News of: Monday, 16th of April, 2012
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Railway minister's Assistant Personal Secretary Omar Faruq Talukder was sacked and Railway General Manager (East) Yusuf Ali Mridha and Dhaka Division Security Commandant Enamul Huq were suspended yesterday in connection with the railwaygate scandal.
Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta's refusal to resign and indeed his argument that he cannot be held responsible for the scandal involving his assistant personal secretary and others regarding the Tk 70 lakh episode damages his reputation further and erodes the moral standing of the government he has been part of since December last year.
Embattled Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta last night met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gono Bhaban and defended his position on the Tk 70 lakh scandal, said a source close to the prime minister.
They were neither dressed in bright, colourful clothes nor singing Rabindranath Tagore's ageless Esho he Baishakh in celebration of the Bangla New Year. Their day did not start with a platter of Panta bhat and fried Hilsa fish, the most sought-after menu of urban people on Pahela Baishakh.
Manpower syndicates of both Bangladesh and Libya are out to “manage visas” to recruit jobseekers to war-torn Libya.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday agreed to tour Pakistan to play two international matches at the end of the month. The one-day international is scheduled for April 29 and the Twenty20 international on the next day, both to be held in Lahore.
Mayoral hopeful from BNP in Dhaka City Corporation (South) Asaduzzaman Ripon started electioneering yesterday while Adbul Awal Mintoo, mayoral aspirant for DCC (north), will go ahead after getting a formal declaration from the party.
The High Court yesterday ordered stopping the process of divided Dhaka City Corporation polls until further hearing today.
Almost 400 prisoners escaped from a prison in Pakistan after it was attacked by Islamist militants, officials said yesterday.
Investigations into suspected war criminals Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan are in the final stages, investigation agency of the International Crimes Tribunal told The Daily Star yesterday.
The prosecution has appealed to the International Crimes Tribunal-1 to transfer three cases it was dealing with to International Crimes Tribunal-2, following the recently introduced provision for case transfer.
Five prominent organisations yesterday demanded that the government scrap the proposed project of a coal-based thermal power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat as they said the plant, if built, would pose a threat to the Sundarbans.
Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami did not commit any crime against humanity during the Liberation War, rather strongly criticised the attacks of Pakistani army on the Bangalees, Nizami's counsel told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday.
The Power Development Board (PDB) yesterday submitted a fresh proposal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) on providing uninterrupted power supply to the consumers at higher rates.
A mobile court of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested seven fake doctors and sentenced them to different jail terms during separate drives in the capital's Mirpur and Uttara.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against nine fugitive accused, also activists of ruling Awami League-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League of Jahangirnagar University, in the case murder of Zubair Ahmed in January this year.
The High Court yesterday directed the government to demolish buildings encroaching on Gulshan Lake in the capital within 15 days and to submit a compliance report to it by May 2.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J Shapiro will arrive here on Wednesday on a two-day official visit to attend a security dialogue.
Opposition BNP yesterday submitted its annual tax return for the fiscal 2010-2011.
Six persons, including two employees of a salon, in Old Dhaka's Sankhari Bazar area were injured in a blast Saturday night as a staff lit a match stick in the closed room.
Police assaulted two reporters Saturday night when they went to collect information from a police control room temporarily set up at the gate of Suhrawardy Udyan in front of TSC of Dhaka University.
At least 15 miners were killed in two mine floods in China over the weekend, as rescuers frantically pumped mining shafts in search of seven still missing in the accidents, state press said yesterday.
The return visit of Bangladesh prime minister to Turkey last week has opened a new vista of bilateral relationship between the two countries with very longstanding fraternal ties. The renewed endeavor was commenced with the visit of Turkey's Prime Minister Erdođan to Bangladesh in November, 2010, the first Turkish Prime Minister to do so in almost 21 years. Hasina's reciprocal visit opens up the prospect of deepening the economic ties between the two countries as the several deals signed between them show.We note with satisfaction the commitment of the two leaders to enhance the volume of trade to 3 billion dollars by 2015 that stands at 1 billion at the moment. Given the significant rise in the bilateral trade volume since 2002 when it was only $47 million the figure had reached $658 million by 2009 and is $1 billion at present, the figure of $3 billion is very attainable if the content of the export basket was increased as was suggested by Bangladesh. And the prospect of enhancing the volume of trade between Bangladesh and Turkey is even greater particularly after the two countries sign FTA as agreed during the visit.
