Chattogram, Oct 30 (UNB) - Maidul Islam, an assistant professor of Chittagong University (CU), was released from jail on bail on Tuesday.
Maidul had been arrested in an ICT case filed for making 'derogatory remarks' on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Facebook.
On October 9 last, the High Court granted a six-month bail to Maidul Islam in the case.
On September 24, Maidul Islam was sent to jail in the case filed by CU student Md Iftekhar Uddin Ayaz, a former leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), with Hathazari Police Station under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act on July 24.
Later, on September 25, the CU authorities suspended Maidul Islam in this connection.
On July 15, the Sociology teacher had to leave the campus along with his family following continuous threat reportedly from BCL activists over his Facebook post in support of the quota reform movement.
The BCL men also declared Maidul Islam and another CU teacher persona non-grata on the campus.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) - Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on Tuesday said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia cannot participate in the upcoming national election until her sentence in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is cancelled.
“Until her (Khaleda’s) sentence is cancelled, she can’t participate in the election. If the sentenced is suspended, she might escape serving jail term but can’t join the polls,” he said while talking to reporters at his office.
The attorney general was giving his instant reaction to a High Court verdict extending the jail term of the BNP chief in the graft case to 10 years from five years.
He said the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is a massage for all politicians. “This verdict certainly bears a sign that if anyone commits crime while in power, he/she can’t remain above the law.”
About BNP’s allegation that the verdict is ‘one-sided which meant’ for keeping Khaleda away from the national election, Mahbubey described it as hollow.
He, however, said the BNP chief can appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court within 30 days against the High Court judgment.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said Khaleda’s bail will automatically be cancelled as the HC rejected her three petitions.
Khaleda secured four months' bail from the High Court in the case on March 12.
On February 8, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former Prime Minister and BNP chairperson and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the graft case.
The BNP chief filed a petition on February 19 challenging the lower court verdict. In her petition, she sought her acquittal while two more convicts – Kazi Solimul Haque Kamal and Sarfuddin Ahmed -- also appealed against their sentences.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed a revision appeal seeking her sentence to be extended to life imprisonment.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) - The government has relieved five Deputy Attorney Generals of their duties.
The Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry issued a notification on Tuesday in this regard.
As per the notification, the appointment of Zahirul Haque Zahir, Abdullah Al Mamun, Jahangir Alam, Sheikh AKM Moniruzzaman Kabir and Manjur Quader was also cancelled.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) - The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved 24 projects, including one to set up 23 polytechnic institutes in different districts across the country.
The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "Twenty-four projects were approved today involving an overall cost of Tk 24,740.66 crore."
Of the total estimated cost, he said, Tk 19,361.96 crore will come from the national exchequer, while Tk 5,072.66 crore as project assistance and Tk 306.04 crore from the own funds of the organisations concerned.
Nineteen of the projects are new while five others are revised ones.
About the polytechnic institute project, the minister said the Technical and Madrasah Education Division will implement the ‘Establishment of Polytechnic Institutes in 23 Districts Project’ by June 2021 with an estimated cost of Tk 3,691.30 crore.
He said the polytechnic institutes will be set up in the 23 districts where there is no government polytechnic institute now.
Mustafa Kamal said there are now 49 polytechnic institutes, including four exclusively for women, across the country but there is no polytechnic institute in 23 districts.
Besides, Ecnec cleared a multi-sector project with an estimated cost of Tk 1,057.84 crore to face Rohingya crisis on an emergency basis.
The major part of its finance will come as foreign assistance as the World Bank will provide Tk 1048.28 crore, while the rest of the money, amounting to Tk 9.56 crore, will come from the national exchequer. The project will be implemented by November 2021.
The main activities under the project include setting up 23 new cyclone shelter centres, 30 multipurpose community services centres, development of 203.50-kilometres of roads, strengthening and widening 17.15 kilometres of roads, and construction of a number of footpaths, drains, bridges and culverts.
