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January 29, 2014

January 29, 2014

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Published by Dhaka Tribune
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‘Worst model’ parliament starts today
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Kamran Reza Chowdhury
The Awami League-led 10th Jatiya Sangsad is set to start its journey today with a parliamentary model that is fol-lowed by a foreign country having the “worst” history in terms of parliamen-tary practices.A total of 297 MPs, elected in the poll  boycotted by the BNP-led alliance, are expected to attend the inaugural ses-sion of the 10th parliament that will practically have no opposition party as Opposition Leader Rawshan Ershad’s JaPa has representatives in the Awami League-led cabinet.This is the third time a parliament is formed through an election boycotted  by the major parties. Gen HM Ershad’s JaPa first in 1988 introduced the culture of forming a parliament without the participation of major parties.The BNP followed suit and arranged a one-sided poll on February 15, 1996.Now the Awami League leads a par-liament formed by an election boycott-ed by the opposition parties.Experts and the politicians are crit-ical of the government decision to in-clude JaPa in the cabinet and appoint-ing Rawshan as the opposition leader.But the treasury bench and the JaPa leaders defend the decision referringto Pakistan that in 2008, formed a government inducting MPs from the Pakistan Muslim League, the leader of which Nawaz Sharif was the opposition leader.“As a student of political science and history, I have never seen or heard of a government like this. The oppo-sition can in no way join the cabinet,” AK Mayeedul Islam, a Jatiya Party MP, told the Dhaka Tribune after a meeting of the Jatiya Party MPs with Rawshan Ershad in the chair.The meeting decided to play the role of a “strong” opposition in parliament.Replying to a Dhaka Tribune ques-tion about how the JaPa could play the dual role of opposition and the treasury, Mayeedul Islam said with an oblique smile: “Let us see whether we can initiate a new model of democracy. Tell the ministers, how they would.”Rawshan Ershad, however, did not talk to the media after the meeting.State Minister for Labour and Em-ployment Mujibul Haque told the Dha-ka Tribune that the Gilani government in Pakistan had nine ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League.“They worked well,” he said, clarify-ing that the ministers from JaPa would not criticise the government policy, but the party MPs would oppose the gov-ernment in the House.
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PAGE 2 COLUMN 4
10TRUCK ARMS HAUL
Previous government to blame for ‘flawed probe’
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Julfikar Ali Manik
Multiple but unsatisfactory investi-gations into the chilling recovery of 10-truckloads of sophisticated military arms and ammunition in Chittagong in 2004 delayed justice in the incident, perceived to be the largest ever smug-gling of weapons that raised concerns about the country’s security issue.The BNPJamaat-led four-party alli-ance government was in power during the smuggling attempt. It was appar-ently very unusual that the investiga-tion was done only in 70 days since the seizure of the arms on April 2 and the trial began the following year at a trial court in Chittagong. However, it took almost 10 years to end the trial and get a verdict date, scheduled for tomorrow, as the police investigations done hurriedly during the then government were found flawed. The second investigation offi cer of the case, Criminal Investigation De-partment (CID) offi cial AKM Kabirud-din, submitted charge sheet in the arms case filed in connection with the smug-gling accusing more than three dozen people on June 11, 2004. As Kabiruddin was transferred, an-other CID offi cial Mir Nawsher Ali in August the same year submitted charge sheet in the smuggling case accusing 45 people. Though there was small dif-ference in the number of accused, find-ings in the two cases were identical. The court framed the charges against the accused in April 2005 and the trial  began in June based on the findings of the first charge sheet. The trial was in progress when the four-party alliance government left offi ce in October 2006.During the military-backed caretak-er regime in 2007-08, the court ordered further investigation after the prosecu-tion had expressed dissatisfaction over the investigation claiming it “incom-plete.”Law enforcers seized 4,930 types of sophisticated firearms; 27,020 gre-nades; 840 rocket launchers; 300 rock-ets; 2,000 grenade launching tubes; 6,392 magazines; and 11,40,520 bul-lets as they were being loaded on to 10 trucks from two engine-boats at
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PAGE 2 COLUMN 3
20 pages plus 8-page Treehouse children’s supplement | Price: Tk10
Magh 16, 1420Rabiul Awal 27, 1435Regd. No. DA 6238Vol 1 No 305
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014  www.dhakatribune.com  SECOND EDITION
VERDICT TOMORROWP3
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INCOMPLETE PARLIAMENTP16
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7 
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BEYOND 2015: HOW THE YOUTH SEE IT
Treehouse 
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BUILD INSIDE YOUR GADGET
Business
B1
 A team from the United States would visit Bangladesh by April to have discussion on the follow up of Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) Bangladesh signed with its biggest importing countrylast year.
News
4
 Bangladesh and Myanmar are planning to sign a deal to hold dialogue on regular basis on non-traditional security threat.
5
 City residents are saying streetlights on the capital’s roads are in bad shape as the two city corporations of Dhaka do not maintain them properly.
Nation
6
Potato growers in Bogra are getting frustrated because of the low prices of the crop in local markets and the shortage of space in cold storages.