Wishing our patrons and readers Shovo Noboborsha, later than Pahela Baishakh, has its advantage. It enriches the greetings with the knowledge of the day seen, felt and lived to the core with its many-hued cultural representations.
Title contenders Abahani and Muktijoddha Sangsad KC shared honours after playing out a 1-1 draw in their last match of the first leg of Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
There was widespread surprise in the country after it was announced that Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) agreed to tour Pakistan later this month to play two international matches.
Kings XI Punjab beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 2 runs in a thrilling IPL match in Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman finished the Maybank Malaysian Open at an unflattering 52nd (joint) position where South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen cruised to a three-stroke victory on Sunday.
Nine nomination papers were sold on the first day of four-day nomination distributions of the Bangladesh Football Federation polls, which is scheduled to be held on April 30.
Double sprint world record-holder Usain Bolt made a triumphant start to his 2012 season under rainy conditions on Saturday, joking the weather would prepare him for the 2012 London Olympics.
Former world women's 800-metre champion Caster Semenya failed to secure a place at the 2012 London Olympic Games when winning the national title on Saturday.
Chittagong Abahani held Beani Bazar Sporting Club to a goalless draw in their Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League encounter at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.
Rajasthan Royals rode on Ajinkya Rahane's scintillating century to register a comprehensive 59-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League match in Bangalore yesterday.
When the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) executive board meets in Dubai over Sunday and Monday, the main item on their agenda will be the 65 recommendations made public in February following the independent governance review, headed by Lord Woolf.
Rafael Nadal begins his bid for an unprecedented eighth straight Monte Carlo Masters title plagued by new fears over his physical condition.
Aleem Dar, the ICC Elite umpire, has joined the chorus for the mandatory use of the Hot Spot technology for all series to minimise umpiring errors. Dar said he was fully supportive of the Decision Review System (DRS), and wanted consistency in the use of various technology.
Australia reached 132 for three at tea on the first day of the second Test against the West Indies at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad yesterday. Australia skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and decided to bat, and the openers David Warner and Ed Cowan started well, putting on0 53 for the first wicket at a fairly brisk pace.
Jesse Ryder batted through the innings while Steven Smith played a blistering knock to steer Pune Warriors to a seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League match on Saturday.
Leaders Real Madrid will have a four-point advantage over chasing Barcelona when they meet at the Nou Camp for the second 'Clasico' of the campaign in a week's time after the arch rivals both won in La Liga on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi took their remarkable scoring achievements to new heights when they jointly set a record for La Liga goals in a season of 41 on Saturday.
Carlos Tevez fired a hat-trick and fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City thrashed Norwich City 6-1 to move within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester United on Saturday.
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll headed an 87th minute winner to secure a 2-1 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton in an error-strewn FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Livorno's Piermario Morosini has died after collapsing on the pitch with a cardiac arrest during an Italian second division game at Pescara on Saturday, prompting the soccer federation to postpone this weekend's professional games.
Irrepressible Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at their greatest rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday to set a Bundesliga record and move to the brink of retaining their championship title.
After being sent off for the third time this season, The Sun has reported that Balotelli is willing to see a psychiatrist to get his temper under control and salvage his stay at Manchester City.
Farmers are switching to maize cultivation in increasing numbers because of better prices of the cereal and high demand by feed and flour mills.
Economists and bankers have recommended slashing the interest rate spread by creating competition among banks.
Despite doubts aired by ADB and IMF over Bangladesh achieving 7 percent GDP growth this fiscal year, Finance Minister AMA Muhith is upbeat on the target.
Initiatives will be taken to set up a separate bench in the High Court for the fast disposal of cases related to the stockmarket, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.
Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation has delayed a bidding deadline in an international tender to import 25,000 tonnes of white sugar. The new deadline to submit offers is April 21 instead of April 7.
Asiatic Group, the largest marketing communications company in Bangladesh, celebrated its 46th anniversary on Friday, it said in a statement.
Last year, a Chittagong-based steel mill owner urgently needed to hire an engineer from India to repair a sophisticated piece of machinery.
