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June 20, 2004 

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AL comeback to JS
The Awami League joins 15 June on the budget session of parliament today and moves to participate in the House activities including nomination of party deputies to parliamentary standing committees in a major shift in the main opposition party's position. The AL at its parliamentary party meeting yesterday also agreed to accept proportionate distribution of women's reserved seats in parliament and contest the upcoming by-election to Gazipur-2 constituency that fell vacant with the killing of AL lawmaker Ahsanullah Master on May 7.-Daily Star, 15th June

Chittagong arms haul, CID presses charges against 39
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday pressed charges against 39 people in Chittagong for their alleged roles in the largest ever arms seizure in Bangladesh, 59 workdays into its investigation with key suspects yet to be traced. Among the 39, 21 including prime suspects Hafizur Rahman, Din Mohammad, Sobhan Haji, Abul Kashem Madhu and Haji Yakub are evading capture. The CID submitted the chargesheet after a case was filed under the Arms Act for illegal possession and transportation of the huge consignment of deadly weapons seized at the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited jetty on April 2. Police arrested 18 people, including Marium Begum, a local union parishad member. MA Aziz, Badsha Mia, Sheikh Ahmad, Mojibur Rahman, Akhter Hossain, Jahangir Alam and Jasim, believed to be part of a smuggling syndicate, are also among the arrestees- Daily Star, 14 June

Stringent acid control law suggested
The National Acid Control Council yesterday suggested formulating strict acid control regulations within two weeks. The ninth council meeting held at home ministry's conference room with State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar in the chair also proposed to motivate young generation about the adverse effects of acid attacks, meeting sources said. - Daily Star, 14 June

Khulna OC faces case for 'killing outlaw' in custody
Razia Begum, mother of alleged PBCP (M-L) cadre Raja Chowdhury, has filed a case with the CMM court accusing Kulna thana OC Mosharef Hossain, Sub Inspectors Koushik and Arman and constables Feroz and Kausar for killing her son in custody. The court has ordered Khulna thana to record the case properly. - Daily Star, 14 June

Police violate HR
Police seriously violated human rights at 22 thanas in the capital by their inhuman treatment to those taken to custody, harassing relations of the arrestees and taking bribe from them, said Odhikar, a coalition for human rights, in its quarterly research report on Saturday. The report said in the wake of opposition's April 30 deadline to oust the government, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) collected a huge amount of money in bribe from ordinary citizens while conducting a mass-arrest crackdown by abusing section 86 of DMP Ordinance and 54 of Criminal Procedure Code. In the name of foiling oust-government agitation, police indiscriminately picked up ordinary people from bus and railway stations, launch terminals and city slums and took bribe by threatening them to implicate in false cases, the report added. Police arrested about 700 people on April 18 and 2500 on April 20 from different areas, most of whom were innocent. Though it's mandatory to keep the women in separate cell, police kept them in the duty officer's room, and some time in the lobby. Children were kept with criminals charged with serious crimes. The report further said hostile attitude and rampant bribery of the police have eroded people's trust in them and widen the people-police gap. Odhikar, in association with Bangladesh Freedom Foundation, prepared the report after monitoring the situation at 22 thanas of the metropolitan city during the months of March, April and May. - Daily Star, 14 June

No more govt plea for time extension
The government will not seek any more time extension for implementation a 12-point Supreme Court directive towards separation of the judiciary, Law Minister Moudud Ahmed said on 14 June. Legal instruments for the separation would be put in place within the timeframe the Appellate Division has set for the government, he told New Age after chairing an inter-ministerial meeting at the law ministry. The law ministry has already prepared fresh drafts of legislation and rules towards separation of the judiciary from the executive to be sent to the prime minister for approval, law ministry sources said. - New Age, 15 June

Dhaka blacklisted for human trafficking
The US blacklisted Bangladesh among 10 nations for failing to adequately fight international sex trafficking, opening the way for possible sanctions. The list can lead to cut-offs in non-humanitarian and non-trade-related US aid, the US Department of State said. Affected aid could include military, educational and cultural assistance. Daily Star, 16 June

Police sergeants caught in the act
Police sergeants in the capital directly contribute to traffic congestion and indirectly to the slide in law and order, as they keep themselves busy realising money from the vehicle drivers, an intelligence agency reveals. A two-week investigation on the on-duty sergeants also disclosed that taking of bribe openly by those responsible for tackling traffic jams and maintaining law and order in the city have become all too familiar sights nowadays. "A police sergeant takes from Tk 50 to Tk 500 from each vehicle," says the inquiry, carried out after the ministry of home affairs ordered an investigation to verify the allegation that on-duty police sergeants take bribes from the vehicles. - New Age, 16 June

HC grants bail to Nurul Islam
The High Court on 15 June granted anticipatory bail for one month to former acting secretary to the Prime Minister's office, AHM Nurul Islam, in a case filed against him on June 7 on charge of leaking out information. The Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed the case with the Tejgaon police station under Official Secrets Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act. A High Court Division bench of Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana and Justice AKM Asaduzzaman also issued a rule nisi on the government to show cause within four weeks as to why he would not be granted regular bail. Kamal Hossain along with Shah Deen Malik and Tanzib-ul-Alam appeared for the Nurul Islam while Deputy Attorney General Altafur Rahman stood for the state. - Prothom Alo, 16th June

RAB to keep vigil at ZIA Int Airport
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will soon be posted to Zia International Airport to check all kinds of criminal activities. The force will also check trafficking in women and children through the airport, sources in the home affairs ministry said. A high-level meeting on 16 June at the ministry on foreign trips with fake passport and visas made the decision. State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar chaired the meeting that discussed the overall situation at the airport- New Age, 17 June

Speedy trial for human trafficking cases
The government is thinking of trying women and children trafficking cases in Speedy Trial Tribunals in order to check human trafficking after being threatened by the United States that sanctions would be imposed. The national committee on legal aid, in its 11th meeting held on Thursday in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, decided to strictly monitor human trafficking cases. According to the decision, human trafficking cases will be referred to the national monitoring cell for regular monitoring of the progress of the cases, said sources present in the meeting. -New Age 18th June.

Detective police accused of looting
A Detective Branch Police team allegedly looted the house of a fish farm owner and arrested the housewife at village Jagatpur of Burichang, Comilla, early May 13. Ahidur Rahman, a businessman, levelled the allegation at a news conference at the Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh on Friday. He alleged that the team, led by sub-inspector Alamgir Hossain, entered his residence at around 3:00am and confined his wife Nilufa Begum and five children at gunpoint.-New Age,19th June.

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