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     Volume 6 Issue 42 | November 2, 2007 |

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News Notes

War Criminals Must be Punished
During the glorious days of our Liberation War, when the whole nation was fighting a bloody and ruthless war against the occupying Pakistani forces, a handful of traitors opposed the country's independence. Of these vile people most infamous are: Golam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mojaheed who helped the occupying Pakistani army kill and rape hundreds and thousands of people. There is no denial of this fact, Nizami himself was the commander of Al Badr paramilitary, a killing squad that butchered the martyred intellectuals on the eve to the defeat of his masters on December 16, 1971. Like a pack of bloodthirsty hounds Azam-Nizami-Mojaheed gang massacred innocent Bangalis; it is well documented in the local and international newspapers. Even reports published by the Pakistani government and the eye witness accounts of Pakistani soldiers assert the fact that these debauched individuals killed innocent people, picked up innocent Bangladeshi girls and women and forced them to the camps of Pakistani military.
Last week, like a shameless liar Mojaheed tried to deny his and his masters' role in the rape and mass killings of 1971. Another of his cohort Shah Hannan tried to belittle our glorious Muktijuddo by calling it a civil war. The audacity of these two persons is surprising. In any other civilised country people like Azam, Nizami and Mojaheed would have been in jail, serving prison sentences for rape and killing. It is a shame on us as a nation that even 36 years after our Liberation War we could not punish these goons who (Mojaheed's comment has proven it once again) do not believe in the very war of independence of the country.

So far the interim government has not come up with any comment about the issue. But it is time they should be reminded that to bury the politics of killing and murder, the government should bring the war criminals to the dock. There are a lot of things that no previous government has done before but this government has shown the courage to initiate (like anti-corruption drive, freeing politics of criminalisation), now it must take immediate steps to form a war crime tribunal to punish the killers of 1971. Time is surely running out on us, our very existence as a nation may one day be threatened.

Accident or Apathy?
While from the West we are bombarded with stories of very harmless incidents like a customer slipping on a drop of oil in a supermarket and suing the company for hundreds of thousands of dollars, here in Dhaka we hear horror stories of extreme forms of neglect leading to people's death and not getting a penny as compensation, or even an apology for a person's death! The construction companies are the worst offenders of such 'accidents'. Not only do they force the workers to work in the most dangerous of conditions, even the most seasoned circus performer would think twice before trying such acts, but they are also completely unconcerned about the safety of the passers-by.
On October 29 an auto-rickshaw driver, 35-year-old Babul Haoladar, while going to a garage from his house, was the victim of such blatant indifference. His life came to an end when he was hit by a brick falling from an under-construction five-storey building in Johuri Mahalla in Mohammadpur.
It's really distressing that basic safety measures are not maintained during building constructions, which would save so many lives every year. All it needs is using common sense and concern for human lives. A system of compensation should also be introduced and effectively implemented so that such incidents are never passed off as mere 'accidents' again.

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