Business consultant Adrian Mutton says it takes courage for a foreign corporation to make a big-ticket investment in India given the uncertainties thrown up by capricious twists in government policy.
Shedding the preceding year's glooms to oblivion, the nation welcomed Pahela Baishakh, its biggest and most colourful festival and the first day of the Bangla year 1419, on Saturday with its customary fanfare and festivity.
A burglary occurred in three offices at Lokman Tower, a commercial building, at Sk Mujib Road in the port city on Saturday night.
Ten people, including a couple and two university students, died and five others were injured in separate road crashes in Feni, Chittagong, Brahmanbaria, Rajshahi, Netrakona, Joypurhat and Thakurgaon early Saturday and yesterday.
Agitating Buet teachers yesterday demanded resignation of its vice-chancellor (VC) and pro-vice-chancellor within a week alleging manifold anomalies to uphold the institution's tradition of academic excellence, moral standing and non-partisan credibility.
Amid multiple challenges emerging from the alternative media, the principles of journalism and reliability can help sustain newspapers, said eminent British journalist Mark Tully.
The pro-Awami League and pro-Jamaat workers chased each others at Central Railway Building (CRB) here yesterday over corruption in recent recruitment.
Police yesterday arrested another youth in connection with the killing of assistant sub-inspector of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station Belayet Hossain at a police barricade in the city last Thursday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated her government's tough stance against terrorism and militancy and vowed that the government would never compromise on these issues.
Fifteen High Court judges, whose appointments were regularised by the president on April 11, took oath yesterday.
Rajshahi University (RU) observed memorial programmes yesterday and on Saturday commemorating the sacrifices of two of its teachers who embraced martyrdom during the 1971 Liberation War.
Chittagong teemed with myriad colours as its residents clad in vibrant attires celebrated the arrival of Pahela Baishakh, the Bangla New Year, through different programmes till Saturday.
Demanding a judicial inquiry, to be led by a retired chief justice, into the railwaygate scandal, BNP leader Moudud Ahmed has asked Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta to step down in the next 48 hours.
The High Court (HC) yesterday requested some eminent lawyers to give their expert opinions as amicus curiae (friend of court) before it on April 29 on the rule issued earlier against Asif Nazrul, a professor at Dhaka University.
The government yesterday formed a “Bangladesh Qwami Madrasa Education Commission” to formulate recommendations on issues related to qwami madrasas' educational management and its curriculum for government approval.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists enforced an indefinite strike at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) yesterday morning demanding immediate arrest of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists who injured four JCD men.
The High Court yesterday summoned the superintendent of police of Satkhira and Kaliganj Police Station's officer-in-charge to appear on April 23 for their alleged failure to protect properties of some Hindus in an attack.
Sabera Khatun Shamsun Ara, former educationist and cultural personality, wife of late journalist and former ambassador KG Mustafa, passed away early hours on Sunday at the age of 78.
Prof Dilara Haroon, a freedom fighter and former lawmaker, wife of late prof AKM Haroon-or-Rashid, a dramatist, poet and music compositor, died of cardiac arrest at National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in the capital on Saturday night at the age of 66.
Alhaj Fazle Haque, a social worker, passed away due to old age complications at a hospital in the capital yesterday at the age of 90.
Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) yesterday barred BNP men from holding a rally in Sylhet city yesterday.
Prof Md Jahangir Alam has been appointed the new vice-chancellor (VC) of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) for next four years.
Police yesterday arrested seven Islami Chhatra Shibir activists from their procession in the port city.
A prisoner of Chittagong Central Jail, who was undergoing treatment at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), passed away yesterday.
The government has appointed M Shahidul Islam, currently serving as Bangladesh Ambassador to Korea, as the new Ambassador of Bangladesh to France.
Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a developer Tk 5 lakh for earth filling in a lake of Pathalia in Savar.
Around 400 diabetic patients were given free treatment at a camp at Laxmi Khola Collegiate School in Paikgachha upazila of Khulna on Saturday.
The country's second border haat (market) comprising 50 sheds on a 70-square metre site at Dolura in Sunamganj district is set to be inaugurated on April 24.
Police arrested 47 leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami on charge of planning to carry out subversive activities in Satkhira and Chandpur districts on Saturday.
