Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) – The High Court on Thursday observed that the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) appear to be ‘dummy commissions’ as they cannot take any action against offenders except placing recommendations.
The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal came up with the observation while hearing a rule over a writ filed seeking its directives to dismantle illegal establishments and evict illegal grabbers from the banks of the Turag River.
The court was scheduled to deliver the rest of its verdict today after Wednesday’s partial announcement.
The court, however, said it will issue guidelines on Sunday after receiving a report on the activities of the commission.
In the partial judgment, the High Court declared the Turag River as a legal/juristic person or a living being to save the river from illegal encroachment.
At the beginning of the proceedings on Thursday, the court, pointing at writ petitioner Manzill Morshed, said illegal establishments are being built grabbing rivers illegally and separate cases are filed and there come separate verdicts.
“Following High Court order, the administration removes illegal establishments which stage a comeback with a few days. Thus, the issue of reclaiming the rivers remains in the dark,” it said.
There will be rivers and there will be no want of people with the mentality to occupy those, the court said. “It’s like a hide-and-seek game. This can’t be allowed to happen. The hide-and-seek game over the river encroachment should be stopped.”
It said the National River Conservation Commission was constituted following a verdict and guidelines issued by then Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque to protect four rivers surrounding the capital. “This commission is working. This was not mentioned in the writ.”
In reply, Manzill Morshed said the commission should settle the river-related complaints and take action accordingly. “But, the commission is doing nothing except putting forward recommendations. The same is the situation of the National Human Rights Commission. These commissions can only place suggestions against any irregularity but can’t take any effective step.”
At the point, the court asked the petitioner to file a report on the activities of the commissions, saying they will issue some guidelines on Sunday after reviewing the reply.
The court also made observation on investigative journalism. “We can come to know about social irregularities following informative reports of journalists. The journalists are like whistleblowers. They file reports against all types of irregularities, including river grabbing. That’s why we’re extending thanks to the journalists.”
It, however, lamented that there is hardly any investigative journalism in the country. “The standard of journalism should be enhanced in our country.”
Referring to the US journalism, the court said an investigative report of two journalists ensured the fall of a government there. “This type of effective journalism should be practised in the country which will establish people’s rights.”
On November 7, 2016, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a writ following a report published on an English newspaper on grabbers’ feast on the Turag River.
Later, the High Court directed the government to take steps to reclaim the river within 48 hours and also issued a rule.
Later on January 5, 2017, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) submitted a report on their actions to save the river.
On October 11, 2017, the chief judicial magistrate of Gazipur submitted a report before the HC, saying 30 structures were set up illegally along the banks of the river in the Gazipur part.
On December 13, 2017, the HC directed the authorities concerned to demolish the structures immediately.
As several institutions filed an appeal with the Appellate Division against the HC order, the apex court on January 14, 2018 stayed the HC order and asked it to dispose of the rule.
Then, the HC bench started hearing on the rule.
Chandpur, Jan 31 (UNB) – A cargo ship carrying around 850 tons of fly ash was forced to anchor in the Meghna River near Chandpur Launch Terminal early Thursday after its workers noticed a crack developing on the floor of the vessel.
The vessel ‘MV Abdul Jalil' was heading towards Narayanganj from India. As soon as the workers noticed the fracture around 2am, they docked the ship at the nearest terminal around 5am.
Mahmudul Hasan, Joint Director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, said the Fire Service arrived at the scene shortly after receiving the information. Members of the Bangladesh River Police and Bangladesh Coast Guard were also present.
A primary inspection revealed that the cause of the crack was the vessel’s poor navigability fitness apart from being overloaded, Mahmudul added.
Jahangirnagar University, Jan 31: ‘Shommilito Shikkhok Shomaz’ won majority in the Jahangirnagar University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) elections held at its campus in Savar on Thursday.
Teachers under the banner of ‘Shommilito Shikkhok Shomaz’ took part in the elections forming an alliance by factions of Awami League, BNP and leftist-leaned parties and bagged a total of 10 posts out of 15 including the president, general secretary, joint secretary, and treasurer.
Professor Ajit Kumar Majumder of Statistics department and Professor Md Sohel Rana of Pharmacy department were elected president and general secretary respectively.
Professor Mazumder is the president of a faction of AL backed teachers’ organization ‘Bangabandhur Adarsha O Muktijuddher Chetonay Bishwashi Progotishil Shikkhok Shomaz’ while Professor Md Shohel Rana took part at the election from the BNP teachers’ faction.
Professor Jugal Krishna Das of Computer Science and Engineering department and Assistant Professor Laizu Nasrin of English department were elected vice-president and joint secretary respectively.
Professor Monwar Hossain Tuhin of Zoology department was elected as the treasurer.
The other executive members of the body are Professor Mahbub Kabir of Chemistry, Professor Samsul Alam of Government and Politics, Professor Farid Ahmed of Physics, Professor Amzad Hossain of Economics, Professor Hafizur Rahman of Environmental Sciences, Professor Sayeed Ferdous of Anthropology, Professor A A Mamun of Physics, Professor Rasheda Akhter of Anthropology, Associate Professor Ayesha Siddika of Economics and Assistant Professor Mahfuza Khatun of Finance and Banking department.
Chief Election Commissioner Professor AKM Abul Kalam of Urban and Regional Planning department announced the result.
He expressed satisfaction over the election as more than 90 percent votes were casted.
Leader of Shommilito Shikkhok Shomaz JU Pro-VC Professor Amir Hussain said, “It was the expected result of the election because current VC Professor Farzana Islam did not able to attain faith of maximum teachers due to her controversial activities.”
The VC backed teachers took part in the election under the banner of ‘Bangabandhur Adarsher Shikkhok Parishad’.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) - The government has signed an agreement with a Russian company to procure nuclear fuel uranium for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
Dr Imtiaz Kamal, member of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (Planning and Development) and Rusatom Overseas Vice-president Nikita Mazein signed the preliminary agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the Science and Technology Ministry on Thursday.
In presence of Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman, the agreement signing ceremony was also witnessed by Science and Technology Secretary Mohammad Anwar Hossain, Bangladesh Ambassador to Russia Dr SM Saiful Haque and senior officials of the Russian Federation.
Meanwhile, the minister said work to bring uranium fuel from Russia to the Rooppur power project will end in the scheduled time.
Earlier on September 18, 2018, Dhaka and Moscow signed a protocol to bring amendments to an agreement signed by both sides on development of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
Dhaka, Jan 31 (UNB) - A Dhaka court sent the chairman of Crescent Leather Products Ltd and Crescent Tanneries Ltd to jail in connection with a case laundering for Tk 919.56 crore.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Jasim passed the order rejecting the bail petition of the chairman MA Kader.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) official Anwar Hossain produced him before to the court and submit a petition to confine him to the jail until investigation of the case.
Lawyer Abul kalam Azad stood for the petitioner.
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) on Wednesday arrested the chairman of Crescent Leather Products Ltd and Crescent Tanneries Ltd over money-laundering charge.
Earlier in the day, three cases were filed with Chawkbazar Police Station accusing 17 people over laundering a total of Tk 919.56 crore. Of them, 13 are Janata Bank officials.
MA Kader was made accused in two of the cases involving Tk 422.46 crore and Tk 15.84 crore respectively.
The accused in the cases include Sultana Begum (Moni), managing director of Crescent Leather Products Ltd and Crescent Tanneries Ltd, Abdul Aziz, chairman of Rimex Footwear Ltd, and Litul Jahan (Mira), managing director of Rimex Footwear Ltd.