Dhaka, Oct 24 (UNB)- Ensnared in the casino scandal, Arambagh Krira Sangha, a well-respected name in the country’s football leagues with a proud history and passionate supporters, will not participate in the next edition of the country’s most prestigious and topmost professional football league competition, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019-20, which begins in January.
The player transfer window for the upcoming BPL began October 1, and the participating clubs can complete players transfer formalities between 12pm and 5pm every working day until November 20.
While all the competing clubs are busy during these last few weeks in putting together squads in line with their ambitions for the competition, the casino scandal forced Arambagh KS to withdraw from the BPL. It may be mentioned here that the fate suffered by Arambagh KS looks at this early stage at least to be more extreme than others in their division.
Arambagh KS President AKM Mominul Haque Sayeed, also the General Secretary of Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF), is one of the key accused for leading the casino syndicate and is believed to have fled the country fearing arrest in the wake of the ‘cleansing drive’ ordered by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, that has mostly targeted elements within her own party Awami League and its affiliated bodies.
Sayeed ascended to the Arambagh presidency in 2015, around the same time as the erstwhile gambling dens of Dhaka started a conversion into casinos. His absence has left the participation of his club in booters’ transfer uncertain. Eventually
Meanwhile, Sayeed, has also been removed from Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) ward-9 councillor for his alleged involvement in casino business.
Arambagh’s misery continued as they lost their celebrated coach Maruful Haque and key player Md Rabiul Hasan.
Maruful, the first South Asian football coach who got UEFA A license, inked with Chittagong Abahani Limited and Md Rabiul Hasan with Bashundhara Kings.
Vice-President of Arambagh KS Azaz Mohammed Jahangir said, “We are not taking part in the ongoing player’s transfer and in the upcoming BPL. We are totally unable to do any activities in the club.”
“We send a formal letter to Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) regarding this crisis and requested them to extend the player transfer window. They replied us on and said that they are unable to extend the window date,” the vice-president added.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Competition Manager Jaber Bin Taher Ansari also confirmed it, “Yes, the federation has sent a letter to Arambagh KS in reply and we are unable to extend the date.”
After asking about the replacement for Arambagh, Jaber replied, “The BFF Football Professional League Committee will decide this as per rule.”
Arambagh KS remains one of the oldest or longest-surviving clubs in the country, having been established in the then-provincial capital Dhaka. After independence, it gained the distinction of being the first club from Bangladesh to reach the final of an international football club tournament ANFA Cup1981 in Nepal.
Besides, Arambagh have finished runners-up twice in another regional international tournament, the Sikkim Gold Cup. The ‘always the bridesmaid’ luck follows them in their domestic performances as well - Arambagh finished as the runners-up in the Bangladesh Federation Cup thrice 1997, 2001, 2016 and emerged champions of the Independence Cup 2017–18.
Another traditional club Mohammedan Sporting Club (MSC) or Dhaka Mohammedan, also known as the traditional black and white, are undergoing through the same crisis, but will participate in the upcoming BPL.
The Director in Charge of Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan was detained by the members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) from his Monipuripara residence in city’s Tejgaon area and is currently in police custody.
One of the Directors of MSC Sarwar Hossain said, “We are also facing troubles but we will take part in the upcoming BPL. We will form a new team for BPL under supervision of our British coach Sean Lane. We have also decided to recruit five foreign players this year.”
Two times runners-up in BPL Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra are also going to take part in the upcoming BPL. Team Manager of Muktijoddha SKC Md Ariful Islam confirmed it.
In the 2018-19 edition, Arambagh finished highest (5th) amongst the three BPL clubs that subsequently became embroiled in the casino and gambling busts. Mohammedan SC finished a lowly 9th. Muktijoddha Sangsad KC, who last year finished 7th in BPL, complete the trio.
Bashundhara Kings emerged champions in their maiden appearance in the BPL while Dhaka Abahani Limited finished second and Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra finished third.
Team BJMC and NoFeL Sporting Club relegated to the lower division of Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) Football while Bangladesh Police Football Club and Uttar Baridhara SC promoted to BPL from BCL.
Narayanganj, Oct 27 (UNB) – Sonu Rani Das, the lone graduate from the Harijan community here, wanted to be a teacher to establish her own language, but could not yet materialise the dream.
