Monday, 09 January 2017
HC asks cops to arrest Comilla ‘rapist’ immediately

09 January 2017 The High Court today ordered law enforcers to immediately arrest a man who allegedly raped a mentally challenged woman in Comilla in December last year.

The court also directed police to record the complaint over raping a mentally challenged woman in 48 hours.

The superintendent of police in Comilla and officer-in-charge of Bhangora Bazar Police Station were asked to submit a report before the HC by January 19 after complying with the HC directives.

The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice JBM Hassan came up with suo moto order following a report published on the daily Kaler Kantho on January 7.

SC lawyer advocate Md Muzibur Rahman placed the report before the HC bench for passing necessary orders yesterday.

The Muzibur told The Daily Star that Nazrul, son of Kuddus Mia of Freekail union had reportedly raped the mentally challenged woman.

The victim’s mother filed a complaint with the local police station in connection with the incident but the police did not record it as a case, he said.

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Charge framing hearing against Khaleda deferred to Feb 1

09 January 2017 A Dhaka court today deferred to February 1 the hearing on charge framing in 10 criminal cases filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court ordered Khaleda to appear before it on the same day.

The court set the date after Khaleda’s lawyer Md Sanaullah Miah submitted 10 separate petitions seeking adjournment of the hearing in the cases.

In the petition, lawyer Sanaullah said that his client could not appear before the court today due to her illness.

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Govt to cut over 13,000 trees for gas project

09 January 2017 Bangladesh government today decided to cut off over 13,000 trees across a stretch of three kilometres to implement a gas transmission project.

The decision was made in a cabinet meeting, after the forest department placed the proposal to cut down the trees, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters.

As per the decision, 13,356 Sal and Gajari trees in three kilometres area from Sreepur to Joydebpur will be cut down to stretch the transmission line of Titas Gas, Mir Moshiur Rahman, managing director of Titas Gas, told The Daily Star.

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Write prescriptions clearly, HC tells doctors

09 January 2017 The High Court has ordered the government to issue circular asking doctors to write prescriptions clearly, so that the names of the medicines recommended can be understood.

The government has to issue the circular by 30 days. Doctors can write in block letters or print the prescriptions so that there is no hassle in understanding the document.

Health secretary and registrar of the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council have been asked to submit a report before the High Court in six weeks after complying with the order.

The HC also issued a rule upon the authorities concerned to explain in four weeks as to why they should not be directed to take effective steps to issue prescription for the patient in capital letters or offer a printed copy to patients.

The HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman came up with the order and rule today following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.

The organisation submitted the petition to the HC on January 2 following a report published on the ‘Daily Bonik Barta’ on December 17 last year, under a headline “Patients are in risk of taking wrong medicine” due to the handwriting of doctors.

During hearing today, petitioners’ council Manzill Murshed told the court that many doctors write the name of medicine in the prescription in such a manner that the patient and pharmacy staff cannot understand them properly.

Sometimes pharmacy staff sell wrong medicine to the patient due to such problem and therefore the patient’s health fall in danger by taking false medicine, he said.

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Football: Chelsea ponder appeal after Terry FA Cup red

09 January 2017 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his club may appeal against the red card shown to John Terry during the Premier League leaders' 4-1 FA Cup defeat of Peterborough United.

Terry, who was making his first appearance in two months, was dismissed in the 67th minute at Stamford Bridge on Sunday after a clumsy last-man challenge on Peterborough striker Lee Angol.

But Conte believes the 36-year-old centre-back, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was hard done by and questioned the decision of referee Kevin Friend.

"I think it wasn't right, this decision from the referee," said the Chelsea manager.

"He didn't take the opponent and also the second reason was because behind John there was Branislav Ivanovic to cover John.

"It's a pity when this happens, because the red card is not good. You have to respect the referee's decision, but in this case maybe we will do an appeal for this situation.

"The situation is very clear and I think John didn't deserve this."

Terry was sidelined with injury at the start of November and has been a spectator during Chelsea's surge to the top of the Premier League table on the back of a 13-game winning run.

The former England defender's future remains uncertain beyond the end of the season, but Conte said it was too early to discuss the possibility of a new deal.

"I think that now we are in January," he said. "First of all this type of decision, it's important to make this decision together (with) the club and not alone.

"I'm pleased for John, because he's showing me great commitment when I ask him to play, when he doesn't play, because he's helping me a lot in the changing room.

"He's showing me to be a good player, but above all a good man.

"Now it's important to continue in this way, because we have to play the second half of the season, the FA Cup. We have a lot of commitments."

Batshuayi 'improving'

Chelsea were leading through goals from Pedro Rodriguez, Michy Batshuayi and Willian before Terry's dismissal.

Tom Nichols replied for third-tier Peterborough, but Pedro wrapped up the win with his second goal.

Conte welcomed the return of centre-back Kurt Zouma following an 11-month absence with a knee injury and also explained why he has recalled Nathan Ake from a loan spell at Bournemouth.

"There were many good things, but the most important was the return of Zouma after 11 months. It was fantastic for him," Conte said.

"I recalled Ake because I think he is showing to be ready to stay in the Chelsea squad. Chelsea is his home.

"He is showing that he deserves to stay in a great team like Chelsea. He gives me an important option because we are playing with three central defenders.

"He can play on the left or in the middle, and we must see in training if he can play at wing-back. We wanted to bring him back because he gives me a good solution."

Conte refused to comment on reports he wants to swap Batshuayi for Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente, but said the young Belgium international had impressed him.

