Cumilla, Sept 20 (UNB) – A court here on Thursday deferred the hearing on a bail petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a murder case filed over the arson attack in Cumilla on Feb 3, 2015.
Acting judge Justice Golam Mahbub Khan, Senior Judicial Magistrate court-5 fixed September 30 following a time petition filed by the prosecution, said Khaleda’s lawyer Advocate Kaimul Haque Rinku.
Eight people were killed and at least 20 others injured in a petrol bomb attack on a bus at Jogmohanpur in Chouddagram of Cumilla district during the BNP-led alliance’s movement on February 3, 2015.
Two cases were filed against Khaleda in this connection.
Dhaka, Sept 20 (UNB) – Branding the Digital Security Bill 2018’ as an ‘evil spirit of Baksal’, BNP on Thursday alleged that the government has enacted the law to hide its ‘massive corruption’ and gag the media and people’s voice.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also called upon the country’s people, journalists and those who believe in free-thinking to put up a resistance against it.
“The controversial Digital Security Bill was passed in parliament yesterday (Wednesday) to gag the media and shut the mouths of people of Bangladesh. “This law is an evil spirit of Baksal,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “This black law was formulated to conceal the corruption of the government’s lakhs of crore taka.”
He said the law was also made so that no mass media or any other platform can publish any report on the government’s corruption.
“People’s freedom of speech and their individual overall freedom have been snatched through the black law,” he observed.
Rizvi also alleged the law will contribute to rise in the offences like corruption and human rights violation. “The articles 8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32 and 43 of the black law are unconstitutional.”
“The Constitution’s main spirit, especially the rights of free thinking, freedom of expression, and the freedom of press, have been snatched through the law,” he observed.
The BNP leader also said the Digital Security Bill has put people’s security under a threat as law enforcers now will be able to raid media outlets, seize computers and other equipment and arrest anyone without any warrant.
He feared that common people will also get affected by the law.
Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday alleged that the government is trying to use ‘false and ghostly cases’ as its main weapon to keep BNP and its alliance away from the next election.
“The government is filing ghostly cases against our leaders and activists.
Around 4,500 cases have been filed against our 2.33 lakh leaders and workers, including our all advisers and standing committee members, this month -- since Sept 1,” he said.
Speaking at a views-exchange meeting, the BNP leader further said,
“They (govt) are doing it out of their fear that their existence will be at stake if the 20-party alliance joins the polls. So, they want to keep BNP and the 20-party alliance away from polls.”
Fakhrul said even around 100 pro-BNP lawyers, including senior ones, took bail from the court on Tuesday as most of them have been implicated in 7-8 ‘false’ cases. “Is it possible to hang onto power by filing cases and using force? False case is now the government’s biggest weapon to prevent the opposition from coming to the polls.”
Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam Bangladesh, one of the components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
The BNP leader called upon the government to take steps for creating an election atmosphere in the country by releasing Khaleda Zia from jail and withdrawing the ‘false’ cases filed against BNP and other opposition leaders and activists. “We would like to clearly tell the government to free our leader Khaleda Zia and create a congenial election atmosphere in the country.”
Mentioning that BNP is a liberal democratic party, he also said their party wants to join the next national polls to establish a pro-people government.
The BNP leader, however, warned that people will not allow the government to hold an election where voters cannot exercise their right to franchise and a level-playing field will not be ensured for all parties.
About national unity, Fakhrul said the entire nation needs to get united to remove the current ‘fascist’ regime and establish a government of people. “Let’s all political parties and organisations get united to force the government to hold a free and fair election.”
He also alleged that the government has destroyed all the democratic institutions in a planned way. “They ruined parliament and the judiciary, politicised the administration and established its control on the media by force.”
The BNP leader warned that the current government must face trial some day for ‘destroying’ the country’s all democratic institutions.
Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) - Ambassadors of Germany and North Korea to Bangladesh separately presented their credentials to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Wednesday.
The resident envoys are Peter Fahrenholtz of Federal Republic of Germany and Pak Song Yop of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).
During the presentation of German ambassador’s credential, the President said, "The relationship between the two countries is increasing day by day. Besides, bilateral relationship, trade and investment between the two countries are very excellent."
Abdul Hamid stressed on exploring all possibilities in the interest of their respective countries and boost businesses and trade ties as there is a huge potentiality in various sectors to increase relationship.
