Mad Rush towards "Freedom”
Last week, George Bush's sworn-in speech has unwittingly disappointed
those who expected a more docile and tamed president in his
second term in office. With the US occupation in Iraq in tatters
and no sign of job recovery in the home economy, Bush has
remained an incorrigible optimist. The President has promised
a weary world-audience that he will move on with his infamous
policy of pre-emptive actions.
"This is an amazing time in the history of the world,
and a nation with the influence we have, should continue to
help people realise their dreams and live in freedom,"
Bush told his viewers on Fox Television.
When the US, along with its lone brother-in-arms UK, attacked
Iraq, the whole region of Middle East was being considered
a volatile tinderbox, having every potential to destabilise
the world peace. Now that Iraqi resistance has proved more
tough and resilient than Bush and cronies expected, US administration
is bent on going through another misadventure.
Donald Abu-Gharib Rumsfeld, prior to his boss's inauguration,
warned Iraq's next-door neighbour Iran with pre-emptive action;
the country, in its turn, has vowed to defend every inch of
As the mindset of the new-cons is besieged with warlordism,
Bush's second term in office promises more quirks. Translation:
(other) people's freedom and privacy will be invaded more
frequently and indiscriminately; and the pretext will be the
same: to "free" the world from terror.
A long year's
wait finally ended in defeat for Azam Reza on January 17.
A Dhaka court found the fifty-year-old vice president of Dhaka
Bank guilty and sentenced him to death for the murder of his
wife Jayanti Reza, architect and teacher of Australian International
School in Dhaka on January 8 last year.
The next day the police found Jayanti hanging from a ceiling
fan of their residence. Her mother, Lusil Sadekin filed a
general diary with the Gulshan Thana, accusing Reza, who already
had a paralysed first wife, of murdering Jayanti "in
order to be free to marry actress Afsana Mimi, with whom he
was having an extra-marital affair".
Jayanti found it difficult to come to terms with the affair,
which in turn led to many fights and arguments between the
couple. On the night of the murder, the couple got into an
argument, which became physical and later led to the death
of Jayanti. Reza then attempted to make the death look like
suicide by hanging her on a ceiling fan.
Reza's father, mother and sister Shampa Reza were in the courtroom
at the time of the verdict. The victim's mother, sister and
sister's husband were also present. Lusil Sadekin told reporters
that although she would never get her daughter back she could
find solace in the fact that justice had been served. Reza's
family made no comments on the verdict.
Reza can appeal to the High Court against the judgement within
the next thirty days.
Renowned Bollywood actress Parveen Babi is no more. Throughout
the seventies Babi starred in some 50 films and had quite
a good number of box office hits to her credit. In 1983 she
suddenly quit the movie world and since then had been living
in seclusion in a Bombay apartment. On January 22 after being
informed by her neighbours that she wasn't coming out of her
house for long the police broke open her flat and found her
dead. The condition of her dead body suggested that she had
died two or three days before her body was found. Her neighbours
were naturally inclined to smell foul play behind the death,
but the initial autopsy report didn't support their suspicion.
The sudden death of Babi within one week of another sudden
death of Amresh Puri greatly shocked the cine-world people
as well as their thousands of fans.
Over 100 people were mugged after being doped last week. The
muggers either mixed drugs in food or got their victims to
smell them, causing them to become unconscious and robbing
them off their possessions. Incidents of mugging increased
sharply at cattle markets, bus terminals, launch ghats and
railway stations for the last two or three days before Eid.
Many people, on their way to selling cattle, and many others
on their way home to their villages to celebrate Eid with
family became victims, losing large amounts of cash, some,
according to a Daily Star report, as much as Tk 60,000. City
hospitals also saw a sharp increase in the number of patients
hospitalised after falling unconscious. Though they regained
consciousness between 12 and 24 hours, the chemicals used
to drug them could not be identified due to lack of proper
equipment, said a medical officer of Dhaka Medical College
Hospital (DMCH). Plainclothes policemen were apparently deployed
around the city and six people were arrested on the first
day after the crimes. But 45 more people were victimised the
very next day. With the recurrence of such a trend every Eid,
one would hope that effective measures would be taken to prevent
such seasonal crimes.
Clash with Police
has been raging a self-styled holy war against what he likes
to refer as 'crime' in north Bengal. His reign has taken a
beating last Saturday. Three Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh
(JMJB) men were lynched by the mob on the night they came
to take the life of a Union Parishad Chairman in Bagmara.
It was the attempt by JMJB men to organise a procession in
protest against the lynching that resulted in the clashes
with police reinforced by Rab brought in from Rajshai Police
Line to tackle the situation. The clashes left at least 50
people, including eight policemen, injured.
Police rounded up 64 JMJB cadres for clashing with the police,
but did not detain any of the leaders responsible for leading
At Bhabaniganj, Bagmara, on January 24, the scene of turmoil
ensued as the attempt to hold a rally by the Bangla-Bhai-led
JMJB was foiled. Tear gas shells, rubber bullets and brickbats
were used during the clashes, police sources revealed. A curfew-like
situation prevailed following the incident, as police and
Rab forces patrolled the region.
It was the first occasion for the JMJB men to have landed
in the slammer, and sources said that efforts were on by their
brethren to gather arms and recruit armed cadres from different
parts of the country. Meanwhile, JMJB leaders vowed to retaliate
for the lynching and to battle against the law enfocement
agencies if the situation demands.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005