Death in Khulna
Khulna has become a volatile political turf. It has seen the
murder of eminent political figure Monzurul Imam three months
back as well as the recent death of Manik Shaha, a much-revered
senior journalist. Shaha was attacked by a group of miscreants
who hurled a bomb at him, killing him on the spot. When the
news of his death spread by word of mouth, the city was gripped
by fear becoming desolate.
police have recovered splinters from the spot of the explosion.
The local journalists called a hartal on Saturday, two days
after the killing took place. Political parties and organisations
throughout the country as usual condemned the incident.
Shaha was vocal against the terrorist operatives in Khulna and
the discrepancies in local shrimp farming. On both accounts
he became a target of threats. The local police have been providing
him with protection. Both at his home and at work, a police
constable remained on guard. But all efforts seemed futile.
The long time local correspondent of the Daily Shangbad, and
a former correspondent of the BBC, Shaha was killed on January
15. On the face of rising violence that has gripped the southern
city of Khulna, the authority is yet to come up with effectual
Textbook publishers have once again shown their ingenuity in
making people cough up extra money. In the past years a section
of publishers have adopted the technique of creating false crisis
in the market and forced people to buy the few available books
at a price much higher than its original price. The government's
consistent indifference to this quite explicit form of mugging
has further emboldened the corrupt publishers. This year they
have adopted a new technique -- publishers of Madrassa textbooks
are forcing buyers to buy notebooks with the textbooks. Sellers
in Nilkhet market inform that publishers are not giving them
textbooks unless they agree to take notebooks. As a result they
(sellers) have no choice but to force the buyers to do the same.
Each of the Bangla, English and Geography text books of different
classes, which originally cost Tk. 10 to Tk. 15 are being sold
at Tk. 100 to Tk. 150 by forcing buyers take note books along
with each text book. Is the Education Ministry listening?
accolade for ICS and its roughing up of JCD at RU
How could Islami Chhatra Shibir(ICS) act the way they
did in Rajshahi University campus? The four-hour-long violent
clash between ICS and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at RU on
January 13th left more than 50 people injured, most of whom
belong to JCD. ICS, which is far mightier both in size and gun
power than JCD in RU, wreaked havoc on the JCD camp, sending
RU JCD president, General Secretary, Organising Secretary, Joint
Organising Secretary to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. One
wonders what Communication Minister Nazmul Huda would say about
it. Only the other day Huda was all praise about the ICS describing
it as an extremely well-organised and disciplined student wing.
He even advised the JCD to revamp itself following the ICS model.
wonders if Huda has changed his mind after the student wing
of the party he belongs to was roughened up by the ICS.
happens only in Bangladesh
The recent blast in the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in Sylhet
that killed 3 and injured about 40 occurred within a month of
another beastly act of poisoning of the gojar fishes in the
shrine pond. Both the acts appear to have been instigated by
the same person(s). Who are they? What might be the purpose
behind such mindless violence? What are they trying to achieve
by perpetrating such ghoulish killing in such a serene place
where people come to seek blessing and peace of mind? The answers
are still unknown and one cannot but fear that they might very
well remain unknown forever. After each bomb blast the police
come up with some wild guesses and false promoses. In reality,
nothing concrete is ever done to trace back to the real perpetrators.
The criminals, never having to face the consequences, prepare
to strike again. Isn't it believable that not a single criminal
could be nabbed for the dozens of bomb blasts that have occurred
over the last few years? Well, believe it or not, anything is
possible in Bangladesh.
Surrender Drama ended before the curtain raised
The greatly hyped and much publicised formal surrender
function of some members of the so-called outlawed Sharbohara
party fell flat at the height of its climactic point. The reason
was that two local MPs, Zahiruddin Sopon and Syed Moazzem Hossain
Alal, who were supposed to attend the programme didn't show
up, as their scheduled flight from Dhaka to Barisal was cancelled
because of dense fog. Interestingly enough, the Chief guest
Home Minister was there to attend the ceremony. A few hundred
enthusiastic people, gathered at the Aagorpur High School field
in Babugonj Upazilla, Barisal (the scheduled venue of the surrender
programme) left the field in great disappointment -- as did
the alleged Sharbohara members, eagerly waiting to give up their
arms to enter a socially acceptable lifestyle. Some of the people
associated with the process, however, claimed that the event
was meant for settling a dispute between the two quarrelling
parties and confirmed that the surrender of Sharbohara surrender
was not going to happen. One BNP insider termed this initiative
of the local administration with the help of some high profile
BNP leaders, illegal and detrimental to the image of the present
Old Man in Custody
Photos of Saddam Hussein (former president of Iraq) being tortured
while in custody caused a stir in the Arab world. The photos
appeared on the Internet. Pentagon officials are not at all
happy about this "out of the blue" debunking of what
took place behind the curtains after Saddam was captured. The
photos showed Saddam being manhandled by the US army. Although
the photos paint a horrendous picture of the US and reveal a
true account of how a former head of state was being treated
in captivity, the Pentagon is least bothered by the consequences
of these revealing photos. They are more worried about who recorded
this saga of Saddam being tortured, and how.
Pentagon officials chose to remain silent on the issue, it can
be surmised that the photos were taken by one of the six hundred
combat soldiers participating in operation Red Dawn on December
13, 2003. At the time of Saddam Hussein's capture, these soldiers
might have recorded the events that followed as many of them
were carrying cameras. Meanwhile, US experts are not convinced
about one particular photo, which shows Saddam coughing blood.
They say it may be something else.