Power supply in three areas of Gaibandha municipality has remained suspended for eight days, but the authorities concerned are yet to take any step to mitigate the sufferings of the locals.
Police recovered a human skull and bones from a brick field in Birampur upazila of the district on Saturday.
An assistant public prosecutor (APP) of Pabna District and Sessions Judges' Court has alleged that the police did not receive a case of bomb attack on his residence by ruling party men due to pressure from the assistant private secretary (APS) of a state minister.
Over a thousand tornado-hit people of two villages in Champapur union under Kalapara upazila are living under the open sky as they are yet to get any relief from any government and non-government organisations.
Nor'wester, accompanied with hails at some places, lashed several districts since Friday, damaging houses and crops.
At least 19 people were injured in a clash between students of private owned Mangrove Polytechnic Institute and angry mob at the Junction Road under Khalishpur police station of the city on Saturday.
Two people including a sand trader were injured during a gunfight in Manikchal area in Sadar upazila yesterday afternoon. Sources said, a few months ago, Mohammed Ali, 50, father of injured sand trader Miju, was killed by his rival Apon in front of his residence following a feud over sand business in the area. Bullet injured Miju was admitted to Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital (SZMCH) in the town. Police said a gang led by Apon attacked Miju and his men at around 2:45pm with firearms and sharp weapons. During a gunfight, Miju received bullet injury in his shoulder while an unidentified youth of the rival group was hit by bullet in his hand. The youth however managed to escape. Police said at least six people were killed in the area in the last 5 years centering the sand business.
A union parishad (UP) chairman and local Awami League leader was knifed to death by assailants at Sutapatti near Janata Bank in the district town last night. The dead is Abdur Razzak Sarkar, 60, chairman of Alukgali UP of Sadar upazila and a local AL leader. Witnesses said a gang of unidentified miscreants attacked him at Sutapatti at Narsingdi Bazaar and stabbed him indiscriminately with knives leaving him severely injured at 9:30 pm. Duty doctor at Narsingdi Sadar Hospital declared him dead on arrival. He was elected as chairman of the UP for five times.
Zulfiquar Ali, general secretary of Mongla Poura BNP, has lost the post of mayor for concealing information regarding his wealth in the statement submitted to the Election Commission. The election to Mongla Pourasava was held on January13, last year. Md. Abu Shamim Azad, judge of the Election Tribunal, Bagerhat pronounced his verdict on Thursday (April12). The tribunal has directed the Election Commission to cancel the results of Mongla Pourasava mayoral poll and hold re-election there within 90 days from the date of the pronouncement of judgment. Shaikh Abdus Salam, a veteran leader of Mongla Awami League and defeated candidate for the same mayoral post field a petition on January 20 in the same year with the Bagerhat Election Tribunal seeking cancellation of election results bringing allegations of concealing information about wealth and property against the elected mayor. Mayor Zulfiqar Ali said that he would appeal in the higher court of Bagerhat today against the judgment.
Around two and a half maund of hilsa fry (jatka) was seized from Char Hajiganj market area beside the Padma River of Gazirtek union under Charvodrason upazila yesterday. Source said, acting on a tip-off, Md. Abdur Rashid, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Charvodrason upazila along with M Azam Ali, official of upazila fish office, conducted the raid on Char Hajiganj area and seized the fishes.
We strongly criticise the assault by the unruly members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on a Dhaka University teacher. Once again, the heinous act carried out by the members of this law enforcing agency has proved that they are getting used to this kind of abuse of power. The reason for which Muhammad Saif Uddin Khan, a lecturer of Finance department, was beaten up is that he requested the Rab men to move their pick-up van that blocked the traffic movement on the road.
Gunter Grass, the Nobel winning novelist of Germany, has broken the truth to the world that Israel, not Iran, is the threat to the world civilisation. He has exposed the western hypocrisy that keeps mum about Israel's nuclear stockpile but cry wolf on Iran's peaceful use of nuclear energy. Gunter Grass has spent his last ink as if as a last minute confession of a dying man to relieve himself from the burden of concealing the truth. By protesting the injustice and double standard perpetrated by the western governments, Grass has raised his image on a par with other leading figures of freedom who stood like Himalaya against the onslaught of colonialism and injustice.
