RapeA six years old girl was violated by a man at Kapashati village in Harinakunda upazila in Jhenaidah on Friday, reports UNB.The victim was admitted to Jhenaidah Sadar Hospital in severe condition.Victim’s mother said their neighbour Ashif Ali, son of Ayub Ali, took the girl to a quiet place and raped her. After returning back home, the victim fell sick, she added.Shilakupa police station senior assistant superintendent Tarek Al Mehedi said they were trying to arrest the offender.
A BNP delegation on Wednesday visited the houses of Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, who died in a road crash in the city, and consoled their bereaved family members, news agency UNB reports.The five-member BNP team, led by Amanullah Aman, first went to Mim’s Mohakhali house around 7pm and talked to her parents and other family members, said BNP chairperson’s media wing member Shamsuddin Didar.Later, they went to Rajib’s house at Ashkona around 8:30pm.The four other BNP leaders are Fazlul Haque Milon, Nazimuddin Alam, Anisur Rahman Talukder Khokon and Shamsuzzaman Suruj.Contacted, Milon said they visited the houses of Mim and Rajib directed by their party acting chairman Tarique Rahman and conveyed their party’s sympathy to the bereaved family members.He said they also assured the two families of standing beside them in ensuring justice.On Sunday, Mim and Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed as a ‘Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan’ bus ploughed through some students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road, triggering a widespread protest that caused immense public sufferings.
Anti-mafia police in Naples on Tuesday arrested a suspect accused of extortion against Bangladeshi immigrants in the southern Italian city.The suspect, named as ADC was put under house arrest as part of the operation which was carried out on the orders of Naples anti-mafia magistrates.Tuesday’s operation followed an investigation into alleged intimidation of Bangladeshis living in the town of San Gennaro Vesuviano on the eastern outskirts of Naples aimed at extorting money from them.Intimidatory acts reported to police by the local Bangladeshi community including gluing up the entrance to a building they used as a mosque.ADC led the intimidation, introducing himself as”the boss of San Gennaro”, prosecutors said.The ruthless workings of the Camorra, one of Italy’s oldest and most violent mafias, were laid bare by Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book ‘Gomorrah’ and the award-winning film of the same name.The Camorra’s main sources of revenue include drug trafficking, extortion, arms trading, prostitution and waste disposal.
6 killed in truck-microbus collisionTwo people were killed and four others injured when a bus rammed a CNG-run auto-rickshaw in the city’s Bakolia area on Thursday, reports UNB.One of the deceased was Mohammad Jamal, 40, while the identity of another could not yet be known.The accident took place around 8:15am when the bus crashed into the CNG- run auto-rickshaw, leaving two people dead on the spot and four others injured, said Alauddin Talukdar, assistant sub-inspector of Chittagong Medical College Hospital police camp.The injured were taken to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital.
Sayeed KhokonDhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Monday launched a crash course on identifying and exterminating the larvae of Aedes mosquitoes to fight dengue fever, reports UNB.Inaugurating the programme, DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon said there has been some increases in the number of dengue-affected patients this year comparing to past two/three years but there is nothing to get panicky about it.Mayor also said there are no Chikungunya cases this year as opposed to last year.He requested the people to raise awareness by removing abandoned tires, flower tubs, stored air conditioner water from their homes.The mayor also instructed everyone not to allow water to be stored at a specific location for more than five days, as doing so may increase the risk of Aedes mosquito breeding.