INSIDE
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INDIA NOT TO REVIEW GAY SEX BAN
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DROPPED CATCHES MARK DAY 2
    D    G   –    1    0    /    1    4    (    3 .    5    X    6   c    )
The bank robbers, Habib and Motahar, are paraded in front of the press with the recovered cash
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
BANK BURGLARY
Tk16.19 crore recovered,2 arrested
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Kailash Sarkar
The Rapid Action Battalion yesterday recovered Tk16.19 crore stolen from the Kishoreganj branch of Sonali Bank, and arrested two people in connection with the burglary. Col Ziaul Ahsan, additional director general (operations) of RAB, said the two detainees – Habib alias Sohel, and Motahar – were arrested with five sacks of bank notes in the capital’s Shyampur Balurmath area yesterday afternoon.The robbers had rented a house in the area three days earlier, the RAB of-ficial said.They were taken to RAB headquar-ters in Uttara, along with the money.Of the total Tk16.4 crore stolen, around Tk19 lakh remains missing. “They planned to loot the bank two years ago, and for this they rented the house adjacent to the branch,” Col Ziaul said.Habib had hired a truck at Tk12,000 for Dhaka and purchased 230 sacks of rice from a nearby warehouse to conceal
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MOTAHER’S ILLEGAL WEALTH
Bashundhara offi cial quizzed
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Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday questioned Pabitra Sarker, an assistant general manager of Bashundhara Group, to enquire about the illegal wealth of recently retired special judge Motaher Hossain.Motaher acquitted a son of Bashun-dhara’s Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sob-han Shah Alam in a murder case filed in 2011.The retired judge, who is now living in Malaysia, also acquitted BNP Senior
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Hasina alerts MPs to tough fight in upazila polls
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Emran Hossain Shaikh
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alerted her party’s parliament members about the upazila parishad elections, saying it would be challenging for them as the BNP had decided to participate.“As the BNP has decided to join the poll, upazila election will be a tough fight. So, you have to try your best so that the party-backed candidates win,” Hasina told her party’s MPs at the Awa-mi League Parliamentary Party meeting.A number of MPs attending the meet-ing told the Dhaka Tribune that the party chief had also asked them not to oppose the grassroots’ choice of candidates.The ALPP nominated Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as the speaker of the 10th parliament, Fazle Rabbi as the deputy speaker and Syeda Sazeda Chowdhury as the deputy leader of the House.In the meeting, Hasina also instruct-ed the MPs to ensure that every upazila parishad had a single candidate. “A single candidate will be chosen through discussion with the party’s grassroots – the ward, union and upazila units of the party. All MPs will coordinate the process but no interference will be allowed,” Hasina was quoted as saying.She added that the MPs must not support anyone against the grassroots decisions.
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Rooppur plant may see budget slashed by 62%
Russia declines to provide funds citing slow progress; fast-track status of no help
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Asif Showkat Kallol
The government is likely to curtail 62% of the budget for the execution of the first phase of the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in the revised  budget of the current fiscal year, as Russian counterparts are not happy with the progress of the work, offi cial sources said.“We have completed the revised  budget of the Rooppur power plant and the amount stands at Tk472 crore,” a senior offi cial of the science and tech-nology ministry told the Dhaka Trib-une yesterday.The offi cial also said the Finance Di-vision had finalised the cut in the up-coming revised budget, although the new government had marked Rooppur power plant a fast-track project.An offi cial of the Finance Division said the science ministry wanted the  budget cuts because the Russian gov-ernment was unwilling to give that amount this year, citing slow progress of the project.Only a few buildings have been con-structed near the power plant, despite ministry efforts to hasten construction, offi cial also said.According to the revised budget, the total amount of has dropped by Tk776 crore from the previous total of Tk1,246.00 crore, and now stands at only at Tk 472 crore.The Russian counterpart has decid-ed to allocate funds amounting to only Tk 134 crore, a cut of almost Tk 866 crore from the previous tota of Tk 1000 crore. The government resources will increase to Tk 336 crore in the revised  budget, up from existing amount of Tk 246 croreState Minister for Science and Tech-nology Yeafesh Osman expressed his ignorance about the matter.
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Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury nominated as speaker, Fazle Rabbi as deputy speaker
 
News
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DHAKA TRIBUNEWednesday, January 29, 2014
'BCB is confusing people'
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Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday accused the Bangladesh Cricket Board of confus-ing people with different statements on its stand regarding the proposal placed at the ICC by India, England and Australia.“The cricket board has not disclosed what decision it has made to place at the ICC,” he said in a statement.The cricket boards of India, England and Australia have proposed a structural overhaul to the sport’s governing body International Cricket Council for greater revenue and authority.The BCB earlier said Bangladesh would stand against the proposal. But,  board chief Nazmul Hassan Papon, an Awami League leader, said he would “keep an open mind.”“If the proposal is passed, Bangladesh will have to be content playing against Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan, the Netherlands and Kenya in the interconti-nental cup,” Mirza Fakhrul said.
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Tajul made opposition chief whip
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Manik Miazee
Jatiya Party Offi ce Secretary Tajul Islam Chowdhury has been made the opposi-tion chief whip for the 10th parliament.The decision was made yesterday afternoon at a meeting of the parlia-mentary committee of the Jatiya Party.“The parliamentary committee has decided to make Tajul Islam the op-position chief whip,” Jatiya Party Pre-sidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid told reporters after the meeting.