The other 22 projects approved at the meeting include ‘Construction of dual gauge rail line from Bagura to Shaheed M Monsur Ali Station, Sirajganj project’ with an estimated cost of Tk 5,579.70 crore; ‘Construction of new rail line from Iswardi to Pabna (2nd revised) project’ with Tk 1,737.18 crore; ‘Construction of internal roads, drains and footpaths of 1-5 zones of Gazipur City Corporation’ with Tk 1,510 crore; ‘Development of telecommunication and ICT infrastructure, human resources and technical capacity of DGFI project’ with Tk 1,272.29 crore; ‘Widening Madani Avenue-Balu River Road (Major Road-5) and construction of Balu River-Shitalakkhya River road (Major Road-5) (Ist Phase) project’ with Tk 1,259.89 crore.
The projects also include ‘Construction of 20-storey new office Bhaban at Bangladesh Secretariat project’ involving Tk 420.98 crore; ‘Construction of 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge (3rd phase) project’ with Tk 797.94 crore; ‘Construction of link road from Rajuk Purbachal 300 feet of highway to Madani avenue-Sylhet highway’ with Tk 456.72 crore; Development and extension of physical infrastructure of the Bangladesh Post Office project’ with Tk 479.86 crore; Protection and development of graveyards of Shaheed freedom fighters and other war heroes (1st phase) project’ with Tk 460.98 crore; ‘Construction of nine residential bhabans for Bangladesh Police in different areas of Bangladesh project’ with Tk 927.35 crore; and ‘National Academy for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disabilities (NAAND) (2nd revised) project’ with Tk 422.34 crore.
The project also include ‘Establishment of permanent campus of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University project’ with Tk 1,183.97 crore; ‘Construction of Bangabandhu Military Museum (1st revised) project’ with Tk 655.76 crore; ‘Establishment of nine government secondary schools project’ with Tk 435 crore; ‘Construction of BNA Bangabandhu Complex, Patenga, Chattogram project’ with Tk 358.53 crore; and Smallholder agricultural competitiveness (SACP) project’ with Tk 780.33 crore.
The rest of the projects are ‘Strengthening activities of the agriculture training institutes project’ with Tk 117.57 crore; ‘BSCIC Chemical Palli, Dhaka project’ with Tk 201.81 crore, Strengthening and modernizing Gazi Wires Ltd project with Tk 68.98 crore; ‘Construction and Development of damaged roads, drains and footpaths in different areas of Dhaka North City Corporation project’ with Tk 694.41 crore; and ‘Conducting feasibility study for 500-600 megawatt LNG based combined cycle power plant and construction gas supply line project’ with Tk 169.93 crore.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Terming unusual the High Court verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, BNP on Tuesday said it has got stunned and surprised as the party chairperson’s jail term has been extended to 10 years from five years.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also said people will judge in the future what the verdict should have been.
“The High Court order has made absolutely astonished. We think the verdict was given with a political motive, and we turn it down completely,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “We think the government’s desire has fully reflected in the unusual verdict. This judgement is almost unprecedented as our leader’s jail term has been enhanced to 10 years from five years.”
Fakhrul said it has now become clear to people that the government is trying to eliminate opposition parties and destroy the democratic atmosphere by ‘using’ the court.
“It has been exposed clearly that the government is in no way willing to hold a participatory election as they want to keep our leader (Khaleda) and acting chairman Tarique Rahman out of the polls and politics,” he observed.
The BNP leader said they also think their ailing chairperson was given such punishment not only out of political vengeance, but also out of personal vengeance.
Earlier in the day, an HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur extended the jail term of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
On February 8, the Special Court-5 sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the graft case.
The ailing BNP chief is now undergoing medical treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Earlier on Monday, a lower court here sentenced Khaleda three others to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment each in the much-talked-about Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
In protest against the verdict, BNP announced a three-day countrywide programme.
As part of the programmes, the party stage demonstrations today (Tuesday) while it will form human chain programmes on Wednesday and observe a token mass-hunger strike on Thursday in all metropolitan cities and district towns.
Fakhrul did not announce any fresh programme today in protest against the HC verdict as they have already pre-declared three-day programmes.
He, however, said they will give further action programmes from Jatiya Oikyafront’s rally scheduled to be held in the capital on Friday.