Terming Germany a development partner of Bangladesh, the head of state said the relationship between the two countries should be extended further. He also stressed on the visits of government and private level stakeholders in both the countries.
German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz praised Bangladesh’s achieving high GDP growth of 7.86 percent in 2017-18 financial year.
The envoy lauded the government’s initiatives taken for rehabilitating over one million Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh from their Rakhine state homeland of Myanmar.
He said "Bangladesh gains the respect from the international community. I hope International community will provide more support and cooperation to solve the Rohingya problem."
On the other hand, President Abdul Hamid praised of the recent development of relationship between South Korea and North Korea. He said this development will help both countries develop the bilateral relationship in the future.
North Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Pak Song Yop said he will prioritize the relationship between Bangladesh and North Korea during his tenure.
The envoys told Abdul Hamid that they would do everything necessary to increase bilateral cooperation with Bangladesh in the days to come.
Praising the socio-economic development of Bangladesh, they sought cooperation of authorities concerned in discharging their duties.
Earlier, on their arrival at Bangabhaban, a smartly turned-out contingent of the horse-mounted President Guard Regiment (PGR) gave the envoys guards of honour as part of the ceremony.
Secretaries concerned to the President and high officials of the Foreign Ministry were present.
Sangsad Bhaban, Sept 19 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told Parliament that Bangladesh will place its proposals on future action plans, including the review of progress over the Rohingya crisis in different multilateral meetings during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Prime Minister she said this while replying to a starred question from Jatiya Party MP Nurul Islam Milon (Cumilla-8).
“Besides”, she said, “We’ll have talks over the issue with different important world leaders on the sideline meetings of the UN General Assembly.”
Sheikh Hasina said she placed a five-point proposal in the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in resolving the Rohingya problem immediate after starting ethnic atrocities against Rohingya since August 25, 2017.
“The international community accepted my proposals cordially,” she said.
She said Bangladesh allowed the influx of forcibly displaced Rohingyas keeping the border open actively responding to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
She, however, said, “There’s no scope for long-term stay of Rohingyas in Bangladesh. We want to repatriate them at the earliest.”
Hasina said safe, respectful and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland will be possible through the Awami League government’s diplomatic efforts.
Mentioning that Bangladesh provided shelter to 1.1 million Rohingyas, she said, “Their stay in Bangladesh has created a risk of human trafficking, drug smuggling and other orchestrated crimes.”
The displaced Rohingyas have created a huge negative impact on local communities and ecology in Cox’s Bazar, she said adding that the risk of environmental disaster has emerged due to deforestation in the reserved land and cutting hills massively.
Besides, the Prime Minister said, the possibility of breakout of diphtheria, polio and HIV (Aids) and other communicable diseases has appeared.
She said the Rohingya crisis first started in Myanmar 1978-’79 and the influx of Rohingyas to Bangladesh began. But the crisis continued due to the failure of the then military ruler in handling the problem.
In reply to a supplementary question from treasury bench member Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu (Barguna-1), the Prime Minister said Bangladesh had also experienced the influx of Rohingyas in the 1980s.
Later, several lakh Rohingyas entered Bangladesh in 1991 and 1992 during the BNP regime. Though Bangladesh could repatriate some Rohingyas through talks with Myanmar, some of them remained in Bangladesh, she said.
“But our diplomatic success is here that we could create international opinion that Rohingyas were victims of injustice and it is duty of Myanmar to let them go back to their own country,” said the Prime Minister.
She said the International Criminal Court also has taken measures to try those who were involved in persecution against Rohingya. And Bangladesh continues to provide all the information it has regarding the issue to the court as per its request.
During her talks at the recent Bimstec summit, the President of Myanmar said they would take Rohingyas back. “They (Myanmar) have also acknowledged it,” Hasina said.
“I hope Myanmar will be forced to take them back in the face of international pressure,” she added.
Responding to another supplementary question from Nurul Islam Milon, MP said, the Prime Minister said, “We had talks with all the countries and all acknowledged that the stay of 1.1 million Rohingyas is a huge burden on Bangladesh.”
She said, “We’ve got a huge response from all countries, including China, Russia and India over putting pressure on Myanmar. Though they didn’t put pressure overtly, they told us they would take all necessary measures so that Myanmar takes Rohingyas back.”
Answering to other starred questions, Hasina mentioned her government’s various measures regarding bringing development of the country’s communication sector, the armed forces, reducing traffic congestion, combating militancy, terrorism and corruption and the welfare for freedom fighters.