The High Court on Wednesday banned printing and using laminated posters in the Dhaka city corporation area.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the suo moto order with a rule after two lawyers drew the court’s attention in this regard and sought necessary steps.
In its rule, the court sought explanations on why it should not order stopping printing and exhibiting laminated posters during elections.
The Election Commission, Secretary to the Election Commission, secretaries to ministries of local government, industries, health, executive officers of the two city corporations and others concerned were made respondents to the rule which is returnable in four weeks.
Advocate Manoj Kumar Bhoumik and Sulaiman Hawladar drew the court’s attention to a report run by a daily on Wednesday.
The report noted how the mayor and councillor candidates were promising clean and green Dhaka but were flooding the electoral areas with posters covered in polythene.
“Until the rule is resolved, the court has ordered ceasing the production and exhibition of laminated posters all over the country, particularly in Dhaka city corporation areas,” Manoj told reporters.
The court also ordered to immediately remove all posters after the Dhaka city polls scheduled for February 1 and dispose of them properly.
People in Bangladesh’s northern district Kurigram is shivering as a moderate cold wave started sweeping over the region on Wednesday, after five days of reprieve.
Local weather office recorded a temperature of 7.2 degrees Celsius in the morning.
The normal life of the people has been disrupted. People who live from hand to mouth, the destitute, old and the young children have been the worst affected.
Kurigram, a district crisscrossed by 16 rivers, has a population of 2.5 million. About half a million people are believed to be living in its 520 river islands.
People say they are suffering for the lack of warm clothes.
Kurigram’s Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Dilip Kumar Saha said they have already distributed 64,000 pieces of blankets, 2,000 packets of dry food and 1,500 dresses for children in the nine upazilas.
The government recorded 2,644 cases of cold-related diseases in the district between November 1 last year and January 21. The diseases have not caused any death in the area during this period.
Since November 1, the government says 410,989 people have been affected by cold-related diseases across the country. During this time, 57 deaths were recorded.
Bangladesh entered e-Passport era as the first country in South Asia with the formal opening of the electronic passport services on Wednesday morning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the e-Passport services and automated border control management at a programme at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.
At the function, she received her e-Passport. Home Minister Asaduzzman Khan handed over the passport to her.
The e-Passport is now initially being issued from three offices – Uttara, Jatrabari and Agargaon –of the Department of Immigration and Passports in Dhaka. These offices have the capacity to issue 25,000 passports a day.
Gradually, e-Passports services will be introduced in 69 passport offices across the country and some 75 Bangladesh missions in phases. The services will be available in other parts of the country within 2020.
The latest move will increase the acceptability of Bangladeshi passports across the world. The electronic passport with high security feature will also ease visit and immigration process globally.
Bangladesh is the first country in South Asia and 119th in the world to introduce e-Passports.
The e-Passport and automated border control management project is being implemented by the DIP and German company Veridos GmbH with assistance from the Bangladesh Army under the Security Services Division of the Home Ministry.
The validity of e-Passport will be five years and 10 years.
The fee for a 48-page and five-year validity passport is Tk 3,500 for normal application, Tk 5,500 for urgent and Tk 7,500 for very urgent application. The fee for 10-year validity passport is Tk 5,000 for normal, Tk 7,000 for urgent and Tk 9,000 for very urgent application.
Besides, the fee for 68-page and five-year validity passport is Tk 5,500 for normal application, Tk 7,500 for urgent and Tk 10,500 for very urgent. But for a passport with 10-year validity, the fee is Tk 7,000 for normal, Tk 9,000 for urgent and Tk 12,000 for very urgent application.
Besides, separate fees have been fixed for general applicants, workers and students living abroad.
Meanwhile, an applicant abroad will have to pay US$100 and US$150 for 48-page passport with five-year validity under normal category and urgent category respectively. In case of 10-year validity, the fees would be $125 and $175.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), over 490 million e-Passports are in circulation.
The e-Passports add a layer of security to traditional non-electronic passports by embedding an electronic chip in the passport booklet that stores the biographical information visible on page 2 of the passport, as well as a digital security feature.
The project ‘Introduction of Bangladesh e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management’ is being implemented at a cost of Tk 4,569 crore.
A total of 30 million e-Passports will be delivered in 10 years under the project.
With the issuance of the e-Passport the whole process of the immigration formalities will be completed through online.
The DIP and Germany Veridos signed an agreement on July 19, 2018 for issuance of electronic passports alongside machine-readable ones.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Security Services Division Secretary Md. Shahiduzzaman and German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz also spoke at the opening ceremony of e-Passport.
DIP Director General Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed delivered the welcome speech, while e-Passport Project Director Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan made a presentation over the e-Passport services.
The authorities of Islamic University (IU) formed a three-member committee to look into the clash between two groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on the campus in Kushtia.
A press release, signed by IU acting Registrar SM Abdul Latif, was issued in this regard on Wednesday.
Headed by IU accounting and information systems department Prof Selina Nashrin, the other members of the committee are information and communication technology department Prof Tapon Kumar Godder and law department Prof Reba Mondol.
Acting Registrar Latif told UNB that Vice-Chancellor Prof M Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari formed the probe body and asked it to submit its report within seven working days.
The VC told UNB that they will take legal action against the accused after receiving the probe report.
At least 20 people, including IU BCL unit General Secretary Rakibul Islam Rakib, were injured as two factions of BCL clashed on the IU campus on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has formed ward-level committees to campaign for Awami League (AL) mayoral candidates contesting Dhaka city polls.
They have formed 54 committees for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and 75 for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
Chhatra League President Al Nahian Khan Joy and General Secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee are coordinating the committees.
“We’ve formed the committees to attract young voters to support the Awami League candidates in the city polls,” Bhattacharjee said.
“They’ll go from door to door to woo voters and find out the problems of city dwellers,” he said.
Polls to DSCC and DNCC are scheduled for February 1. The election was earlier scheduled for Jan 30 but the date was later changed in the face of protests and criticism as the date coincided with the Saraswati Puja.