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WEALTH STATEMENTS
EC undecided about entertaining ACC request
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Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Election Commission is yet to make a decision on clearing its position over serving the wealth statements of two former ministers, a state minister, and three lawmakers to the Anti-Cor-ruption Commission, a senior offi cial has said.He said the commission had not de-cided on the issue as yet; but had draft-ed a letter where it said it could not provide the certified copies of wealth statements since none of them were available at the EC headquarters.“After getting approval from com-mission meeting, we will write to the ACC stating our inability to provide them the certified copies,” he said. The ACC on January 23 served letters to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed, seeking certified copies of affi davits that six ruling party candidates had submitted before the 9th and 10th parliamentary elections. All of them are now on the ACC’s radar. The six are: former health minister AFM Ruhal Haq, former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rah-man, and lawmakers Abdur Rahman Badi from Cox’s Bazar, Aslamul Haque from Dhaka and Abdul Jabbar from Sat-khira.The ACC is also looking to trace the reasons behind the astronomical rise in wealth of Awami League lawmaker Enamul Haque from Rajshahi. Howev-er, the graft buster has not sought the copy of his wealth statement from the EC. On January 22, the ACC assigned seven offi cials to inquire into the phe-nomenal rise in wealth and assets of two former ministers, a state minister and four lawmakers. The letter that the EC has drafted reads that all the authorised copies of the affi davits are currently with the respective returning offi ces now and therefore EC cannot support ACC with the copies; rather it will request ACC to collect the copies from returning offi ces concerned or collect the wealth statements by downloading them from the EC website.EC Secretary Dr Muhammad Sadiq told the Dhaka Tribune that they were waiting for the commission’s decision regarding the issue. According to an analysis by Shu-shashoner Jonno Nagorik, the wealth statements of the candidates of the last parliamentary election had seen an in-crease of up to 32,985% in their income.According to the affi davits sub-mitted to the EC, the total incomes of ministers increased by 243% and their wealth by 247%, while the total income of state ministers increased by 464% and wealth 459%.
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President Abdul Hamid greets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with a bouquet at Bangabhaban yesterday as the premier went to meet the president
PID
Previous government to blame for 'flawed probe'
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) jetty. When the court ordered further inves-tigation in 2008, the judge observed that the two investigation offi cers who submitted charge sheets in 2004 had failed to unearth seven major issues re-lated to the smuggling episode. The issues were: who brought the arms from abroad, for which country the arms were brought; to whom those arms were going to be delivered; by which vessel the arms were brought to Bangladesh from abroad; how the CUFL  jetty was used for unloading the arms though it was reserved only for fertilis-er export; how two police sergeants took away two arms from the jetty (later recovered by RAB) and in which coun-try arms were manufactured. The court also observed that the two investigation offi cers had not investi-gated deep into the case.The trial proceedings had been stalled and a new investigation offi cer assigned in 2008 for the further inves-tigation as the court directed to appoint an effi cient and honest IO. During the regime of Sheikh Hasina-led past gov-ernment, the IO was changed as per a court order since the previous one was not much effi cient. The fifth and last IO, Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, submitted supplementary charge sheets in the cases implicating 11 more people including some big-wigs. The number of accused in the arms case went up to 50 and in the smuggling case 52.The last IO came up with fresh chill-ing revelations including the alleged involvement of some former ministers, top intelligence offi cials, bureaucrats and a leader of an Indian separatist group with the smuggling.The question naturally rises why the two IOs could not unearth answers to many significant issues involving the scaring smuggling.“The previous IOs could not pro-ceed on the right path of investigation. They had their failures. They could not show their effi ciency,” Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, the IO, observed.But a leading security analyst, Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rashid, thinks the investigation done during the BNPJa-maat regime was incomplete because the administration had a motive to “close the cases keeping the real things undiscovered.”Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune: “It was not merely an ordinary arms smuggling. It was happening with a purpose of disrupting stability in the neighbouring country for the interest of few other countries using the land of Bangladesh.”“So, the arms smuggling was taking place with the involvement of some pol-iticians of the ruling parties and some of-ficials of government agencies,” Rashid said. “Naturally, there could have been attempts to conduct investigation avoid-ing those people when those smuggled arms were caught red handed.”He suggests that the smuggling took place with the knowledge of people in the then administration. When the question of involvement of govern-ment, intelligence offi cials and people in security forces comes forward, this may put the image of the country in controversy.