Syrian regime forces are pictured in the town of Aftris, west of the rebel-held town of Saqba, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on Saturday. Photo: AFPSyrian regime forces on Saturday cut off the largest town in Eastern Ghouta from the rest of the rebel-held enclave near Damascus, pressing on with a 20-day assault that has left more than 1,000 civilians dead.Government troops and allied militia launched their military campaign for Eastern Ghouta on February 18 and have since overrun more than half of the area, defying global calls for a halt to the violence.The assault has followed a divide-and-conquer strategy, eating away at rebel-held territory, and government forces on Saturday successfully isolated Ghouta’s main town of Douma in a blow for the beleaguered rebels.Regime fighters cut off a road linking Douma with the town of Harasta further west and also captured the town of Misraba, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.“Regime forces have therefore divided Eastern Ghouta into three parts—Douma and its surroundings, Harasta in the west, and the rest of the towns further south,” the Britain-based monitor said.Shelling and air strikes slammed into Douma on Saturday, trapping residents inside their basements for hours, AFP’s correspondents in the town said.Rescue workers and medics were struggling to navigate the town’s rubble-littered roads to bring wounded residents back to field clinics.At least 20 civilians—including four children—were killed in Douma on Saturday, in addition to 17 civilians in other battlefront towns, said the Observatory.The deaths raised the assault’s total toll to 1,031 civilians, including 219 children, according to the Observatory. More than 4,350 have been wounded.‘Bomb shelters full’Douma’s opposition-run local council issued an urgent “distress call” on Saturday to international organisations.“The bomb shelters and basements are full, and people are sleeping in the streets and in public gardens,” the statement said.“For three days, it has been hard to bury the dead because of the intense bombing on the cemetery,” it added.Eastern Ghouta is the last remaining opposition-controlled zone on the outskirts of the capital, and rebels there have regularly fired rockets onto Damascus.On Saturday, at least one child was killed and four other civilians wounded in rebel shelling on eastern districts of Damascus, according to state news agency SANA.Rebels have tried to slow the advance with an attempted counter-offensive, but President Bashar al-Assad’s forces steamrolled their efforts.Syrian state television broadcast live footage from Misraba hours after it was captured by the army on Saturday, showing dozens of civilians in a dark basement, surrounded by troops.One elderly man broke down into tears as he relayed how his family had fled to Douma under fierce bombardment.Eastern Ghouta is home to around 400,000 people, living under a five-year siege that has made food and medical aid exceedingly rare.On Friday, an aid convoy by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered food to hunger-stricken residents.It was the second convoy in one week, after deliveries on Monday were interrupted by heavy bombardment.‘Scared faces’The UN refugee agency’s Syria representative, who entered Ghouta with Monday’s convoy, said the area was “on the verge of a major disaster”.“I’ve never seen such scared faces in my life,” Sajjad Malik said Friday.He described seeing a five-storey building that had been reduced to rubble, with a powerful stench emanating from several bodies trapped underneath.Two Islamist groups are the most prominent rebel factions in Ghouta, but jihadists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) — once linked to Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch—also have a presence.On Friday, 13 HTS members and their relatives were bussed out of the enclave.Rebels said they would be taken to HTS territory in the northern province of Idlib, in an arrangement struck following consultations with the UN and international players.Such evacuation deals have been repeatedly agreed in Syria’s seven-year war, most notably in the second city of Aleppo in late 2016.After a ferocious month-long government assault, thousands of rebel fighters and civilians were bussed out of the city’s east.That paved the way for Syria’s government to announce the full recapture of Aleppo—the largest defeat to date for the fractured opposition movement.Syria’s conflict erupted with protests against Assad but has since developed into a full-blown war drawing in world powers.Russia has intervened on Assad’s behalf while Turkey has backed rebels against his regime, rival jihadists and Kurdish forces.Saturday, Ankara-backed rebels advanced against Kurdish militia in northwest Syria, coming to within two kilometres (just over one mile) of the flashpoint town of Afrin, the Observatory said.Elsewhere in Syria, the White Helmets rescue force suffered its first female fatality on Saturday, after air strikes hit a rebel-held town in Idlib province.
