Tuesday, Advocate Khorshed Alam Bachchu, a Supreme Court lawyer
and also joint general secretary of Awami Ainjibi Parishad,
a pro-opposition lawyer's forum, was gunned down by unknown
assailants at Tejgaon. This stimulated intense street demonstrations
in the capital.
Investigations revealed that three gunmen sprayed around 10
bullets on Khorshed at 9:45 am, a while after he came out
of his home in Tejkunipara and was on his way to work. Leaving
the AL leader dead on spot, the assailants sped off in a CNG-run
autorickshaw. Khorshed took at least nine bullets in the forehead,
throat, chest, abdomen and one of his legs.
This cold-blooded murder led to several protests last week,
where the opposition called dawn-to-dusk hartals in the city
last Wednesday and Saturday. Hundreds of locals, AL leaders
and activists demonstrated against the government and demanded
arrest and punishment to the killers. Protestors vandalised
vehicles on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue and blocked the road
for an hour causing severe traffic gridlock. A picketing battle
resulted between the agitators and the police, while all the
speeding vehicles were getting stoned.
colleagues put off their work in protest. Supreme Court lawyers
also stopped their work last week and observed a daylong work
According to the police, anonymous callers had been threatening
Khorshed, asking him to step down from the seven-member committee
he headed. It seems that the callers had even warned him of
dire consequences should he not quit the committee.
The slain leader's Namaz-e-janaza was held on the Supreme
Court (SC) premises. The second one was held on the premises
of the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Dhaka, which
hundreds of lawyers attended.
girl was raped and forced into prostitution after she was
sold to a hotel owner in downtown Dhaka. The 17-year-old girl
was going to Rajshahi when a sister-in-law of the girl's stepmother
allegedly sold her to the owner of hotel Capetown in the city's
"It was around 3am when she brought me to room 27 on
the third floor (of the hotel). Saying she will be coming
back soon, she went out and never came back," the girl
told the journalist. The following day the girl was gang raped
by a pack of men, whom the victim later identified as some
policemen and local hoodlums. The nearby police station was
only half a mile away.
A couple of days later she managed to flee and went to Dhaka
Medical College Hospital. For the police, good sense prevailed;
law enforcers raided the hospital upon the girl's information
and arrested 10 of the hotel staff. Of them Mujibul Alam,
manager of the hotel, cried innocence. "I have been working
here for the last three years, but I have never seen any such
thing or any girl of that name," Alam told journalists.
The government has done nothing though incidents of this kind
have been repeated itself many times across the capital. With
the complicity of some police members of different prostitution
rings in the city remain very much active.
new Food-for-Oil programme
water way between Dhaka and Chittagong, a shady deal unveils.
The siphoning of government oil has become a common practice
on this route and is a part of a tanker's voyage. Each day,
more than ten tankers, each carrying over 1,000 metric tons
of oil, make the same trip. On top, everything seems normal,
but the river route has become an underground network for
trade at night: the trade of oil in exchange of rice, chickens,
fish, cash, etc. At other times, shipments of oil simply disappear.
This form of siphoning is a tradition that has been followed
by miscreants for a very long time. "We have been observing
this crime since independence of the country," noted
a prominent journalist of Bhola. Close to 3 crore taka is
being traded off every month from this route. A large crime
syndicate is behind this shady barter that comprise of local
mastans, local administrations, some local police stations,
political high-ups and even government officials in the area.
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, deputy commissioner of Bhola, admitted
to such occurrences but refused to make any claim. "We
have heard about the crime but nobody has came forward with
a specific allegation," he said. Other sources claim,
however, that this exchange programme spans over a vast route
and the corruption involves amounts in crores. The main reason
behind all the corruption is due to government involvement,
some say. If the trade was privatised, this problem would
promptly be tackled.
Source: The Daily Star.
callers have always been sensitive to some issues like public
examinations, religious events etc. But the AL seems to have
decided to break up from that tradition. It has already enforced
two hartals in four days while the SSC examinations are very
much on. While the AL had some sort of justification--traditionally
killing of an opposition leader is followed by a hartal the
dawn to dusk hartal on May 21 irritated most. Even the most
ardent AL followers thought the AL was overdoing the hartal
act. Some four and a half lakh examinees and their relatives
spent anxious hours as the government was taking time to decide
the postponement of the exams on the hartal days. The hartals
passed off rather peacefully except the savagery on the part
of two allegedly pro-hartal activists who poured acid on a
CNG driver and burned almost his entire body. His crime was
he dared to come out on a hartal morning. Now he is fighting
for life, his wife has already exhausted all the money she
had for his treatment. She doesn't know where she will collect
the rest of his treatment cost from. Then, of course, there
are other problems ahead. Doctors have expressed serious doubt
if Amer, the CNG driver, will ever return to normal life and,
more importantly, if he will be able to earn his and his family's
living. Who has gained from this hartal and from this beastly
(R) thedailystar.net 2005