Dhaka, July 19 (UNB) – BNP on Friday sought explanation from the government on including Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in its ‘Hajj representative team’.
“How can the CEC be a member of a government’s Hajj team headed by State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah? The CEC was made a member of the committee. It’s ridiculous,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press briefing after a meeting of party standing committee at its chairperson’s Gulshan office, he further said, “We strongly condemn the incident, and demand an immediate explanation from the government.”
The BNP leader said the incident has exposed that the government and the Election Commission do not care about the Constitution as they consider the state as their personal property.
Mentioning that no one has any authority to go beyond the Constitution, he said Nurul Huda was unlawfully made the member of the Hajj team under a junior minister.
“It’s disgraceful (for the CEC). It’s unimaginable that he’s going to Saudi Arabia becoming member of such a committee. He can be the special guest of the Saudi King if he is willing to perform Hajj,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul also bemoaned that the country’s election system is being ruined for making such a person devoid of self-esteem the CEC.
He said the meeting of their party’s standing committee elaborately discussed the issue.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Selima Rahman and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud were present at the meeting.
Barguna, Jul 19 (UNB) – Aysha Siddika Minni reportedly admitted to being involved in the murder of her husband Rifat Sharif before the court.
Minni gave a confessional statement before Barguna’s Senior Judicial Magistrate in the evening, claimed Inspector Humayun Kabir, the case’s investigation officer.
So far, 13 accused have admitted to being involved in the killing.
Minni’s confessional came during her five-day remand. Her father Mozammel Hossain said his daughter was forced to give it and alleged that a group is trying to divert the case.
Rifat Sharif, 22, was attacked with sharp weapons near the main gate of Barguna Government College on June 26. His wife Minni appeared to be trying to protect him during the attack that was caught on surveillance camera.
Police arrested 16 people in this connection. But main accused Nayon Bond was killed in a reported gunfight with law enforcers on July 2.
Dhaka, July 19 (UNB) – State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Friday strongly condemned the false allegation made by a Bangladeshi to US President Donald Trump saying that the government will look into it why Priyabala Saha did so.
“I had answered various questions of various countries and NGOs both from home and abroad related to human rights several times in the full house of the UN Human Rights. Persons like respected Rana Dasgupta were also there. But I did never see anybody asking questions with allegations made by Priya Saha,” he said while making comments on the incident.
Shahriar said the government will listen to her allegations and look into those allegations.
The State Minister mentioned that as President Donald Trump knows that false allegations are conveyed to him and the US administration gets information though their Embassy in Dhaka routinely. “We remain in touch always.”
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Priya Saha’s allegations have no basis as no such incident has taken place in the country.
In the video clip that went viral on social media on Friday, Priya Saha was heard telling Trump that “Sir, I'm from Bangladesh. … 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are disappeared. Please help us - for the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country.”
She also said there are 18 million minority people. “My request is, please help us, we don’t want to leave our country, just help us stay. I've lost my home, they've burned my home, they (have) taken away my land, but no judgment (is) yet taken please, please….”
Trump was heard asking her, “Who took the land and home? In reply, she said the Muslim fundamentalist groups. “Always they're getting the political shelter, always.”
At one stage, Trump extended his hand and held her hand. They kept their hands on each other for a few seconds.
“I’ve watched the video conversation between Priya Saha and Trump. It’s completely a lie,” he told UNB.
About criticisms of various communities while criticising Priya Saha, State Minister Shahriar said, “This is also not correct.”
Disapproving Priya Saha’s claim, he said such behaviour from a person who is engaged in various levels of society is not acceptable.
The State Minister said Bangladesh is a shining example of religious harmony and many do damage it for personal interest or not understanding the matter properly. “All should refrain from carrying out such activities.”
Meanwhile, Molla Azad Hossain, acting Superintendent of Pirojpur Police, also dismissed the allegation made to the US president.
He said no such incident took place in Pirojpur and there is no authenticity of her allegation. “If anyone tries to harm the religious harmony here, law enforcers will take strict measures to prevent him/her.”
Priya Saha is one of the organising secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad.
Bangladesh doing something remarkable:
Meanwhile, US Ambassador Earl R Miller, while visiting a Buddhist temple at city’s Merul Badda on Friday afternoon, appreciated Bangladesh’s religious harmony.
Miller, who was sworn in as US Ambassador to Bangladesh on November 13 last year, shared his experience meeting religious leaders from across the country and praised the religious harmony.
"I now have enough perspective after being here for eight months and traveling so widely to recognize that Bangladesh is doing something remarkable," he told reporters.
The US envoy also said, "Everywhere I have gone I have received the same message, be it's from Imam, priest and someone in the temple that no country can succeed unless it works together."
He said it is the lesson that his country and the world can learn from.
Talking to UNB over phone, General Secretary of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad Rana Dashgupta said he is not aware how Priyabala Saha went to the USA and reached Trump.
