Awami League presidium member Mohammad Nasim on Wednesday demanded full execution of the Road Transport Act and asked the Home Ministry to implement it thoroughly.
“Road accident has emerged as a big problem. We enacted the law and formulated many guidelines. But why aren’t these being executed? Which Frankenstein is behind non-execution of the law?” Nasim asked in Parliament.
He raised the question joining the general discussion on thanksgiving motion over the President speech in the House.
“Why can’t we execute such a law? … We’re sitting in Parliament but [we] see the procession of deaths on roads,” Nasim said.
The 'Road Transport Bill-2018' was passed by parliament on September 19, 2018, keeping a provision of maximum five years' jail for any death or serious injuries caused by reckless or negligent driving. It came into effect on November 17 last year.
He said this Parliament will have to consider implementation of the law and the Home Minister should strongly enforce it.
“It (execution of the law) is now our demand and the people’s demand as well,” said Nasim.
Pointing at the low turnout of voters in the recent Dhaka city corporations elections, the senior lawmaker questioned why voters refrained from exercising their franchise.
“The government and the party will have to realise the reason why there was a low turnout of voters,” said Nasim.
Health Minister Zahid Malik on Wednesday said the government will recruit 30,000 people this year for the health sector.
“All initiatives will be taken for recruiting necessary number of people this year as a High Court verdict came in favour of the Health Ministry on Tuesday,” he told the opening programme of health camp for the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) members and family at DRU in the afternoon.
Referring to recruitment of manpower for upgrading and mordernising health services, he said the number of beds was more than doubled at hospitals and infrastructure was developed.
He said the hospitals lacked manpower.
“At least 100,000 doctors, nurse, midwife, pharmacists and other staff are needed to make the health service accessible to the people,” he added.
Referring to various health risks of the newsmen, the minister said all cooperation will be extended to set up a round-the-clock health centre at DRU if there is available space.
Police arrested four alleged attackers in a case filed for attacking two journalists of NEWS24, a private TV channel, from various parts in the city and its outskirt Keraniganj Wednesday.
The arrestees were identified as Golam Mostafa alias Suman,38, Md Ilias Kabir alias Jonny, 27, Md Sabbir, 29, and Md Mehedi Hasan alias Nayon, 25.
Acting on a tip off, the four people were arrested from various areas of Dhaka city and Keraniganj in the morning, said officer-in-charge (OC) of Bangshal Police Station Shahin Fakir.
The camera, which was snatched away during the attack on the two journalists, was also recovered during the drive, the OC said.
During preliminary interrogation, the arrestees confessed their involvement in the incident.
Earlier on Tuesday, News24 reporter Fakhrul Islam and cameraperson Sheikh Jalal were injured and their car was vandalised when miscreants attacked them during a drive against the misuse of bond facilities by the customs department in Nayabazar area of Bangshal in Old Dhaka. They were given treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Fakrul Islam filed a case with Bangshal police station on Tuesday evening in connection with the incident.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Wednesday cautioned that the government will not tolerate any kind of irregularities while directly procuring paddy from farmers.
“This year, paddy has been collected from farmers using mobile apps. In the next Boro season, all the upazilas will be brought under the facility. No irregularity will be tolerated,” he said at a view exchange programme at Barishal deputy commissioner’s office.
Minister Sadhan said the government has taken a number of steps for the wellbeing of the farmers.
In the recent Aman season, 650,000 metric tonnes of paddy were collected directly from growers to encourage them to cultivate the crop, he added.
Food Secretary Dr Nazmanara Khanum also spoke at the programme while Divisional Commissioner Md Yamin Chowdhury was in the chair.
Abrar Fahad’s mother clearly remembers the day he was born.
It was a foggy Thursday in 1998.
“The first time we celebrated his birthday was when he was admitted to school at 5,” recalled his mother Rokeya Khatun.
For these past few years, things have been different since her son was in Dhaka for studies. “I used to call him over phone on his birthdays and wished him since he was away from home,” she said, staring at her handset in silence.
She had no-one to call on Wednesday, when her son would have turned 22.
Abrar Fahad, a second-year student at Bangladesh’s top engineering university Buet, was murdered on October 7 allegedly by former Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders. His killing sparked massive outrage across the country and led to a ban on organisational student politics on the elite engineering university campus.
Buet expelled 26 students for their alleged involvement in the Abrar Fahad murder. Of them, police have pressed charges against 25 in the murder case.
Wednesday, which could have been a joyous occasion for his family, was completely different this year. The pain of losing a family member is just too strong.
Her younger son Abrar Faiyaz said his brother’s birthday had always been a joyous occasion for the family but not anymore. There was no arrangement but a special prayer was offered at a local mosque seeking eternal salvation of the departed soul.
”All I can do now is to cry. There is no-one I call,” Rokeya said, as tears welled up in her eyes.
Recently, an unidentified man reportedly called her over phone and asked her to contact the relatives of the murder case accused. She said they would not compromise with the killers.
Abrar Fahad’s father, Barkatullah, said some people are spreading false information about his son and other family members.
“We’re waiting for justice,” he said.