau of Human Rights
Bangladesh (BHRB). The BHRB in its report said 392 people, 13 on an
average every day, were killed across the country in June.
Odhikar, a human
rights organisation, in its report said 287 people were killed in last
six months due to political violence, the number of which was 195 from
January to June in 2003. The report further said 143 people including
women and children were acid-burnt, while 52 people died in police custody.
As many as 451 women and children were raped during the time. Of them,
63 were killed and eight committed suicide, the report added. -Daily
in next parliament session
The government has finalised a 'Gas Act' to ensure better management
of the sector and it may be placed in the next parliament session, State
Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain said
the law will empower the newly formed Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
to function as a fully independent body.
"The move will
encourage entrepreneurs to establish more CNG stations in the country
and thus solve the problems of CNG users," the state minister hoped.
The energy minister
said prepaid meters will be introduced for electricity billing from
January 1 next year. According to Mahmood, at present there is 28 percent
systems loss in the electricity sector. He said the government is planning
to privatise the electricity transmission system to reduce the systems
loss and pilferage. -Daily Star, 2nd July.
order was violated
The High Court's order on army deployment at every polling
centre of Dhaka-10 by-polls was violated and the election was not held
up to expectations, said by acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)."I
hope legal action will be taken against the persons responsible for
the violation. The High Court will take legal action if the matter is
brought to its cognisance," said the acting CEC.
Turning down the
Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh's (BDB's) demand for cancellation of the by-election,
Safiur said the EC had not got any evidence of the alleged polling centre
captures or stuffing of the ballot boxes. The election can not be annulled
on the ground of absence of army and polling agents alone, he maintained.
On the absence of BDB candidate's polling agents, Safiur admitted agents
for kula were absent in most of the polling centres he visited.
Earlier, the EC
asked the government to commit at least five army personnel along with
police, paramilitary forces and ansars to each of the constituency's
103 polling centres.
But the government
on Sunday virtually rejected the EC's request for army deployment, as
the home ministry reviving an earlier circular informed the EC that
two companies of army would be deployed as strike force in the constituency,
not every voting centre. The government stance forced the EC to depend
on the court.- Law Desk, 2nd July.