“It is a dangerous allegation against a government,” Rashid said, “and sen-sitive too, undoubtedly.”Possibly, the former investigators conducted the “incomplete investiga-tion” to hide these issues, he observed. The involvements of those have been discovered in further investigation.IO Moniruzzaman said he could not unearth only one of the seven issues. He failed to identity the ship that had  brought the arms to the outer anchor-age of the Chittagong port from abroad. Besides this, the weapons which the two sergeants had found were not in the consignment. He found answers of rest of the questions. The arms were being  brought for the separatist Ulfa which had financed the smuggling. The ULFA was formed in late ‘70s to begin an armed rebellion for independence of Assam, a north-eastern state of India. The Indian government, considering it as a terrorist organisation, banned the Ulfa in 1990. An Indian English daily published an interview of detained Ulfa Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa in 2011 where the leader said they had used Bangladesh as a corridor to smuggle the firearms into Assam. For the first time, Rajkhowa ad-mitted that the Pakistani fundamental-ists had long been backing them.The smuggled military weapons were manufactured by a Chinese com-pany in Beijing named Norinco.According to the company’s web-site, China North Industries Corpora-tion (Norinco) is a pioneer and leader of Chinese military trade, and an import-ant team to implement China’s Going Global strategy.“In pursuit of customer-orientation and the demand of revolution in present military affairs for equipment and tech-nologies, Norinco develops high-tech de-fence products for international military trade market and provides systematic solutions in accordance with customer demand,” says the company website.Jane’s Intelligence Review (JIR), a leading global defence magazine, in an investigative report on the Chittagong arms haul said the arms and ammu-nition had been shipped from Hong Kong, and then more weapons were added to the consignment in Singapore  before being brought to Bangladesh.Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, an arms smug-gler in Chittagong, is the prime accused in the charge sheet submitted after further investigation. But the alleged involve-ment of 11 bigwigs and Ulfa leader has created much hype about the haul. The 11 accused are: BNP’s former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar; Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former Industry minister Motiur Rahman Ni-zami; Ulfa leader Paresh Barua; former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim; then director of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider Chowd-hury who was later appointed as the DG of NSI; former NSI director wing com-mander (retd) Shahab Uddin; former deputy director of NSI Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain; former NSI field ocer Akbar Hossain Khan; former additional sec-retary of the industries ministry Nurul Amin, ex-CUFL managing director Mohsin Talukder and former CUFL gen-eral manager (admin) Enamul Hoque.Except for the Ulfa leader and Nurul Amin, the rest are in prison.
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Bashundhara offi cial quizzed
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 1
Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman in a money laundering case.ACC Deputy Director Harun-Ur-Rashid questioned the offi cial, also a lawyer, if Motaher had taken any finan-cial benefit for acquitting the accused of the Sabbir Murder case, ACC sources said.Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Telecommunications Network Ltd, was killed in July 2006. Judge Motaher Hossain of Speedy Trial Tribunal 4 delivered the verdict on December 15, 2011, acquitting all five accused saying the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.According to an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam had bribed former state minister for home Lutfoz-zaman Babar Tk21 crore to save his son Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir.The commission is scheduled to take statements of two bench clerks of tribu-nal 4 – Abul Kalam Azad and Ariful Islam.On Thursday, the ACC took state-ments of two stenographers – M Abu Hasan of the tribunal and M Nurul Is-lam of Special Judge’s Court 3.On January 20, it launched a probe against Motaher Hossain following alle-gations of amassing illegal wealth, abus-ing judicial power, earning wealth contra-dictory to his known sources of income and amassing movable and immovable property in his and others’ names.He left the country for Malaysia on January 8 – 53 days after delivering the  judgement on the money laundering case, Harun-Ur-Rashid last week said.On November 17, Motaher Hossain acquitted Tarique Rahman and sen-tenced his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun to seven years' imprisonment and fined him Tk40 crore in a money laundering case involving Tk20.41 crore.
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Rooppur plant
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 2
“We have enough time to look into the issue,” he said.“We are also confident that the Roop-pur nuclear power plant will go to trial run in the next five years,” he added. At a meeting of the reconstituted Fast Track Project Monitoring Commit-tee held at the Prime Minister’s Offi ce last week, the government marked six projects, including the Padma Multipur-pose Bridge and Rooppur Nuclear power plant, as fast-track projects and directed the authorities concerned to implement them with the highest priority.Meanwhile, the government allocat-ed only Tk100,000 in the current fiscal year for the country’s first nuclear pow-er plant at Rooppur, although the sci-ence and technology ministry sought Tk2.463bn in October to start the first phase of the plant’s construction. A senior offi cial at the Finance Division said they had received the ministry’s proposal for the allocation under the prime minister’s fast-track project on July 17, missing the Annual Development Programme for this fiscal year. The offi cial said the Planning Division had allocated only Tk50m for non-approved projects for this fiscal year. The Finance Division disbursed Tk424m on June 20 in the last fiscal, after the revised budget and the ADP had been finalised, for the consultancy fees of the Russian firm Atomstroyexport.According to its contract, the Rus-sian government will not disburse its promised loan of Tk10bn unless the Bangladesh government pays 10% of it. The government disbursed the consul-tancy fee to meet that condition. Now the inauguration of the first phase of the work on October 2 seems uncertain  because of the lack of funds. The govern-ment plans to take five years – from March 2012 to 2017 – to complete the Tk50.87bn Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, which will produce 2,000MW of electricity.
