Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 4 Issue 31 | January 28, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   A Roman Column
   Time Out
   Straight Talk
   Slice of Life
   Food for Thought
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita

   SWM Home


News Notes

Bush's Mad Rush towards "Freedom”
Last week, George Bush's sworn-in speech has unwittingly disappointed those who expected a more docile and tamed president in his second term in office. With the US occupation in Iraq in tatters and no sign of job recovery in the home economy, Bush has remained an incorrigible optimist. The President has promised a weary world-audience that he will move on with his infamous policy of pre-emptive actions.
"This is an amazing time in the history of the world, and a nation with the influence we have, should continue to help people realise their dreams and live in freedom," Bush told his viewers on Fox Television.
When the US, along with its lone brother-in-arms UK, attacked Iraq, the whole region of Middle East was being considered a volatile tinderbox, having every potential to destabilise the world peace. Now that Iraqi resistance has proved more tough and resilient than Bush and cronies expected, US administration is bent on going through another misadventure.
Donald Abu-Gharib Rumsfeld, prior to his boss's inauguration, warned Iraq's next-door neighbour Iran with pre-emptive action; the country, in its turn, has vowed to defend every inch of its soil.
As the mindset of the new-cons is besieged with warlordism, Bush's second term in office promises more quirks. Translation: (other) people's freedom and privacy will be invaded more frequently and indiscriminately; and the pretext will be the same: to "free" the world from terror.

The Much-awaited Verdict
A long year's wait finally ended in defeat for Azam Reza on January 17. A Dhaka court found the fifty-year-old vice president of Dhaka Bank guilty and sentenced him to death for the murder of his wife Jayanti Reza, architect and teacher of Australian International School in Dhaka on January 8 last year.
The next day the police found Jayanti hanging from a ceiling fan of their residence. Her mother, Lusil Sadekin filed a general diary with the Gulshan Thana, accusing Reza, who already had a paralysed first wife, of murdering Jayanti "in order to be free to marry actress Afsana Mimi, with whom he was having an extra-marital affair".
Jayanti found it difficult to come to terms with the affair, which in turn led to many fights and arguments between the couple. On the night of the murder, the couple got into an argument, which became physical and later led to the death of Jayanti. Reza then attempted to make the death look like suicide by hanging her on a ceiling fan.
Reza's father, mother and sister Shampa Reza were in the courtroom at the time of the verdict. The victim's mother, sister and sister's husband were also present. Lusil Sadekin told reporters that although she would never get her daughter back she could find solace in the fact that justice had been served. Reza's family made no comments on the verdict.
Reza can appeal to the High Court against the judgement within the next thirty days.

Parveen Babi dead
Renowned Bollywood actress Parveen Babi is no more. Throughout the seventies Babi starred in some 50 films and had quite a good number of box office hits to her credit. In 1983 she suddenly quit the movie world and since then had been living in seclusion in a Bombay apartment. On January 22 after being informed by her neighbours that she wasn't coming out of her house for long the police broke open her flat and found her dead. The condition of her dead body suggested that she had died two or three days before her body was found. Her neighbours were naturally inclined to smell foul play behind the death, but the initial autopsy report didn't support their suspicion. The sudden death of Babi within one week of another sudden death of Amresh Puri greatly shocked the cine-world people as well as their thousands of fans.

More than Cattle-Selling
Over 100 people were mugged after being doped last week. The muggers either mixed drugs in food or got their victims to smell them, causing them to become unconscious and robbing them off their possessions. Incidents of mugging increased sharply at cattle markets, bus terminals, launch ghats and railway stations for the last two or three days before Eid. Many people, on their way to selling cattle, and many others on their way home to their villages to celebrate Eid with family became victims, losing large amounts of cash, some, according to a Daily Star report, as much as Tk 60,000. City hospitals also saw a sharp increase in the number of patients hospitalised after falling unconscious. Though they regained consciousness between 12 and 24 hours, the chemicals used to drug them could not be identified due to lack of proper equipment, said a medical officer of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). Plainclothes policemen were apparently deployed around the city and six people were arrested on the first day after the crimes. But 45 more people were victimised the very next day. With the recurrence of such a trend every Eid, one would hope that effective measures would be taken to prevent such seasonal crimes.

Bangla Bhai's Cadres
Clash with Police

Bangla Bahai has been raging a self-styled holy war against what he likes to refer as 'crime' in north Bengal. His reign has taken a beating last Saturday. Three Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) men were lynched by the mob on the night they came to take the life of a Union Parishad Chairman in Bagmara. It was the attempt by JMJB men to organise a procession in protest against the lynching that resulted in the clashes with police reinforced by Rab brought in from Rajshai Police Line to tackle the situation. The clashes left at least 50 people, including eight policemen, injured.
Police rounded up 64 JMJB cadres for clashing with the police, but did not detain any of the leaders responsible for leading the clashes.
At Bhabaniganj, Bagmara, on January 24, the scene of turmoil ensued as the attempt to hold a rally by the Bangla-Bhai-led JMJB was foiled. Tear gas shells, rubber bullets and brickbats were used during the clashes, police sources revealed. A curfew-like situation prevailed following the incident, as police and Rab forces patrolled the region.
It was the first occasion for the JMJB men to have landed in the slammer, and sources said that efforts were on by their brethren to gather arms and recruit armed cadres from different parts of the country. Meanwhile, JMJB leaders vowed to retaliate for the lynching and to battle against the law enfocement agencies if the situation demands.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2005