Sunday, January 8, 2012

MP's alleged assault report in

The committee assigned to probe Awami League MP Kamal Ahmed Majumder's alleged assault on a journalist has submitted its report to the education ministry.

Confirming the submission, education secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Choudhury on Sunday told reporters, "Punitive action will be taken against the accused after scrutinising the report."

He also said there are allegations that private schools are not following admission rules. "Action will be taken against those schools after the relevant committee submits its report."

Asked what sort of actions would be taken, he said, "Measures will be taken giving priority to the interests of the students including cancellation of their MPOs."

Probe committee convenor Prof Noman-ur-Rashid, also the director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, told that the report was finalised after talking to both parties.

Although he said that the report had been made prioritising the Right to Information Act, Noman declined to speak about the report's recommendations.

But he mentioned that the probe report on the private schools that are not abiding by the rules would be submitted very soon

On Jan 3, allegations of assaulting private TV channel, RTV's staff reporter Aparna Singha at the capital's Manipur High School were brought against ruling party lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder.

The MP, however, has already denied the allegation saying he 'only pushed aside' the reporter when he went to the school to attend a meeting with the guardians.

Singha had gone to the school that day to investigate allegations that the school was charging extra fees for admission.

Following the incident, the education ministry formed the three-member committee the same day to look into the matter. 

Dhaka, Moscow to finalise 4 agreements

Bangladesh and Russia are on the verge of finalising four agreements to gear up their bilateral ties in various arenas including nuclear safety, agriculture and healthcare. 

The announcement was made in a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and outgoing Russian Ambassador Dr Gennady P Trotsenko at Prime Minister’s Office in the capital on Sunday.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad stated that the agreements are- Cooperation in Nuclear and Radiation Safety Regulation, Visa Exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, Cooperation in Agriculture and Cooperation on Health Care.

The premier urged Russia to ratchet up the import of ready-made garments from Bangladesh.

She also sought broader cooperation in higher education in basic and applied science as in the past.

Sheikh Hasina recalled the contribution of Russia during Bangladesh's Liberation War and post war reconstruction works including wiping of mines and foundered ships at the anchorage of Chittagong port.

The prime minister said Bangladesh wants faster progress on the remaining works towards operation of Atomic Power Plants in Rooppur with the support of Russia.

The meeting was attended by, among others, Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Sheikh M Wahid Uz Zaman and PMO secretary Mollah Wahiduzzaman.

Protests turn violent as journalist killed

Angry journalists were protesting in front of National Press Club and National Eidgah after senior reporter Dinesh Das was killed in a road accident in the capital's Kakrail on Sunday.

They smashed a few vehicles and city bus counters halting traffic on the busy street from the High Court to Paltan.

A bus ran over the motorcycle carrying Dinesh Das, a former senior reporter of Bengali-language daily Amader Somoy, killing him on the spot around 8:45am.

"He was on his way to Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) after dropping his only 9-year-old daughter 'Othoi', a grade-3 student of Viqarunnisa Noon School," Ramna Police Station OC Rafiqul Islam told

Police seized bus and arrested the accused bus driver and his assistant immediately after the accident, he said.

Fellow journalists rushed to the accident spot and hospital. Information minister Abul Kalam Azad went to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) to see the body around 10:30am.

His remains were taken to Dhaka Reporters' Unity premises after autopsy. An emotionally charged environment took over when Dinesh's wife Poly Das and daughter reached there. No-one had words to console them.

The body was moved to National Press Club after about an hour. There, Dinesh's colleagues and leaders and supporters of various organizations paid their last respects.

Angry journalists vandalised few vehicles during this time, alleged sub-inspector of Shahbagh Police Station Mohammad Shahjalal.

They started demonstration demanding punishment of the bus driver and compensation to the family. The protests were ongoing in front of the DRU office even though DRU president Shakhwat Hossain Baadshah tried to calm the journalists.

He announced a halt in demonstration until 11am Monday, but the journalists were in no mood to oblige him.