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‘Worst model’ parliament starts today
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 3
In 2008, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League joined hands to counter Gen Parvez Musharraf, who in 1999 overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government and sent him to exile.For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the elected PPP government handed over state power to another elected civilian government headed by Nawaz Sharif.“This is nothing but a political oppor-tunism of the Jatiya Party. When a party  joins the cabinet, it cannot be the oppo-sition anymore,” Professor Nizam Uddin Ahmed, a Chittagong University teacher who wrote several books on parliamen-tary affairs, told the Dhaka Tribune.“Pakistan is not a correct reference as a model for democracy. No democracy in the world has such a model [where the opposition joined the cabinet],” he said. Chief whip ASM Feroz told the Dhaka Tribune that the JaPa would play the role of a real opposition.“It is possible for JaPa to work as op-position, even after sending representa-tives to the government,” he said.Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal, an MP of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, told the Dhaka Tribune that a party could not play the dual role of opposition and ruling party.“Pakistan should in no way be a model for us; it has the worst history of parliamentary democracy,” he said.Political observers say the government had to accommodate the JaPa in the cab-inet as a section of the party led by Raw-shan Ershad brought it to the election.
Inaugural session preparations
According to the order of the day, the House will sit at 6pm with Speaker Shi-rin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. The first business of the day will be electing a speaker and a deputy speaker.After the elections of the speaker and the deputy speaker, the house will go for a recess of around 20 minutes. The president will administer the oath of the newly elected speaker and deputy speaker.The new speaker will preside over the meeting as the House resumes. The House will go for another recess of 20 minutes after the adoption of a con-dolence motion on Awami League MP Shawkat Momem Shahjahan, who died on January 20.President Abdul Hamid, according to the constitution, will address the MPs highlighting the performance of the government. The House will then be ad- journed for a couple of days.The newly elected MPs would then discuss on the president’s speech and finally thank the head of state for the speech.Out of a total of 300, the election commission has already published ga-zettes declaring 297 MPs winners. With Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury be-ing elected unopposed on Tuesday in the Rangpur 6 by-poll, the number of MPs elected uncontested rose to 154.The Awami League commands the House with 231 seats while the JaPa has 34. The Workers Party of Bangladesh and the JSD won six and five seats re-spectively. Tariqat Federation and Jatiya Party (Manju) got two seats each while Bangladesh Nationalist Front has one.A total of 16 independent candidates were also elected. Jessore 1, Jessore2 and Tangail 8 constituencies are cur-rently vacant.
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Hasina alerts MPs to tough fight
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 5
Meeting sources said Hasina had asked the lawmakers who had been elected unopposed to deposit Tk10 lakh in the party fund. She also instructed all MPs to deposit their party subscriptions of Tk2,000 each.At a briefing after the meeting, Chief Whip ASM Feroz said the prime minis-ter had instructed them to ensure sin-gle candidate in each upazila election.“The Leader of House has instructed us to work honestly and transparently,” Feroz said.Sources said Hasina had suggested that the MPs highlighted the violence, killings and anarchy carried out by the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami while speaking in parliament on the presi-dent’s speech.She alerted her MPs to conspiracies against the government, saying: “The actors of 1/11 were still active and were trying to harass the government.The prime minister also observed that her party was more united than ever and praised the way Awami League had faced the BNP and its key ally Jamaat.At the meeting LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said according to the Representation of the People Order (RPO) they had no scope to get directly involved in the upazila election.But Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the BNP would join the upazila polls openly as a party to reinforce its organisation, which was a matter to think about.“It is not always possible to follow the grammar at every step,” Matia told the meeting, according to several MPs.
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Tk16.19 crore
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PAGE 1 COLUMN 6
the five sacks of bank notes. But the helper of the truck figured out that there was money in the consignment when the truck had a flat tyre at Nars-inghdi, said RAB offi cials.“Habib gave the helper Tk7 lakh to keep his mouth shut,” said Col Zia. “Al-though Habib had purchased 230 sacks of rice, he kept only eight sacks and sent the rest to the programme of Atro-shi Pir in Faridpur as per his maternal uncle’s advice.”Col Zia said Habib had claimed that another maternal uncle named Siraj had given him the idea of the burglary.The RAB ocial said a few ocials of the bank had been linked to the burglary.On Monday, around 45 people, in-cluding Branch Manager Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan and 11 offi cials of the  branch, were held for interrogation, said Kishoreganj Sadar police station Offi cer-in-Charge Abdul Malek.Deputy General Manager Sheikh Amanullah filed a case with the police station against unidentified criminals in connection with the burglary.
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Two outlaws killed in ‘gunfights’
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Tribune Report
Two wanted criminals were killed early yesterday in separate “gunfights” be-tween their cohorts and law enforcers, in Khulna and Jessore.The deceased are Rabiul Islam, 28, the second-in-command of criminal gang Mesbah Bahini, killed in Jessore, and Touhidul Islam Sabuj, 28, a leader of the outlawed Purba Banglar Com-munist Party, killed in Khulna. In Jessore, Police said, members of  joint forces with Rabiul, who was ar-rested earlier on Monday in connection to a mugging case, went to Ziadanga village in Abhaynagar upazila to re-cover arms. At the spot, members of Mesbah Bahini opened fire on them, prompting the joint forces to retaliate. During the 20-minute “gunfight”, Rabiul tried to escape and came into line of fire. He was rushed to Abhay-nagar Upazila Health Complex in a critical condition, where the duty doctor declared him dead. Four police members were also injured during the gunfight, our Jessore correspondent added.In Khulna, Phultola police station offi cer-in-charge Mohammad Elias Fakir said, “Sabuj was killed in a ‘gun-fight’ that occurred in Phultola upazila, after police raided the area.” After the one-hour “gunfight”, Sabuj received bullet wounds and was rushed to Phultola Upazila Health Complex where he succumbed to injuries nearly eight hours after the incident, the OC added.