Sonu was eager to work for the people of her underprivileged community who are deprived of the light of education. However, the dream could not come true.
Locals said the talented woman had to limit her activities only by resorting to private tuition. But with this, the future of the Harijan community remained in darkness.
The first graduate of Tanbazar sweeper colony, Sonu Rani Das, despite thousands of impediments of her underprivileged community, bypassing various obstacles, entered university completing studies in school and college. Apart from studies, she also worked with different NGOs.
As a representative of the Harijan community, she represented Bangladesh at home and abroad. At first, she participated in the Global Exchange Programme in Scotland. Sonu stayed there for three months under the Bangladesh-Scotland cultural exchange programme.
Later, she went to Geneva to attend the human rights conference. There, she highlighted the Dalit women’s position in the political arena in a seven-minute speech which was acclaimed by all.
Afterwards, her success stories came up in various mass media. She became well-known as an ideal woman which encouraged the Harijan community.
After a report on her was published in a vernacular daily, she became a talk of the country. Later on, all the popular media outlets published articles highlighting her success stories. Besides, international media BBC also broadcast a report on her.
However, she did not leave her dream to become a language teacher. With the objective to fulfill this dream, she sat for primary teacher recruitment test in which 1,773,917 candidates took part. But her name did not come up in the list of the 55,295 successful candidates. As a result, her dream to become teacher was shattered.
“At present, I’m completely unemployed. Many talk about many things. But what is the result after doing so many things? What benefit have I had after studying by working hard? What will I do by letting my children study?” Sonu Rani told UNB.
“I don’t even feel to suggest anyone of the slum about education of their children. Once the people who used to cite me as an example to become encouraged now suggest their children to remain aloof from getting education citing me. I just listen to them bowing my head,” she pointed out.
“It would be frustrating for me if I couldn’t become a teacher, but more frustrating would be about the future of my community. This community will have no future in the more than a decade,” she said.
Members of this community will lag behind as they did in the past, she lamented.
Panchagarh, Oct 26 (UNB) – Bangladesh’s northernmost district has been shrouded by fog and morning dews over the last few days, giving off telltale signs that winter is creeping ever closer.
Temperature in the district dropped below 20 degrees Celsius in the last week.
During an early morning visit on Friday outside the town, the UNB correspondent saw people walking through dense fog, shivering in cold. Thick fog is forcing vehicles to keep their headlights on in the morning, too.
“Winter is set to arrive with its full force when the south wind and deep depression weaken,” said Rahidul Islam, in-charge of Panchagarh meteorological observatory office.
People have already started buying clothes for winter. Those travelling in the morning wear warm clothes now. Nazma Rahman of Dokropora area of the town said she has already prepared thick blankets and clothes for her children ahead of the cold season.
Golam Kibria Mukul, geography and environment science department head of Panchagarh Government Women’s College, said the temperature is falling gradually.
“Cold wind from the north will start blowing over the district when the monsoon wind stops,” he said.
Asked if the rain in recent days will affect farm outputs, Abu Hanif, deputy director of Department of Agricultural Extension, said light rain will not damage winter vegetables. “But cultivation will be delayed if there’s heavy rainfall,” he said.
During every winter, hundreds of people are hospitalised with cold-related diseases.
Dr Md Sirajuddoula Polin, medical officer of Panchagarh Model Sadar Hospital, said they are yet to get any such patient. “But we’re ready to tackle any situation,” he said.
Dhaka, Oct 25 (UNB) - The power distribution system in greater Mymensingh region is expected to see a marked improvement by the end of 2021 as a major move is underway to install a number of new substations, upgrade the existing ones and also expand some of their capacities.
According to official sources at the Power Division, some Tk 1,575.46 crore will be spent to implement the projects undertaken by the state-owned Power Development Board (BPDB), which controls the distribution system of the region.
They said the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the project titled: “Power Distribution System Development Project, Mymensingh Zone” on November 28, 2017.
Once implemented, the officials said, the project will have a major effect to improve the overall distribution systems in the region enabling the consumers in Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Netrakona, Kishereganj and Tangail to experience a better power supply system.
They said the BPDB recently selected a local firm through a tender process for the installation of three new substations, upgrading five substations and capacity extension of 4 bays as part of the project which was divided into 62 ‘packages’.
They said about Tk 77 crore will be spent on installing the three substations, upgrading the five substations and extending the capacity of four bays.