The body was taken to his village home Raninagar Bania Parha of Naogaon around 2:15pm.

Chief of Nirapod Sarak Chai (We want safe road) movement, Ilias Kanchon joined in, adding fresh thrust to the protests.

'Pragatishil Shilpa O Gana Madhyam' activists staged a human chain protest in front of the Press Club in the afternoon.

Earlier, on Dec 28, senior journalist of Bengali daily Kaler Kantha, Nikhil Bhadra, was run over by a BRTC bus in front of the National Press Club.

His right leg had to be amputated from ankle. Nikhil is currently undergoing treatment at the National Orthpopaedic Hospital. 

No party to join polls sans CG: Khaleda

Road march creates traffic havoc on Dhaka-Chittagong highway. 


BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday warned the government that no political party will participate in the election if Awami League-led government try to hold it under its supervision.

“The Awami League will make a grave mistake if it tries to hold the elections under its supervision,” Khaleda said while addressing a roadside rally at Noor Manikchar ground in Comilla.

She said the government is playing a game over the formation of a new Election Commission. "The formation of the Election Commission is not our prime issue. Our key demand is restoration of the caretaker government system." 

Earlier, Khaleda urged the countrymen to be united against the government, blaming the government for the crises the countrymen are facing.

“The government is responsible for the crises that the country and its people have been facing. We have united to save the country and its people because the government has been destroying the country,” she said while speaking at her first roadside rally at Muktijoddha College ground in Chandina of Comilla.

She is leading the party’s road march to Chittagong from the capital on Sunday, aiming to drum up public support for reinstating the caretaker government system.

Khaleda, leader of the opposition in the House, set off from her Gulshan residence around 10:20am and it took nearly 30 minutes to reach the BNP headquarters in the capital's Naya Paltan area from where the cross country caravan set out officially.

The road march comes over a month after the third one towards Khulna.

Senior leaders of the four-party alliance and other like minded parties are accompanying the BNP chairperson in the cross country caravan.

Thousands of vehicles are carrying the leaders and workers of the four-party alliances from the capital.

The movement of the convoy led to major traffic chaos from the capital's Motijheel to Kanchpur area in Narayanganj, reports our correspondent who is covering the event.

The office goers suffered most as public transport came to a halt as the motorcade is heading towards the port city.

As the opposition's cross country caravan marching on, supporters along the city streets were seen chanting slogans. They carried placards, banners and portraits of late president Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.

A beaming Khaleda Zia responded to the crowds by waving from her jeep.
Security is tight and Rab and police were seen escorting the convoy.

On her way to Chittagong, the BNP chief will also address a rally in Feni, her home district.
Khaleda will address a grand rally at the Polo Ground in the port city on Monday from where the announcement of a series of agitation programme may come.

The leader of the opposition will stay at the Chittagong Circuit House tonight.

Apparently, the road march is going to be an expensive political showdown as over 1,500 arches have already been erected at many points on Dhaka-Chittagong highway and the port city to welcome the leader of the opposition.

BNP insiders said at least Tk 12,000-15,000 was needed for each of the arches.
In the capital, the sources added, the party has rented around 3,000 microbuses for the march. A microbus for two days costs at least Tk 10,000-12,000.

The port city and different parts of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway have been decorated with arches, portraits of party bigwigs, banners, posters and placards to welcome the opposition leader.

The BNP chairperson on September 27 last year declared three road marches towards Sylhet, Rajshahi and Chittagong to drum up support for reinstatement of the caretaker government system.

The Dhaka-Sylhet march was held on October 10 but the one to Chittagong was postponed due to Eid and Hajj. The Rajshahi road march was later redirected to Chapainawabganj.

The BNP chairperson also led another road march towards Khulna on November 26 and 27.

The caretaker government provision was scrapped from the constitution through the 15th amendment last year. As per the existing provision, the present government will hold the next parliamentary election. BNP and allies say they will not let the national election take place without a non-party caretaker government.