RMG Workers are seen on roads. Prothom Alo File PhotoA worker of readymade garments sector was killed in what the family members and co-workers claimed as police firing during clashes with the law enforcement in Savar near Dhaka city on Tuesday afternoon.The RMG workers had been demonstrating in a few places in Savar and Ashulia demanding implementation of minimum wage and engaged in a series of clashes, local sources said.The dead was identified as Sumon Miah, from Kolakanda village in Sribardi of Sherpur district and he was a worker of Anlima Textile Ltd housed in Savar.According to witnesses, the aggrieved garment workers and the police personnel were entangled into clashes during the demonstration in the apparel hub.The police fired tear-gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the agitating workers. Sumon was said to have received bullets but he was taken to the garment compound.The workers alleged that the police tried to enter the compound and once again lobbed tear-gas shells. More than 10 workers were injured then.The workers later took Sumon to Savar health complex.Physician Shariful Islam said he died before reaching the hospital. Sumon’s injuries were believed to have caused by bullets.The police later took away the body of Sumon.The superintendent of Dhaka district Shah Mizan Shafiur Rahman claimed that the reason of the death of worker Sumon could not be known. He said directive has been issued to investigate the incident.
At least seven people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents in Barishal, Dinajpur, Narail and Bogura districts, according to UNB.In Barishal, a woman was killed and three other persons were injured as a bus crashed into a human-hauler on Barishal-Patuakhali highway in Rupatoli area on Saturday morning.The deceased was Renu Begum, 50, wife of Rouf Hawlader, a resident of 25 No. ward of Rupatoli area.Sub-inspector Mostafizur Rahman of Kotwali model police station said that the accident took place around 9:00am when the Patuakhali-bound bus collided with the human hauler, leaving its four passenger injured.The injured were taken to Barishal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital where physicians declared her dead.In Dinajpur, a college teacher was crushed under the wheels of a truck at Kolabari of Ghorashal Upazila.The deceased was Anwar Hossain Ujjal, 32, lecturer of Raniganj Mohila College. Agitated locals seized the truck and handed it over to police.In Narail, two friends were killed and another injured as a truck collided head on with a motorcycle carrying them in Bagudanga Bottala area of Kalia-Chapail road in Kalia upazila.The deceased were Biplob Ghosh, 15, and his friend Shanto Biswash, 15, of Jogania village of the upazila.Officer-in-charge of Noragoti police station Md Alamgir Kabir confirmed the matter.In Bogura, a car collided head-on with an auto-rickshaw killing three people and injuring five others.The deceased were Shamol Sohon, 55, Afzal Hossain, 45, and Shahidul Islam, 65.Officer-in-charge of Adamdighi police station Monirul Islam said the accident injured eight people and three among them succumbed to their injuries on the way to a hospital.
A young man was arrested allegedly for raping a minor girl in Tongi on Friday, reports UNB.The arrestee is Babul, son of Fazlul Haq of Kishoreganj.”He raped the 10-year-old girl when she was alone at home on Thursday,” said Kamal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Tongi east police station.The victim’s father filed a case with local police that day. The girl was taken to a hospital for medical tests.Later, police arrested Fazlul from his residence around 2:30am.
In this file photo taken on 18 October 2018 Indian Hindu devotees are pictured at the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in the southern state of Kerala. Photo: AFPTwo women on Wednesday entered one of Hinduism’s holiest shrines in south India becoming the first to go into Sabarimala temple since the Supreme Court ordered the end of a longstanding ban on women aged between 10 and 50, a state minister said.The temple in Kerala state has been at the centre of a prolonged showdown between Hindu devotees supporting the ban and women activists who have been forced back several times from Sabarimala.The women entered the hilltop temple just before dawn with police security.”We did not enter the shrine by climbing the 18 holy steps but went through the staff gate,” one of the women told local media.Kerala state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “It is a fact that the women entered the shrine. Police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship at the shrine.”The women’s entry into the temple is certain to provoke a new gender storm.A spokesman for the temple’s management, Sasikumar Varma, said that if priests confirmed women had entered Sabarimala “necessary purification rituals will be done.”Media reports said the head priest had ordered the temple closed for “purification”.The Supreme Court ruled on September 28 that the decades-old ban on women of menstruating age at Sabarimala, which is at the top of a hill a four-hour trek from the nearest village, was illegal.Repeated efforts by women to enter the temple were fought back by Hindu devotees.In October, devotees clashed with police leading to the arrest of more than 2,000 people.On Tuesday, there was more trouble when tens of thousands of women formed a human chain across Kerala state to back the demand for women’s access to the temple.The Supreme Court is to start hearing a legal challenge to its ruling on January 22.Many Hindu groups as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party fiercely oppose the court ruling. They argue that the court has ignored their belief that the deity Ayyappa was celibate.