"Michy played a good game," Conte said. "During the game he always stayed into the idea, into the philosophy, into our idea of football. He showed me great commitment and great work-rate.

"Also he scored. For a forward it's always important to score for his confidence. He's a young player, he's working a lot, is improving.

"Now it's important for him to continue in this way and to give me the opportunity to have another solution in our squad."

Peterborough manager Grant McCann said: "It was a good learning curve for our boys.

"We could have come here and defended deeper and tried to frustrate them. But I thought we may as well come here and give it a go. I thought we did that."

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Islami Bank’s new managing director takes charge

09 January 2017 Md Abdul Hamid Miah today took charge of his duties as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Islami Bank Limited.

Md Abdul Hamid Miah. Photo: Collected from Islami Bank's website

Bangladesh Bank approved his appointment after Islami Bank's board of directors nominated him for the post on January 5 at a conference in Dhaka, according to a press release issued this afternoon.

READ MORE: Major changes in Islami Bank key positions

He previously served as the managing director of Union Bank, Rupali Bank and Shilpa Bank (now Bangladesh Development Bank), the release added.

Several little-known local companies have bought the bulk of the local shares in the Islami Bank Limited over the last one and a half years, leading to the latest reshuffle at its top level, according to the bank officials.

READ MORE: Changing of the guard at Islami Bank

Changes have been made to the posts of the bank's chairman, managing director, heads of various committees and chief of the Islami Bank Foundation in line with a decision at the bank's board meeting on Thursday.

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Woman hurt in Banani fire

09 January 2017 A woman was injured in a fire that broke out at a high-rise building in Banani area of Dhaka today.Identity of the woman was not known immediately, said fire fighters adding that she fell unconscious after inhaling smoke.

The fire fighters brought the flames under control within 25 minutes after the fire broke out around 2:40pm, Major Shakil, an official of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, told The Daily Star.

The fire might have originated from an electric short circuit on the first floor of the building, he said.

A motorbike on the floor was burnt in the fire, he added.

Earlier, fifteen fire fighting units rushed to the spot to douse the fire, said Enayet Hossain, inspector of Fire Service and Civil Defence.

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Bangladesh becomes permanent observer of Organisation for American States (OAS)

09 January 2017 Bangladesh has attained the status of Permanent Observer of the Organisation of American States (OAS), the oldest multilateral regional organisation founded by the United States in 1948.

“Through this new status, I anticipate a strengthened engagement and cooperation between our organisation and your country for the common benefit of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Americas,” OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro stated in a letter addressed to Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.

Earlier, Bangladesh applied for the status of Permanent Observer of the OAS with a view that it would add value to the organisation based on its shared convictions in the areas of democracy, human rights, security and development.

Moreover, it will also strengthen ties and increase deeper engagements of Bangladesh with the Latin American and Caribbean countries, said a Foreign Ministry press release.

OAS came into being to address issues of mutual concern comprising only 20 Latin American countries at that time.  Now it has 35 members from North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean countries with 72 permanent observers from all over the world.

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OPINION: When convicts are free, justice is captive
top news

09 January 2017 Zubair Ahmed, a final year English student at Jahangirnagar University, died succumbing to his injuries after being severely tortured the day before. Five years since his death, four of his killers are still roaming free today. Four of them had fled a Dhaka court dock on February 23, 2015, after their bail was denied. The other, never showed up to court and has remained on the run ever since.

Despite the case being very high profile as it was the first time a court awarded capital punishment to anyone over any murder committed on the campus of a public university, the killers that are on the run seem to be completely stress free, posting pictures of themselves on Facebook and updating their statuses too. One of the killers for example, only a few months back posted on his Facebook wall, “I am a free bird… Now I can fly…”.

How did he get the audacity to do something like that being such a high profile killer? Meanwhile, group photos uploaded by one of the fugitives on Facebook and Instagram show four of them hanging out together in Malaysia. So the question is, how did these three highly sought after killers, after escaping from a court dock, manage to leave the country for Malaysia without drawing the attention of law enforcers?

And how is it that they are so unafraid and confident of not having to face the consequences of what they did, as to be able to post pictures and information that can give away their location to law enforcers? Aren't they supposed to be fugitives on the run? Well, by the looks of their cyber activities, they don't seem to be on the run. They, in fact, seem quite eager to show their faces publicly.

In the meantime, according to some of their classmates, some of the other convicted killers were also seen to be roaming around freely in public. All of this combined begs one to ask, what is really going on with regards to the murder of Zubair Ahmed?

It is beyond comprehension that even after a speedy trial tribunal had handed out such exemplary punishment to some of the killers and had convicted the others too in a landmark ruling, that so many of the convicts are enjoying life and parading their ill gotten freedom in front of the world. Such blatant confidence can only be possible if these killers have some sort of powerful backing, acting as guarantor of their freedom?

Is it really possible that our law enforcement agencies are so incompetent and our justice delivery system so flawed that have allowed these killers to escape justice? These are questions that need to be asked. And they must be asked of law enforcers and of the state.

It is because of such horrendous examples of impunity of criminals that people have, over the years, lost so much faith in our entire justice dispensation system. It is because of cases like this that people feel unsafe, insecure, and sometimes hopeless when it comes to the state providing the justice that it is constitutionally obliged to do.

What excuses do law enforcers have for failing to apprehend Zubair's killer five years since his death? What answers does the state have for the numerous failings of its various apparatuses with regards to this entire episode? Do we, as citizens, not have the right to demand such answers?

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June 2017