Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranked third worst in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday morning.
It had an AQI score of 208 around 8:14am. The air was classified as ‘very unhealthy’.
Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar and India’s Delhi were on top two positions on the list of cities with worst air with scores of 291 and 267 respectively.
Everyone may experience more serious health effects when the AQI score is between 201 and 300. When the value is more than 300, the air quality is considered hazardous and the entire population is more likely to be affected.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants - Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3). The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka, the overcrowded capital of Bangladesh, has long been grappling with air pollution. The air quality usually improves during monsoon.
Police on Monday arrested two people accused of torturing a child from Laxmipur municipality area.
The victim, who happens to be an orphan, was accused by his torturers of theft from the leather shop where he worked, for which they punished him by tying him to an electric pole and subjecting him to inhuman treatment. In the end they placed a garland of shoes around his neck, further humiliating him.
The 12-year-old victim, Nirab Hossain, son of late Kiran Hossain of Ward 2, however denied the allegation of theft by explaining that he had secretly taken the amount equal to his due wages as the owner wasn’t paying.
A disturbing video clip showing the boy being tortured went viral on Facebook, causing a huge public outcry.
Locals said since losing both his parents, Nirab was being brought up by his maternal grandmother. To make ends meet, he worked at the leather shop of one Rashed in the municipality area.
On Saturday afternoon, Rashed accused Nirab of stealing and along with two co-workers tied the minor boy to a nearby electric pole and beat him mercilessly.
Later, they placed the garland of shoes around his neck and made him walk through the locality before handing him over to Sadar Police Station.
Moments later though, they took him back from police and arranged an arbitration meeting with village elders on Sunday evening to settle the issue.
The arbitrators, including local councillor Shipon and other ‘influentials’ whose motives are not always clear, found the boy guilty and fined him TK 30,000. When his grandmother refused to pay the fine, obviously unable to do so, they started torturing the boy again.
Eventually he was rescued by police and admitted to the Sadar Hospital.
When approached, Rashed, the shop owner, said Nirab stole money from his shop and the arbitration found him guilty, fining him Tk 30,000.
Confirming the information, Sadar Police Station Officer-in-Charge AKM Azizur Rahman said a case was filed over the incident.
They arrested the shop owner and an accomplice from Banchanagar of the district town on Monday evening, he added.
Contacted, Local Ward Councilor Shipon Ahmed said he is not aware of the incident. There might have been a conspiracy against them over the incident, he claimed.
An elderly woman was killed after being hit by a bus in the city’s Shanir Akhra area on Monday evening.
The deceased was identified as Nurjahan Begum, 65, wife of late Shamsuddin of Swamibagh under Gendaria Police Station.
Victim’s son Mohammad Shahid said the bus hit his mother in front of Mollah College around 7pm when she was on her way to his sister’s place in Rayerbagh area.
Being informed by locals, he rushed in and took her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where doctors declared her dead, he said, adding that locals seized the bus.
Inspector Bachchu Mia of the DMCH police outpost said the body has been kept at the morgue for autopsy.
A rare barn owl has been rescued from a village in Kaharol upazila of Dinajpur district.
The incident occurred in the village of Khorchonda, part of the No.3 Mukundopur union in Kaharol on Sunday.
Locals informed that one Bimol Chandra Roy of village Khorchonda was felling a palm tree in front of his house in the evening when a ‘white owl’ fell out from it.
The white chest and characteristically heart-shaped face, which is also white, of the barn own leads to it sometimes being called the ‘white owl’.
The plumage on its head and back however is a mottled shade of brown, and speckled with dark markings.
At this time people from various walks of life from the entire village crowded the spot to catch a glimpse of the exotic-looking owl. Bimol eventually managed to safely enclose the medium-sized raptor in a cage for the night.
On Monday, it was handed over to the Forest Department.
Shariful Islam, acting officer of Kaharol upazila Forest Department, informed that the owl must have taken shelter in the palm tree due to the severe cold, lack of food and loss of forest cover.
“The barn owl is nearly on the verge of extinction in our country. It will soon be released,” Shariful said.
Fortunately it is the most widely distributed species of owl, and far from endangered around the world. According to the IUCN’s conservation status classification, the barn owl is in the ‘least concern’ category.
A tribunal here on Monday sentenced six people to life imprisonment for killing a local businessman in Botiaghata upazila in the district in 2007.
The convicted six are: Moniruzzaman Ghorami, Humayun Sardar, Jahangir Sardar, Enamul Sheikh, Quader Sheikh, and Pintu Sheikh.
The court acquitted two other accused as allegations brought against them could not be proved.
According to the prosecution, the accused intercepted Ripon Roy, 19, a CD shop owner, while he was on his way home at Goriadanga in Botiaghata upazila on April 1, 2007 and slaughtered him with sharp weapons over a prevailing feud.
They left the grievously injured Ripon‘s body on the road and fled, said the court’s bench clerk Md Sayedul Haque Shahin.
Victim’s father filed a murder case with Botiaghata Police Station, he added.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police on July 20, 2010 submitted a chargesheet against eight accused in the case.