The High Court (HC) on Monday issued a rule seeking explanation as to why Sohel Rana, the owner of the ill-fated Rana Plaza that collapsed in the deadliest incident ever in the history of should not get bail in a murder case filed over Rana Plaza tragedy that had claimed 1,134 lives.
The bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Md Badruzzaman issued the rule after hearing a bail plea filed by Sohel.
Advocate Sajjad Chowdhury stood for Sohel Rana while Dr Md Bashir Ullah represented the state.
The HC was concerned that no deposition of witness have been recorded in the murder case so far, despite the chargesheet submitted in 2015, said Md Bashir.
Rana is the owner of Rana Plaza, a multi-storey building which collapsed in April 2013, killing at least 1,134 people, mostly readymade garment workers and injuring over 2,000 others.
The ACC accused him of amassing Tk 2.54 crore illegally in a case filed with Savar police.
Bangladesh has conveyed to the United States that it is giving much focus on infrastructure development for overall economic growth of the country and showed no interest towards security aspects of the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).
“We’re now busy with our development (plan). Our main target is infrastructure development and giving better life to our people,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, conveying the message given to Washington.
He said an official from the White House approached him and said they think of security of the Bay of Bengal (region). “We said we don’t think of it. We’re pretty secure. Rather, we’re interested in economic development and infrastructure development.”
The Foreign Minister said the White House official talked about having a stronger programme on security of the Indo-Pacific.
Dr Momen said they first have to provide food, shelter, clothing and housing to people of the country as Bangladesh wants to give its people a decent living. “All countries are our friends. We’re more concerned about providing food security and better living.”
The Foreign Minister addressed the US Chamber of Commerce and met Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and three US lawmakers namely Senator Edward J. Markey (Democratic,Massachusetts), Congressman Michael T. McCaul (Republican-Austin) and Congressman Jim McGovern (Democratic, Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District) during his official visit to USA.
The visit was part of the plan to reach out to the new US Administration to further enhance the bilateral relations and to convey Bangladesh’s willingness to work closely with the new US Administration.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a telephone conversation during the visit and expressed their willingness to further deepen Bangladesh-US relations by advancing common goals and mutual interests.
The Foreign Minister and the Secretary of State agreed to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations and enhance cooperation on global issues.
At the beginning of the discussion, US Secretary of State expressed his regret that he could not physically meet Foreign Minister Dr Momen due to the COVID-19 health restrictions, and termed Bangladesh-US relations as a ‘growing and deep’ one.
The Chittagong Port Authority has taken back the last 52 acres of Laldia Char in Patenga after over 2300 families residing there without legal ownership of the land left in advance of a deadline announced earlier by the CPA, which was obeying a court order. It was a much more cordial occasion than most eviction drives witnessed in the capital, that often take place without warning.
The eviction drive, that was announced for Monday, March 1 well in advance and clearly communicated to the residents, was hardly noticeable in the end, passing without any untoward incident.
The 52 acres recovered today was cordoned off with barbed wire. Laldiar Char would now be used for a multipurpose terminal.
Most of the residents of the area were moved there by the newly independent Bangladesh's government in 1972 from their original residences in nearby Patenga, where the Port City's airport was being expanded. But they never gained legal ownership of the land, which was purchased for CPA in 1935.
Many residents voluntarily relocated in the last few days since the eviction was announced. Residents who were waiting until the last minute to see if the eviction could be stopped started leaving their homes on their own initiative this morning. Many people sold off furniture for a nominal price. Some have been seen sitting helpless with luggage due to lack of rickshaws, vans and trucks.
In the morning, the executive magistrate of the port, the magistrate of the district administration and senior officials of the port visited the char area of Laldia. A large number of RAB, police and Ansar members were deployed before the eviction.
Port authorities said mosques, primary schools and cemeteries would be excluded from the eviction.
Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, chairman of the port authority, held a press conference in the morning at the Patenga Boat Club during the eviction.
He said, “The port authority owns the Laldia Char site in Chittagong. Now we need the place for backup of PCT (Patenga Container Terminal). We have already evicted 26 acres before. Today we recover 52 acres of land.
"We have encouraged residents to leave voluntarily. As promised, 90 percent has gone. There is no need to apply force. We will fence our area so that no one can occupy it, he added.
Regarding their rehabilitation, the port chairman said, "The government arranges rehabilitation for the grassroots through the deputy commissioner in case of eviction of illegal occupants." We have sent a list to help them. "
The High Court directed the Chittagong Port Authority to evict the illegal establishment from Karnafuli Laldiar Char in Patenga in the light of the writ filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (Writ No. 6306/10).
