into Aug21 Attack: Questionable Role of the Police
An investigation by high-profile lawyers into the August 21
grenade attack on an Awami League (AL) rally questions the
role of the police. The police made way for the attackers
to leave the venue immediately after the explosions observes
the lawyers' body that conducted the unofficial probe.
of helping the victims, the attending policemen moved to safe
distance observes the report, released by six senior lawyers
on February 27. Supreme Court Bar Councilo President Rokanuddin
Mahmud headed the investigation. It highlights the fact that
immediately after the series of blasts that killed 22 AL activists
including Ivy Rahman, a national leader, police lobbed tear
gas shells making the spot dark with smoke. It allowed the
attackers to escape, notes the report signed by Dr Kamal Hossain,
Abdul Malek, Amir-ul-Islam, Dr M Zahir and Muhammad Ayenuddin.
Presenting the report at a press conference at the Bar Association
Office, the lawyers concluded "beyond doubt" that
AL chief and Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina was the
prime target of the attackers.
MD's hand in fake account opening
Premier Bank has violated banking rules in the opening of
around 19,000 accounts with the different branches of the
bank around, revealed a central bank investigation. The branch
managers were forced to open these accounts after they got
verbal instructions from Kazi Abdul Mazid, managing director,
and Syed Nowsher Ali, manager of the Banani branch of the
bank. The central bank rules had totally been ignored in opening
these accounts where certain guidelines of Banking Rules and
Policy Department (BRPD) and Anti-Money Laundering Department
to a circular of BRPD, the banks should collect photographs
of every account holder and his or her nominee while opening
an account, which the Premier Bank did not comply with in
most cases. The rules also state that a client is supposed
to fill in a prescribed form of the bank concerned with his
or her own signature, mentioning name and address and providing
photocopy of passport or a domicile certificate from the local
ward commissioner. However, sources say that in some cases
accounts were opened without filling in such forms.
way these bank accounts have been opened is a criminal offence,"
said a former top official of the central bank. "It is
clearly understandable that these accounts have been opened
with a specific motive." Some accounts did not have any
address of the account holder, where as in other cases, the
same address was mentioned in opening several, thousand accounts.
In some cases, the branches did not take the initial deposit
needed for opening an account while no transaction took place
against the accounts.
and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 12 suspended a Tk
55 crore public floating of Premier Bank after 25,000 fake
beneficiary owners' (BO) accounts were found in its preliminary
investigation. The Bangladesh Bank on February 14 launched
an investigation into the Premier Bank public floating scam
after being informed officially by the SEC.
from the Dhaka Stock Exchange, both small as well as big investors
suspect that the Premier Bank might have tried to manipulate
the initial public offering (IPO) process.
Abdul Latif, musician and Language movement veteran died of
old age at the Suhrawardy Hospital on February 26. He was
68. Born in 1927, Latif actively participated in the language
movement of 1952 through his songs and writings. In fact,
he was the first composer of the famous song Amaar Bhayer
Roktè Ragano Ekusheye February, Ami Ki Bhulite Paree.
During the liberation war the singer-composer, who was famous
for numerous folk songs, inspired the nations by singing several
patriotic songs. The singer joined the civil service in 1974,
and in his 19-year-old career, Latif served as a government
officer in various capacities before retiring in 1993 as a
deputy director of the department of mass communications.
A fellow of the Bangla Academy, Latif was awarded Ekushey
Podok in 1979 and the Shadhinata Podok in 2002. He is survived
by his wife, two daughters and two sons.
the biggest casualty on December 25, 2003, where 15 UN Bangladeshi
peacekeepers were killed in a plane crash in Benin that killed
a total of 119 people, one of the bloodiest attacks on a UN
peacekeeping mission in the recent years, took place in the
lawless Ituri region of the former Zaire. Nine UN peacekeepers
from Bangladesh were killed on Dec 25 and 11 others wounded
when two UN patrols were ambushed in Northeast Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC). Since the end of last year, there
had been a surge of violence in Ituri where the militia have
gone on a spree of looting, rape and murder against civilians,
driving more than 70,000 people from their homes.
to one UN source the patrols were attacked in Ndoki, some
19 miles east of Ituri's main city of Bunia and an area controlled
by a predominantly ethnic Lendu militia known as FNI. It seems
that there is a possibility of the peacekeepers to have been
killed on spot or if some of them were first taken into the
bush and murdered later. "Lendus are not people that
take hostages, they just kill," the source said, adding
that it was raining heavily in Ituri, making search and rescue
government has brought the bodies back home and has buried
them according to the desire of their families with full military
to a study by Mass-line Media Centre (MMC), a media research
organisation, most of the cases that are related to rape and
repression of women and children in the country go unreported.
The miscreants go scot-free and are never taken to trial as
they intimidate the victims and, in some cases, the victims
themselves fear social stigma. According to their analysis,
an average of eleven women are killed each day while close
to 25 women fall victim to various forms of torture. The study
took place from October to December of last year. At least
2,140 incidents of human rights violations took place during
the same period whereas only 570 cases were filed, followed
by 533 arrests. The figures were from the MMC quarterly study
based on reports in 12 national and 154 regional dailies.
A total of 342 women were raped in the three-month period,
with an average of four rape incidents a day. Of them, 37
were killed after rape. A total of 122 women were killed over
dowry across the country and there were 247 incidents of dowry-related
repression. Only 124 cases were filed in connection with the
dowry-related torture as the victims wanted to avoid separation
in conjugal life, social stigma and further torture. There
were 98 incidents of acid attack on 110 women, but only 18
cases were filed, leading to 31 arrests. 318 women committed
suicide during the same period and Rajshahi saw 148 victims,
the highest at divisional level. Also according to the study,
269 children fell victim to rape and other forms of sexual
abuse. Of them, 16 were killed after rape. In addition, 351
children are reported to have been abducted and 11 were killed
after abduction. Among the divisions, Rajshahi tops the list
of sexually abused children, with 95 victims. Besides, 460
children died in accidents and violence during this same period.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005