Last week I read a very interesting article in an English daily that gave a solution to many of the load-shedding problems we face several times daily. While its writer Sir Frank Peters did not attempt to address the alleviation of the load-shedding problem entirely, he did put forward an excellent suggestion all the same that would ease the burden and be beneficial to all if translated into action.
Recently a tragic incident took place at a Washington elementary school where an 8-year-old girl, Amina Kocer-Bowman was critically wounded when her classmate's (9-year-old) gun had been accidentally fired at her. The young boy was reportedly unhappy with his family life and had planned to run away from home. He took a .45-Caliber gun from the glove compartment of his mother's truck. The gun the boy had stowed went off and the bullet critically injured Amina.
It seems that killers, muggers and all sorts of criminals are prowling everywhere; at any moment they may pounce upon you.
Going into the American Center auditorium I found myself to be quite dazzled by the number of volunteers who showed up. By 9:15 am Dr. Bernard started the training session. At times I felt I wasn't in any training. The doctors talked seamlessly and we listened. Who knew we were learning so much. After the theoretical aspects of accidents were discussed, we went for the practice session. It was amazing. I volunteered to lie down while the doctors showed others how to handle me if I had just undergone a terrible accident. Later, we tried CPR on the manikins which seemed quite easy but actually was extremely hard. The programme ended with Mr. Korvi introducing 'JAAGO' and 'Volunteer for Bangladesh' to the new volunteers present. With the number of accidents happening, I'm sure I will use my skills someday soon.
From The Daily Star report of April 6, I came to know about the attack on minorities in Satkhira. It's really sorrowful to see that some people use religion to gain their heinous interests. During the last few months, there have been several events of attack on minorities throughout the country.
Information technology has developed much in recent years. Availability of internet service has also increased. It is helpful for keeping pace with the current world. We are now more connected with the outside world. But it cannot be denied that internet has some bad sides too.
This was the question asked in the last line of Ahsan's enlightening essay on the subject, published in your editorial page on 11th April. It is indeed the million dollar question that baffles millions of people in Bangladesh.
Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Let him decide”
Explosions and gunfire rocked the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday as suicide bombers struck across Afghanistan in coordinated attacks claimed by Taliban insurgents as the start of a spring offensive.
The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved sending a 30-person advance mission of unarmed military observers to monitor the ceasefire established Thursday.
Wreaths were cast at sea and a memorial garden was unveiled yesterday in events worldwide to remember the more than 1,500 people who died in the sinking of the Titanic ocean liner exactly a century ago.
Egypt's election commission said on Saturday that ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater and Salafist politician Hazem Abu Ismail are among 10 candidates barred from running for president.
The first discussions between Iran and six world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme ended on a positive note, Western officials said yesterday.
Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo withdrew Friday from the race to lead the World Bank, endorsing Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's challenge against the favoured US candidate, Colombian media reported.
Arts & Entertainment
The nation celebrated 'Pahela Baishakh', the first day of the Bangla year 1419, last Saturday amidst vibrant pageantry, leaving behind the gloom of the past and pledging to uphold the nation's opulent cultural heritage.
In Bangladesh, struggling artists -- driven solely by their passion -- keep painting as long as economic responsibilities can be evaded. Finally a day arrives when they are forced to face reality, put down their paintbrush and resign to an office job, locking up and slowly killing the creative flare that defined them.
Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year-1419, was celebrated at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University (MBSTU) in Tangail on April 14 amidst much festivity.
Shatadal Samajik O Sangskritik Sangathan, a local organisation,organised a kite festival on the banks of the river Jamuna in Manikganj on Saturday to celebrate Pahela Baishakh.
A three-day commemorative programme on the mystic bards -- Radharomon Dutta, Hason Raja and Baul Shah Abdul Karim -- concluded at the Shaheed Abul Hossain Auditorium in Sunamganj town last Friday.
The midnight drama involving a huge sum of money in the microbus of Assistant Personal Secretary (APS) to the railway minister has thrown the government into yet another embarrassment. As a veteran politician and parliamentarian, Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta will have to come clear to save his status as minister. Though he has been trying to put on a bold front all through, it is clear that the incident has laid his image on the line.
On April 4, The Indian Express reported that two Indian Army units, a mechanised infantry formation from Hisar in Haryana and 50 Para Brigade from Agra, made an un-notified movement towards New Delhi on January 16.
The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.