He said she was not among the three persons who represented Oikya Parishad at the ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State.
“I’ve nothing else to say,” he said, declining to comment on her allegations.
The second ministerial meeting on advancing religious freedom hosted by the US Department of State was held in Washington DC. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen attended the meeting.
Delegates from 106 countries with about 40 Foreign Ministers attended the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.
Dhaka, Jul 19 (UNB) – The flood situation in northern region deteriorated on Friday as the water level rose in some districts while the shortage of food and drinking water hit millions of people hard.
In Sherpur, the Brahmaputra River was flowing 17.8cm above the danger level on Friday afternoon, said Md Mostafa Mia, Sherpur Ferryghat Point’s water reader.
District Administration and Agriculture Extension Department office said 1,037 hectares of cropland was completely inundated.
At least 63,000 people were stranded in 172 villages, said Md Abdur Rouf, District Relief and Rehabilitation officer. “We’ve sought 200 tonnes of rice, 5,000 packets dry foods and Tk 3 lakh from the government for the affected people,” he said.
The rising water also snapped road communication in the morning as the Sherpur-Jamalpur Highway at Porar Dokan was under five feet water and Shimultali was flooded.
Meanwhile, three children drowned and another went missing. The deceased were Khusi Aktar, 6, daughter of Khalilur Rahman; Shamim Mia, 7, son of Mofazzol Mia; and Mehedi Hasan, 13, son of Nayeb Ali.
Another teenager, Rubel Hossain, 13, son of Samedul Islam, has remained missing.
In Kurigram, a minor girl drowned in Junaidanga village of Unipur municipality area in the morning. The deceased was identified as one and half years old Shima, daughter of Khadem Mia, said Civil Surgeon Dr Aminul Islam.
With Shima, 13 people have so far drowned in the district during the current spell of flooding which has left at least 8,00,000 people marooned and struggling for food and water.
The Deputy Commissioner’s control room said 894 villages, 20,000 hectares of land and 500 kilometers of road were affected by the flood.
Water started receding in the morning but Brahamaputra is still flowing 14cm and Dharla 17cm above the danger level.
Eighty-five medical teams have been deployed.
In Natore, the sadar upazila’s road communication with 30 villages was snapped after the rising water of Atrai River washed away connecting Bokhtarpur Bridge on Friday.
Heavy flow of water from the upstream has been pushing up the river’s water level.
In Naogaon, three villages in Raninagar upazila were flooded after the embankment of Soto Jamuna River was breached on Friday, affecting at least 15,000 people.
Large swathes of paddy fields were inundated in Atrai, Rannagar and Bogura’s Adamdighi upazilas.
Raninagar Agricultural Officer Md Shahidul Islam said they have cancelled weekly holidays of their officials.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Al Mamun said they were preparing to distribute relief materials among the people.
They are also taking measures to fix the broken parts of the embankment, he said.
In Manikganj, the water of Jamuna River has been flowing 35cm above the danger level at Aricha point. Five upazilas have so far been flooded.
Besides, the Kaliganga, Dhaleshwari and Ichhamoti rivers are also approaching the danger level.
According to district flood control room, at least 21,918 families from 43 villages in Saturia, Harirampur, Shibaloy, Daulatpur upazilas were affected by the flood.
Academic activity of 20 educational institutes remained suspended for a few days.
Meanwhile, strong current in Padma River disrupted ferry communication in Munshiganj, leading to huge tailbacks on both ends.
In Faridpur, the Padma River burst its banks and inundated 13 unions of three upazilas. Local WDB office said the river was flowing 55cm above the danger level.
Sources at the Deputy Commissioner’s office said 42 metric tonnes of rice has been distributed among the waterlogged people in Sadar, Charvodrason, Sadarpur and Bhanga upazilas.
In Sirajganj, the overall flood situation remained unchanged. A crack appearing on the city’s flood control embankment is causing panic among the people.
The water of Jamuna River has been flowing 97cm above the danger level, said Ranjit Kumar of WDB.
Residents of Chowhali, Shahjadpur, Belkuchi and Sadar upazila are suffering from the lack of pure drinking water, fuel, food and fodder. Many have been affected by water-borne diseases.
Flood control room said they were distributing relief materials.
Naogaon, July 19 (UNB)- A youth died after inhaling toxic gas in a septic tank in Sadar upazila here on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Bhutto, 23, son of Golam Mustafa of Paharpur area.
Md Suhrawardi Hossain, officer-in-charge of Naogaon Sadar Police Station, said one Ashraful Islam climbed down to their newly-built septic tank at 10 on Friday morning and fell unconscious. Getting no response from him, his neighbor Bhuutto entered into the tank and he also lost sense.
Then, Bhutto’s father entered the tank and met the same fate.
Later, locals rescued them and sent to Naogaon Sadar Hospital where doctor pronounced Bhutto dead. The injured are undergoing treatment at hospital.