Criminal Erects Arches for Khaleda
of a listed criminal Inamul Hossain, alias Pichhi Helal, erected
2 of the 50 arches while Bangladesh Nationalist Party supremo
Khaleda Zia went to Mohammadpur to attend a political meeting
called by her party. On the arches, Helal's supporters introduced
him as a leader of Jatiyatabadi Chatra Dal (JCD), student wing
of the BNP.
at six on the list of country's top 23 criminals. In fact, the
BNP government announced a Tk 50,000 bounty for him when the
list was prepared in December 2001. Helal was, however, in jail
when the police put him on the list, as during the last days
of Awami League government, the police arrested him from near
the Dhaka Housing in Adabar. At that time Helal was the general
secretary of Mohammadpur unit of the JCD.
to newspaper reports, local BNP and his rival JCD leaders have
failed to form a new committee since Helal's arrest as his supporters
reign supreme in the area. "When the local BNP leaders
themselves fail to form a new committee fearing reprisals from
Helal's supporters, it is obvious that no-one would dare to
speak against erection of the arches," a Mohammadpur JCD
leader told the Daily Star reporter on condition of anonymity.
Forces Arrest 32,446 in 4 Months
A newspaper report says that 32,446 alleged criminals have been
rounded up in the ten districts from the south-western region
of the country. Joint forces recovered 385 firearms and 1.042
rounds of ammunition and 843 live bombs. The rounding up of
criminals was launched in December 2003 and ended in March 2004.
The arrested included 64 members of extremist groups, 251 enlisted
criminals, 12,778 under warrant of arrest, 6,736 involved in
specific cases, and 116 absconding convicts, according to a
police co-ordination cell source.
As many as 400 firearms including two SMGs were recovered from
Kushtia, and the highest number of 767 bombs were recovered
from the same district. The joint forces comprised members of
BDR, Police and Ansars.
Insecurity among Businessmen
Insecurity among businessmen continues as yet another businessman
was threatened with death if he failed to pay a toll of Tk 20
lakh. Local criminals told ATM Yakub, owner of a construction
materials shop, that he would be killed and cut into 100 pieces
if he failed to pay up. Only weeks ago Old-Dhaka businessman
Shamsul Haque and his son were kidnapped by local goons with
ruling part affiliations and then brutally killed. Their bodies
were cut into 40 pieces and thrown away all over the city. So
far only two of the culprits have been nabbed.
Thirteen people have been charge-sheeted in the Manik Saha murder
case under the Explosive Substance Act. Among the accused is
a close associate of Ershad Shikdar, the notorious criminal
who unleashed a reign of fear in Khulna during the previous
government's regime. Seven of the accused have confessed their
involvement in the crime.
15, in the afternoon, Manik Saha, a journalist, was killed by
a bomb hurled at him while he was going home in a rickshaw.
The bomb blast severed his head from his body. On January 17,
SI Ratan Kumar Das -- acting as a plaintiff -- filed two cases,
one for murder and the other under the Explosive Substance Act.
President Receives Death Threat
Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) President Prof
AAMS Arefin Siddique received a death threat last week.
issued by outlawed Sarbahara Party members, the letter said,
"Though Humayun Azad managed to survive, you won't."
threat was condemned by various academic groups and organisations
including Rajshahi University Teachers' Association (RUTA) and
the Progressive Teachers' Association (PTA) of Rajshahi University.
and students of the department of Mass Communication and Journalism,
where Siddique is Professor, also held a protest rally on April
11 condemning the threat.
It is suspected
that Prof Siddique was threatened due to his role in leading
the recent movement demanding action regarding the attack on
Prof Humayun Azad in February.
A year after the toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad, the
situation in Iraq has remained unchanged. Attack on the so-called
US led Coalition Forces have become more frequent; reports of
deaths of civilians, including women and children, have been
pouring in. In a last ditch attempt to save its skin, the US
troops are resorting more and more to torture, and indiscriminate
bombing. Last week even a mosque was not spared. The incident
will certainly isolate the US from many of its Arab friends
across the peninsula.
as elsewhere in the world, resentment runs high among the people
of Iraq, who have been seeing the occupation as an insult to
their sovereignty. As a western political commentator has put
it, Iraq is becoming the US's another Vietnam. With Shias in
the South and the Sunnis in the North taking up arms to resist
the occupation forces, we have every reason to think so.
Muslims in Manila Face Clampdown
Muslims in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, are facing
an adverse situation. These days they try to make it home before
nightfall to avoid what they describe as unprovoked, systematic
harassment by the security forces.
the city's 400,000 Muslims are used to being harassed by police,
but over the last three weeks it has become more intense following
the arrest of six alleged Abu Sayyef terrorists in Manila.
we are not accused of running drugs, we are accused of kidnapping,"
said Charlie De Makuta, a trustee of the Islamic Ctntre in Quiapo,
just across the river from Malacanang Palace and the seat of
Philippine power. Since the so-called Abu Sayyef terrorists
the harassment reached a new level, now people are afraid to
leave their homes.
An hour-long gunfight between police and a gang left two gang
leaders dead and four policemen injured. The early morning shootout
took place in a remote area 25 miles north of the port city.
Mohammad Yakub and Hamid Ullah, two listed criminals of a gang
in Chittagong, died on 8 April. While Yakub, the head of the
Yakub force, an accused in not less than 24 cases including
eight murders, died in police encounter, Hamid, the head of
another faction of the Yakub group, dyed in police custody later
in the evening.
death of the chief of the notorious band known as Yakub Bahini
(Yakub Force), people of the two upozillas that they used to
rule over breathed a sigh of relief. Patronised by the Islami
Chatra Shibir, the student wing of the ruling alliance member
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, the gang used to terrorise a vast
area. Police said that Yakub was accused of a series of cases
lodged with the Hathazari and Fatikchhari thanas (police stations).
to police, Yakub was once a Lieutenant of Nasir, a Shibir backed
millionaire terrorist who, by means of violence, including murder
and abduction, ruled the two upozillas and levied tolls on the
residents. After Nasir was put behind bars, Yakub formed his
own terrorist outfit comprising Shibir cadres.
a tip off, a large contingent of police drawn from Hathazari
and Fatikchhari police stations cordoned off Mannan Colony in
Mondakini union near Nazirhat Bazaar and launched the raid at
5:30 am, said a Daily Star report. After the gun battle on the
bank of the river, where Yakub and his gang took position to
counter the attack, police could nab seven gang members.