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     Volume 4 Issue 44 | April 29, 2005 |

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News Notes

Love Thy Enemy
While their moms are verbally tearing each other apart like gladiators in a Roman arena, the sons are showing, at least publicly, that they are far more tame in their political rivalry. On Sunday April 25, in an unusual gesture, Tarique Rahman, ruling BNPs senior joint secretary and Khaleda Zia's son, sent a bouquet of flowers to Sajib Wajed Joy, Sheikh Hasina's son who arrived that day from the US on a month-long visit. The bouquet was taken by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leaders during Joy's stopover at Bogra. We can only fantasise a day when Khaleda Zia will send floral wishes to Sheikh Hasina or vice versa instead of their customary exchanges of hatred

Judge's Bar Certificate Cancelled
In an unprecedented move, last week Bangladesh Bar Council (BC) cancelled the enrolment certificate of a sitting judge. Judge Faisal Mahmud Faizee has provided false information and has failed to disprove allegation about his Law Exams, the statutory body of legal practitioners in the country, said.
"The council meeting has unanimously revoked his enrolment. We have decided to file a criminal case against him for providing false information in the affidavit," Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, vice chairperson of the BC, said.
Judge Faizee mentioned September 15, 1965 as his date of birth in an application form that he submitted to the BC, while certificates attached to that enrolment form allegedly says he was born on September 15, 1963.
Rokan said he believed the judge had lost the moral right to sit on the bench. "Once his certificate for practice is revoked, judicial work and judgements of Faizee should have no legality.
Last month the high court convicted reporters, publishers and editors of two Bangla Dailies that ran stories about Faizee's LLB Exams. The judge's appointment has drawn widespread criticism from different quarters.

Killer Bus
With little action being taken to punish violators of traffic rules, the number of people getting killed in road accidents have reached an all time high. Almost everyday the news of people dying in accidents on the highways due to reckless driving is making headlines. Only a few days ago a talented musician was killed when a Dhaka bound microbus from Chittagong fell into a ditch, also severely injuring members of the band Black. Right after this, residents of Mirpur, Dhaka set fire to a bus and other vehicles after a schoolboy was run over by a bus in Mirpur 10. Saiful Aziz Omi, a class VII student was crushed to death when he was trying to get on a vehicle at 12:15pm. The killer bus was trying to block another bus that was trying to overtake it from the wrong side. Omi was going back home with a friend after taking an exam at his school. According to an eyewitness, Omi slipped and fell under the rear wheel of the speeding bus. As usual the bus got away. Fortunately it was seized by the police, and the driver Belayet Hossain was arrested.
Right after the incident, outraged locals rushed to the spot and started torching and damaging vehicles. After almost two hours the police managed to bring the situation under control. The violent behaviour of the public is understandable in the wake of innumerable deaths of innocent individuals because of callous driving. Law enforcers have failed to nab reckless drivers. Many of these speeding, unruly buses, coasters or tempos are owned by members of the law enforcing agencies. There are allegations that in the event of an accident drivers manage to get away because they pay off the traffic police present. Obviously the authorities are not doing anything about the situation. Without any exemplary punishment to these traffic violators, who are also killers, such accidents will continue and more and more innocents will die or be maimed for life.

Ahmadiyyas Blame ISI
At a press conference last week, Prof Mobashwer Ali, Nayeeb-e- Amir of Ahmadiyya community in the country, blamed Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) for fomenting anti-Ahmadiyya campaign that has gathered a new momentum immediately after the last general elections. Ali also categorically blasted Jamaat-e-Islami, a major partner in the ruling coalition, for patronising the zealots.
"Jamaat is trying to establish the ideology of its leader Syed Abul Ala Moududi to brand us non-Muslims," Ali told the journalists. Moududi first launched the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign in 1934; after India and Pakistan split, he settled in Pakistan and started to spread religious hatred afresh, Ali continued.
Jamaat is following the same ideals here in Bangladesh, the leader of the sect feared. Refuting the bigots' claim that Ahmadiyyas do not accept Hazarat Muhammad (PBUH) as the last prophet as falsehood Ali quoted from a Hadith: "He who prays like us, prays toward our 'Kiblah' and eats meat of the animal slaughtered by us, is a Muslim".
All the major political parties fell prey to Ali's scathing criticism too. "No major political party stood by us fearing loss of votes, although none of them ideologically supports violence against any particular sect," he said.
But, he believed the zealots would not be able to succeed in their plans to declare Ahmadiyyas heretics. "We seek the help of Allah and Allah only for the help of our safety, security and protection. We believe that we are close to Allah and He will never fail to glorify his ardent followers."



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