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News
DHAKA TRIBUNEWednesday, January 29, 2014
BNP denied permission
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Mohammad Al-Masum Molla
The BNP will stage demonstrations at every ward of the capital today, after it was denied permission by the police to  bring out its pre-announced black flag procession in Dhaka. However, the party would continue with its programmes of peaceful black flag processions across the country to protest the “fraudulent elections of January 5.” “We hope that the government’s good sense will prevail and Dhaka Metropolitan Police will give us permission to hold the rally,” Asaduzzaman Ripon, international affairs secretary of the party, told  journalists at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters.On January 15, Khaleda Zia announced the programme at a press conference, terming the day “democracy killing day,” but the party was yet to secure permission for holding the programme.Ripon also said: “If we do not get permission in Dhaka, our alliance leaders will observe black flag procession in every ward of the capital, but the programme in the rest of the country will  be observed peacefully.The party had already prepared to ensure mass participation in the programme and Khaleda Zia might join the programme, a party insider said. Senior leaders would lead the procession if Khaleda did not attend. Additional law enforcers were deployed in front of the BNP headquarters and a water canon was stationed nearby.At the briefing, Ripon also said: “Our programme is peaceful. We expect democratic attitude from the government. We want to move forward avoiding confrontation. We hope that the authorities concerned will give permission.”
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8 charged for killing blogger Rajeeb
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Md Sanaul Islam Tipu
The Detective Branch of Police yester-day submitted charge sheet against eight accused, including Mufti Jasimud-din Rahmania, chief of Islamist outfit Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, in blogger Ahmed Rajeeb Haider murder case.DB Inspector Nibaron Chandra Bar-man, also investigation offi cer of the case, submitted the charge sheet be-fore Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magis-trate’s Court.General Recording Offi cer of the court Mokshed Ali Talukder told the Dhaka Tribune: ‘‘I received the charge sheet. It will be placed before Metropol-itan Magistrate Snigdha Rani Chakra- barty Wednesday [today].The seven other accused are Faisal Bin Nayeem alias Dwip, Maksudul Hasan alias Anik, Mohammad Ehsan Reza ali-as Rumman, Nayeem Sikder alias Irad, Nafiz Imtiaz, Salman Yasir Mahmud and Redwanul Azad alias Rana. All the seven accused are students of North South University (NSU) and were expelled from the university after their arrest. Of the accused, Redwan is on the run while the rest of others are in jail.The IO of the case also filed an appli-cation to the court to issue warrant of ar-rest against Redwan. Inspector Nibaron made 55 prosecution witnesses in this charge sheet. Rajeeb, known as Thaba Baba in the  blogging community, was hacked to death on February 15 last year near his Pallabi home, only 10 days into the his-toric movement at Shahbagh demand-ing death penalty for 1971 war criminals and a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and its students’ body Islami Chhatra Shibir. Several websites run allegedly Chha-tra Shibir activists first disclosed the murder and tried to defend the killing terming Rajeeb “atheist.” Rajeeb was one of the active members of Shahbagh movement and was vocal on Facebook and blog against Jamaat-Shibir and their institutions, including Islami Bank.A day after the murder, victim’s fa-ther Nazim Uddin filed a murder case with Pallabi police station.After two weeks, the IO arrested five NSU students. But none of them wit-nessed the killing directly, the investi-gator said in his report.The detained NSU students report-edly confessed that they had killed Rajeeb upon the directives of the chief of Ansarullah Bangla Team, a Bangla-deshi follower of Al-Qaeda. The organ-isation aims at establishing Islamic rule through armed revolution. Mufti Jasim, also the chief of Mar-kajul Ulum Al Islami from Dhaka’s Mo-hammadpur, was arrested along with 30 of his followers at his house in Bar-guna on August 12 last year. On September 2, he made confes-sional statement before a magistrate  but said he had never asked anybody to kill the blogger. As a teacher of Mo-hammadpur Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa, Mufti Jasim used to preach his students on various occasions giving references from the Hadith.Students of different universities, col-leges and schools also visited his madrasa frequently for religious advice, he said.
