effort to bring
Peace to the Gaza Strip
Right from the onset, the newly-elected Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas is finding himself in between rock and hard
place. Though he is all buckled up for re-launching the peace
talk, the Israeli counterpart is all set to upset his plan.
But he is determined to see through his side of the plan.
Abbas will arrive in Gaza on Monday afternoon to start ceasefire
dialogue with Palestinian political powers and militant groups,
official sources closed to Abbas said.
He would stay in Gaza for a few days talk with these groups,
including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, said the sources.
Abbas will ask the factions and their armed wings to halt
attacks against Israel and give him a chance to bring Israel
back to the negotiation table.
On the other side of the border, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon is on the offensive. On January 15 he ordered all government
officials to cut contacts with the Palestinian National Authority
until it curbs violence, one day after militants killed six
Israelis in the Gaza Strip.
Sharon also gave a free rein to the Israeli army to operate
against militants in the Gaza Strip, accusing Abbas of not
On the other hand, senior Jihad leader Nafez Azzam told reporters
that his movement will study a ceasefire with Israel only
if Israel immediately refrains from carrying out military
actions in the Palestinian territories.
Mahmoud-al-Zahar, a top Hamas leader, said "it is the
Zionists (Israelis) that are killing and wounding civilians,
we are only defending ourselves and our civilians."
He described the pressure imposed on Hamas to drop its arms
and declare a unilateral ceasefire as unfair.
Sentence for Denying Paternity
A man by the name of Islam Ali received a sentence for life
in jail and a fine of ten thousand for not acknowledging his
son. And in the occasion of the failure to produce the thousand
taka fine, the sentence is to be extended for another year.
An additional session judge named Md. Shajahan Mojumdar of
Jhineda gave the verdict.
Meanwhile, Ali's son, Milon was declared the offspring of
Islam Ali and the daughter of Kashem Ali. The verdict entitles
the child to maintenance till he reaches 21, which the government
According to the proceedings of the case , Islam Ali started
a pre-marital relationship with the child's mother in the
month of February, 2003. After the young woman became pregnant
and gave birth to their love child, Ali denied having anything
to do with the newborn and refused to marry the young women.
Kashem sued Islam Ali on behalf of his daughter in the court
for Prevention of Repression against Women and Children. The
recent verdict followed the accounts of ten witnesses who
confirmed Ali having a relationship with the child's mother.
A gang of bandits stopped a group of busses on the Dhaka-Barisal
highway into a ditch at Nowpara in Bhanga upazila at 2:30
in the morning on January 15th. The hold-up resulted in one
of the busses falling into a gorge, killing eleven people
and hospitalising eighteen, eight of whom are critically injured.
The passengers of the bus were members of he Kushtia Bar Association
and their families. They were returning to Kushtia from a
picnic party in Kuakata beach of the Bay in Patuakhali district,
when the group of bandits stopped the bus and began breaking
windows, attempting to rob the passengers. According to a
witness, the driver of one of the picnic busses tried to move
in reverse gear in order to save his passengers but the bus
fell into a ditch, killing eleven people instantly. Deputy
commissioner and police superintendent of Faridpur and firefighters
received a tip on the robbery and rushed to the scene, recovered
the bodies and rescued the remaining passengers with the help
of locals within the area. After the accident, the Police
suprintendent in Faridpur put the officer-in-charge of the
Bhanga Police Station, Shahidullah and Pakuria police outpost
ASI Faruque under suspension for "neglect of duty."
Colleagues were in tears as the bodies were brought to the
Kushtia Bar Bhaban around 1:00 as the lawyers hoisted a black
flag and wore black badges to mourn the deaths. Textiles and
Jute Minister Shajahan Siraj, who is the minister-in-charge
of Kushtia, and four MPs from the district expressed their
deep shock at the deaths of the lawyers and their family members.
end to the blasts
Bomb blasts have become a more or less common phenomenon in
Bangladesh in the last few years with few investigations,
if any, making any headway at all. Late last Friday and early
Saturday morning, two people were killed -- yet again -- and
at least 60 injured in blasts at jatra shows in Bogra and
Natore. The annual winter event in Bogra was attended by at
least five thousand people. Two powerful bombs hurled at the
audience left a rickshaw-van driver dead and 40 others injured.
A number of villagers told reporters that an influential quarter
had warned the youth organisers of the show against holding
it, regarding it as "immoral and irreligious". Some
villagers have also linked the attack to Bangla Bhai, whose
home is in a neighbouring village. Yet others see it as a
sequel to previous rivalry between locals. In Natore, one
of the two bombs thrown apparently exploded when a woman performer
was dancing "indecently". Apart from the 42-year-old
man who died in the blast, 20 people were injured in the stampede
that ensued. Will we hear anything more of the crime, or will
the files gather dust above those of Ramna, Udichi, Sylhet
and many others?
away, safe and sound
January 20, 2005 is a day when the Communist Party of Bangladesh
(CPB) will be mourning the deaths of its members, caused by
a bomb blast four years ago at Paltan Maydan. However, justice
still seems to be silent. In fact, in the past six years a
total of 14 bombs were blown in many different parts of the
country, but with no one to pay any heed to any of these horrific
events. The most recent blast had taken place last Friday
at fairs in Bagura and Natore, where two people died and 70
were badly hurt.
Reports say that out of the many blasts that have been occurring
in the country, only three have had a chance to actually go
through investigations, but were eventually stopped. Seven
of these blasts cannot be investigated, due to lack of so-called
witnesses. Only the blast involving the British High Commissioner,
Anwar Chowdhury, had some real investigation and is probably
being worked on actively. Some of the huge blasts which rocked
the country and disrupted the normal lives of people, including
the one which occurred last August, attempting to kill the
opposition leader Sheikh Hasina, are not going under any kind
of investigation what so ever. Due to these bombs going off
anytime and anywhere, the citizens of the country find it
difficult to trust the government and also to carry trust
in simple humanity.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005