Each of the proposed substations under the project is of 33/11 capacity.
Gradually, they said, a tender will be floated to implement other parts of the projects to be implemented by 2021.
They said the 62 'packages' include the construction of 24 substations each having 33/11 kV capacity, upgrading 15 substations each of them having the same capacity, and the expansion of eight bays.
Panchagarh, Oct 25 (UNB) - A mentally ill woman in Sadar upazila here has reportedly been confined to a room for eight years tied to shackles.
Korsina, 35, daughter of Kalim Uddin of Horeyapara village under Satmera union of the upazila and mother of two children, is said to have become mentally unstable through years of torture inflicted allegedly by her husband. Their marriage ended six years back.
Visiting her parents’ place, the UNB correspondent found that her left leg was chained to a pillar of a room. On that day, the shackle was placed around her left ankle, having been shifted from her right after the constant friction of skin against metal caused bruising that needs respite to heal - and so on it goes, rotating between her left and her right ankles.
For eight years now, it has been perhaps the only change that Korsina could look forward to, in the midst of an ordeal that is as constant as it is demeaning.
At first sight, nothing about Korsina would strike you as out-of-place or abnormal, except the chains, and the sound they make.
Her speech is organised, and she is well-mannered. And she is also literate, reliably more than the handful of names of family members she demonstrates on being asked to. As we learn, her problems started well into adulthood.
Due to unidentified reasons, Korsina sometimes turns aggressive and tries to attack anyone in front of her. When she gets the chance, i.e. when she is unshackled, she tends to go off and become untraceable. Even to the layman, it sounds ripe for a diagnosis of personality disorder that a mental health professional could visit her and make.
Locals and family members said once Korsina was a normal and talented girl. When she was a Class-X student, parents married her off to Nazim Uddin of Manikdoba village in Tentulia upazila.
In around 12 years of conjugal life, she gave birth to a son and a daughter. But family members alleged that the husband used to torture her mentally and physically during the entire period for unknown reasons. The torture was accelerated after she gave birth to their second child, a daughter.
At one stage, Nazim Uddin labeled his wife as mentally deranged and started confining her to a room tying her with an iron shackle around one ankle, just as she is now.
Eventually, he sent her back to her parents and divorced her. He married another woman just two months after divorcing Korsina.
Currently, he along with his second wife and two children are leading a happy life at the house where Koprsina once built a family. The son is a Class-V student and the daughter is seven years old.
But Korsina is facing exactly the opposite reality. After getting divorced, her mental illness worsened, particularly in the face of indifference from her children.
She always wanted to visit her children, take care of them like only a mother could. When that was taken away from her where did it leave her self-worth? The abnormally aggressive behaviour lashing out at anyone yet no-one ensued.
Her family members said she ran away from home several times.
Once she had been admitted to Pabna Mental Hospital for two months. But her day-labourer father could not afford the cost of her treatment beyond the two months at that stage.
As a result, she was brought back home and kept confined and shackled - thus her current predicament.
She spent around eight years in this demeaning condition that in the 21st century is nothing short of outrageous, even in a remote corner of Bangladesh. Sometimes she is given sleeping pills, but they stopped working after a while.
She behaves mostly normal during daylight but her screams and cries increase at night, causing disturbance to others.
Nuruzzaman, a neighbour, said her illness is getting worse day by day due to aloofness from her children and negligence from her husband. She may get cured if she is provided with proper treatment and cordial behaviour, he said.
Alima Begum, Korsina’s mother, said she has no option but to enchain her as she tends to run away. “I feel bad to keep her in such a condition, but what can I do?”
Claiming that Korsina was normal before the marriage, said her father Kalim Uddin alleging that she became mentally deranged due to torture by her husband.
“Although we had proposed bearing all the expenses of her treatment back then, Nazim divorced her. Now I no longer can afford her treatment,” he said.
Satmera Union Parishad Chairman Ataur Rahman said she was provided with VGD card (allowing access to Vulnerable Group Development programme of the government) for her treatment.
The issue was also reported to the deputy commissioner, who assured the family of taking steps to provide medical assistance, he added.
Mental health professionals with more time-befitting ideas on how to allow such patients to lead a better life with both dignity and self-respect, instead of resorting to medieval cop-outs such as shackles, may also come forward of their own accord.