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Bangladeshi maid abused in Hong Kong
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Rabiul Islam
A 58-year-old housewife in Hong Kong was arrested following a complaint by a Bangladeshi domestic help that she had  been physically and mentally abused, Hong Kong-based English daily The Standard reported on Monday.In this latest case, police said a 27-year-old Bangladeshi named Kalpo-na Akter, who arrived in October to work as a helper for a family of four, had filed a complaint claiming she had been abused.Kalpona’s story came out yesterday after she went to a police station to pro-vide a statement after she had gone to the Hong Kong offi ce of her recruitment agency, Technic Employment Service, on Saturday to complain. She claimed to have been punched - including blows to the head - and that her employer had used a metal brush to scratch her hands, pulled her hair and confined her in a storeroom. Kalpona said she was not even allowed to apply medical cream to her wounds.On November 12 last year the Dhaka Tribune ran a report on Bangladesh domes-tic workers being ill-treated in Hong Kong. Seven female migrants who were compelled to return home after losing  jobs in Hong Kong, brought allegations of mistreatment against their employers.They claimed they were provided with insuffi cient food, had to put up with excessive pressure of work and were frequently terminated from jobs.A delegation led by Additional Direc-tor General of the Bureau of Manpower , Employment and Training Jabed Ahmed visited Hong Kong from November 5 to 9 to inspect the condition of female work-ers over there.“We have reviewed the MoU and strengthened the training so that our mi-grant workers are not abused,” Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. He also claimed that there had been no complaints of abuse recently. According to BMET offi cials, around 300 female workers have gone to Hong Kong so far.The recent cases of abuse of domestic helps caused a public outcry in the city, prompting Hong Kong’s Labour Depart-ment to take preventive measures.
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ACC to sue Tarique’s mother-in-law
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Syed Samiul Basher Anik
The Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to file a case against Syeda Iqbal Mand Banu, mother-in-law of BNP Sen-ior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, for not submitting her wealth statement.A meeting of the commission ap-proved filing of the case as she had not submitted her wealth statement on time as asked by the ACC, said an offi cial.The anti-graft body served a notice upon Iqbal Mand Banu on January 25, 2012, asking her to submit her wealth statement. Zakir Hossain, caretaker of her house, received the notice on her  behalf.On May 29, 2007, the ACC had served a notice upon Tarique Rahman, asking him to submit his wealth statement. Later, analysing his statement, the com-mission found that Tarique had accumu-lated wealth worth Tk4.82 crore through illegal means and concealed information of his properties valued at Tk4.23 crore.Following the findings, the ACC on September 26, 2007 filed a case with Kafrul police station against Tarique, his wife Zubaida Rahman and mother-in-law on charge of concealing wealth information. Sources said of the Tk4.82 crore, the commission had found Fixed Deposit Receipts for Tk35 lakh against Zubaida. But Tarique claimed that Zubai-da had got the money from her mother.The ACC, however, did not find any evidence supporting the claim. It rather got proof that Zubaida and her mother had aided Tarique in his attempt to show illegal income as legal.
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10-truck arms haul case verdict tomorrow
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Tarek Mahmud, Chittagong
The verdicts in two cases in the sensa-tional 10-truck arms and ammunition recovery of April 2, 2004 will be deliv-ered tomorrow. Judge of Chittagong Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 SM Mujibur Rahman is expected to deliver the verdicts, said court sources.Earlier, the same court on January 13 fixed the date for the much-awaited verdicts in the cases after completion of argument from both prosecution and defence sides. Ahead of the verdict, the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) intensified security across the city especially in Chittagong Court Building and at the residence of the judge who will deliver the verdict, said Banaz Kumar Majum-der, additional commissioner (crime and operation) of the CMP.The additional forces of Rapid Ac-tion Battalion (RAB-7) will also keep vigilance over the city including the court building and the area of the  judge’s residence, said Mifta Uddin, commanding offi cer of the RAB-7.Kamal Uddin Ahmed, public pros-ecutor (PP) of the Chittagong Metro-politan Court, said they expected the highest punishment to the accused in the cases as they could prove the alle-gations against them. On April 2, 2004, the police seized 4,930 types of sophisticated firearms, 27,020 grenades, 840 rocket launchers, 300 rockets, 2,000 grenade launching tubes, 6,392 magazines and 11,40,520  bullets when they were being loaded on to 10 trucks from two engine-boats at the jetty of the CUFL.Ahadur Rahman, the then Karna-phuli police offi cer-in-charge, filed the two cases – one under section 19 (A) of Arms Act and the other for smuggling under section 25 (B) of Special Power Act – on April 3, 2004 in connection with the incident.Ahadur, who was also the investi-gation offi cer of the cases, initially ac-cused 43 people in the arms case and 45 others in the other case.The cases were handed over to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Chittagong on April 26, 2004 when Assistant Superintendent of Po-lice (ASP) Kabir Uddin was appointed as investigation offi cer.CID ASP Kabir Uddin submitted the first charge sheets accusing 39 persons in the arms case on June 11, 2004, said the case documents. ASP Mir Nawsher Ali of the CID was later appointed as the third investigation offi cer of the cases.ASP Nawsher submitted the supple-mentary charge sheet of the arms case implicating 43 persons on August 28, 2004 as then PP Abdus Sattar filed dis-content petition before the court while the court framed charges against the accused on April 23, 2005.He also submitted charge sheet in the smuggling case implicating 45 per-sons on November 9, 2004 while the court framed charges against the