A virtual high court bench comprising Justice Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali ordered eviction of illegal structures from Laldia Char in the port area of Karnafuli river bank within the next two months on December 8.
Chittagong Police Commissioner, DC, RAB Commander, CDA Chairman and City Corporation Administrator have been named as defendants in the case. Lawyer Manzil Morshed appeared in favour of the writ petition. On the other hand, lawyer Murad Reza appeared for the Chittagong Port Authority.
To overcome the challenges and smooth transition of Bangladesh until 2026, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on Monday suggested the government to sign FTA, PTA with potential countries or RTA with economic blocs, take preparation to implement the terms and conditions of TRIPS agreements, establish high-value product design and innovation centres.
Alongside these DCCI also recommended necessary policy and institutional reforms to increase private and foreign investment, modernization, automation of revenue structure for higher Tax to GDP ratio and efficient supply chain and logistics infrastructure.
These are expected to leverage the country’s economic graduation and gain its dividends for the best interests of the country.
The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (UN CDP) has recommended Bangladesh's graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC). The decision came after the second triennial review of the LDC category of UN CDP recently. DCCI welcomes this endorsement of Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC.
Bangladesh has met, for the second time, all three eligibility criteria for graduation involving income per capita ($1,827 against the threshold $1,230), human assets index (75.3 points out of 66), and economic vulnerability index (27.3 point less than 32).
DCCI feels it as an honour for Bangladesh as we received this prestigious recognition in the glorious year of golden jubilee of independence of Bangladesh and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. And, this recognition was achieved with the frontier and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, through tremendous progress in all aspects of socio-economic state of the country during the last decade. Bangladesh, even in the tough time during the Covid-19, managed to sustain its economic growth and balance the live and livelihood to a large extent.
Also read: DCCI for SME act, new definition of CMSMEs
The very timely initiative of the government to rescue the pandemic affected businesses through stimulus incentives was appreciated by all. The second review of UN CDP and their endorsement justify consistent economic development, firm resilience and commitment to the legacy of Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla aligning with various game-changing visions of the government, believed DCCI.
It is inevitable that every country that graduated from LDC status had to face some challenges with no exception to Bangladesh.
As an LDC, Bangladesh will enjoy duty free quota free access in the EU and other markets up to 2026 but after graduation, Bangladesh will face the challenges of industrial compliance and strong standard of IPR and TRIPS agreement.
Moreover, as a middle income country, Bangladesh will compete with other similar countries in the export market as well experience erosion of preferences and privileges in the export market, loss of subsidy in various home grown infant industries.
Despite having these challenges, graduation will generate ample opportunities. After the successful graduation, the credit rating and worthiness of Bangladesh will be elevated, private sector would be competitive, foreign investors’ confidence and foreign investment trend would soar considering strong IPR infrastructure above all streams of international borrowing at a competitive rate.
A Chittagong court has sentenced a driver and supervisor of Shyamoli Paribahan to 10 years and the helper to five years in prison respectively for transporting yaba in Chittagong. In the same verdict, each of them was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for non-payment of a fine of Tk 5,000.
The court of Chittagong 4th Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Shariful Alam Bhunya passed the verdict on Monday (March 1) afternoon.
The convicts are: bus driver Md Sabuj (32), son of Abdul, Supervisor Palash Mandal (26), son of Sukumar Mandal and helper Nasir Hawladar (30), son of Rob Hawlader.
Although the driver and helper were present during the verdict, the supervisor was absconding following a bail from the High Court.
Additional Public Prosecutor Anupam Chakraborty of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court said the court had sentenced the Shyamoli bus driver and supervisor to 10 years in prison and the helper to five years in prison and fined them Tk 5,000 each. Another 6 months imprisonment has been given for non-payment.
He added, "Charges were framed against the three on September 6, 2020." The court pronounced the verdict on Monday after a total of 10 witnesses were found guilty.
According to court sources, RAB signaled to stop the Shyamoli Business Class passenger bus (Dhaka Metro-B 14-974) leaving Cox's Bazar for Dhaka on June 29, 2016 at around 3 pm in front of the Kotwali Police Station Beach Hotel.
Seeing the RAB team, the driver, supervisor and helper left the bus and tried to escape, but RAB detained them. After searching the bus and bodies of the driver, supervisor and helper, 19,000 yaba were recovered. A case was filed against them under the Narcotics Act at Kotwali police station.