ac-cused on November 30, 2004.After that the trial started on July 5, 2005 with the deposition of OC Ahadur  but the trial continued till August 14, 2007.A total of 31 prosecution witnesses in the arms case and 28 in the smug-gling case were testified till then while Additional Public Prosecutor Humayun Kabir Rasel, a state-side lawyer, plead-ed before the court on November 20, 2007 for further investigation into the two cases.On February 12, 2008, during the tenure of the last caretaker govern-ment, the court of Metropolitan Ses-sion Judge ANM Bashirullan ordered further investigation into the cases.The court in its order directed to in-vestigate seven specific points in the further investigation.ASP Ismail Hossain of the CID car-ried out the investigation as the fourth investigation offi cer of the cases but he failed to submit charge sheets even after extension of timeframe for six times.On January 29, 2009, ASP Moniru-zzaman was appointed as the fifth in-vestigation offi cer after a court order to replace Ismail Hossain on an appeal by the state lawyer.Moniruzzaman on June 26, 2011 sub-mitted supplementary charge sheets implicating 11 more persons including former industries minister Matiur Rah-man Nizami, former state minister for home affairs Lufozzaman Babar. He mentioned 265 prosecution witnesses in the supplementary charge sheet.Former directors general of the National Security Intelligence retired major general Rezzakul Haider Chow-dhury and retired brigadier general Abdur Rahim, former NSI directors re-tired wing commander Shahabuddin Ahmed and retired major Liakat Hos-sain and field offi cer Akbar Hossain, former managing director of the Chit-tagong Urea Fertiliser Limited Mohshin Talukder and its former general man-ager AKM Enamul Haque, ULFA lead-er Paresh Barua and former Industries Secretary Nurul Amin were among the newly implicated persons.Of the 11 Paresh Barua and Nurul Amin have been on the run while the rest are behind bars.Four accused – Monir Ahammad, Yi-akub Ali, Hazi Mohammad Ataur Rah-man and Abul Kashem Modhu – had  been dropped from the charge sheet as they died earlier.12 accused including ULFA leader Paresh Barua and Industries Secretary Nurul Amin are on the run in the arms case. 13 accused are on the run in the smuggling case. Of them 12 were also accused in the arms case. In the arms case, 27 accused are on  bail and 11 are behind bars while 28 are on bail in the smuggling case and 11 are in jail.The court of Chittagong Metropoli-tan Special Tribunal-1 SM Mujibur Rah-man framed the charges against the accused in both cases on November 15, 2009 while the trial started on Novem- ber 29 in 2011.A total of 38 accused were examined under section 342 of Criminal proce-dure Code (CrPC) while 53 prosecution witnesses in the smuggling case and 56 in the arms case were testified.
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HRW calls for probe into recent extrajudicial killings
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Tribune Report
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Bangladesh government to allow an independent investigation into sus-pected extrajudicial killings of detained opposition activists by the country’s se-curity forces in recent months. “The Bangladeshi government should authorise an independent in-vestigation into a recent spate of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces,” the international human rights organ-isation said in a statement published on Monday. HRW said the government should publicly order law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all those taken into custody. “Joint forces, consisting of the Bang-ladesh Police, the Rapid Action Battalion and the Border Guards Bangladesh, con-tinue to arrest opposition supporters, some of whom are accused of involve-ment in violent protests before and dur-ing the January 5 elections, which were  boycotted by opposition parties,the statement said.“Security forces claim that the deaths after arrest occurred during crossfire, which Human Rights Watch has previously documented is used by the security forces as a common euphe-mism to describe what they claim to be shootouts, but which in reality appear to be the killing of people already in de-tention,” it added.HRW called on the government to publicly order the security forces to follow the United Nations principles on the use of force by law enforcement offi cials, which state that security forces shall “apply non-violent means  before resorting to the use of force and firearms.”
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Detective Branch arrests a gang of eight for impersonating DB men from the capital’s Rampura yesterday. The gang had been hijacking people while posing as detectives
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU
Rajshahi Water Development Board authorities put sacks of sand along the bank of the Padma River in Poba upazila, Rajshahi to prevent erosion. The photo was taken yesterday
DHAKA TRIBUNE
Hindu families threatened by anonymous letters
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Our Correspondent,
Satkhira
Twenty Hindu families received anon-ymous letters yesterday, threatening them to leave their homes in Satkhira, an area considered to be a stronghold of Jamaat-e-Islami, or face dire conse-quences.“You have been living here for a long time. Not anymore. Either you sell your domain or leave it; time has come to leave immediately,” the letters read.The letters also read: “This time you have been told nicely. But the next time there will be no niceness.” The 20 families residing near Judge Court in Palashpole area have been tense since receiving the hand-written letters via post from Manobadhikar Sangha Satkhira, said representatives from a local human-rights association.Satkhira is enlisted as one of the “vulnerable” areas of the country where specialised forces are running drives.Satkhira sadar police station Offi cer-in-Charge Enamul Haque said no one had filed a written complaint in this re-gard; however, police was looking into the matter.Those who received the letters in-clude five advocates -Raghunath Mon-dal, Tapan Kundu, Tapan Das, Arpan Sarkar, and Kanti Lal Sarker and Rabin Sarker, Kamalesh Ghosh, Swapan Sana, Proshenjit Chakrabarty, Sanatan Shil, Bappa Dey, and Tapan Swarnakar.Members of the Hindu community came under attack immediately after the national elections held on January 5, an incident condemned by national and international quarters.
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