This screen grab from a video released to AFPTV via the Twitter account of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun on 7 January 2019 shows a still of Qunun speaking in Bangkok.The asylum claim of a Saudi woman who resisted deportation from Thailand will take several days to assess, the UN said Tuesday, as the 18-year-old’s family, who she accuses of abusing her, was due to arrive in Bangkok.Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived at Bangkok’s main airport on a flight from Kuwait after running away from her family, who she alleges subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.Qunun said she planned to seek asylum in Australia, fearing she would be killed if sent back by Thai immigration officials who stopped her at the airport on Sunday.Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has been under heavy scrutiny since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.Initially, Thai authorities said Qunun would be sent back to Saudi Arabia.But as her plight pinballed across social media — including tweets about how she had barricaded herself in a hotel room — they abruptly changed course and allowed her to leave the airport Monday in the care of the UN’s refugee agency.The UNHCR said it was “very grateful” officials did not send Qunun back against her will.”It could take several days to process the case and determine next steps,” the UNHCR representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vicentiis, said in a statement.Thailand is not a signatory to a UN convention on refugees, and asylum seekers are typically deported or wait years to be resettled in third countries.The UNHCR insists anyone with an asylum claim should not be sent back to the country they fled under the principle of non-refoulement.In a short press release distributed to media outside their embassy in Bangkok Tuesday, the Saudi government said it had not demanded her deportation, adding the case is a “family affair”, but under the “care and attention” of the embassy.In an earlier and separate explanation released on Twitter, the embassy also denied sending officials to Suvarnabhumi airport to meet Qunun as she arrived via Kuwait or impounding her passport — as she alleged.It also said the embassy had made contact with her father, a senior regional government official in the kingdom, “to inform him on her situation”.Father, brother to arriveThai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told reporters that Qunun’s father and brother were due in Thailand later on Tuesday.He said he would talk to the UN refugee agency about the potential of a meeting between the family members.”Rahaf is not a political asylum case,” he insisted. “It is not political at all.”Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s toughest restrictions on women, including a guardianship system that allows male family members to make decisions on behalf of female relatives.Qunun has said she believes she will be imprisoned or killed if sent back, and that her family is so strict it once locked her in a room for six months for cutting her hair.Under the hashtag #SaveRahaf, the young woman’s desperate pleas became a social media sensation, and she was able to post live updates and videos from the Bangkok airport in both Arabic and English, racking up more than 80,000 followers.
European Union flag Credit: EU websiteInformation minister Hasan Mahmud has assured the European Union (EU) that Bangladesh will never enact or implement any law that may contravene the concept of human rights, reports UNB.He explained that the government of Bangladesh is always alert to prevent the misuse of any law, and hoped that the media guidelines of Bangladesh will become more streamlined and fit-for-purpose with EU support.The issues of media, online news platforms, the role of social media and the related challenges were discussed during his meeting with senior officials of the European Commission, the EU’s politically independent executive arm, in Brussels on Friday.The EU officials, terming Bangladesh as a “fast-developing country” praised the present government for creating the congenial environment for thriving media presence, according to Bangladesh embassy in Brussels.The information minister explained to the EU how during the last one decade the media of Bangladesh has opened up, doubling the number of print media, tripling the number of TV channels, along with the thousands to applications under process for registration of online news platforms.He urged the EU authorities to share their best practices and guidelines for the print as well as online media with Bangladesh, so that there can be a win-win situation.The EU officials assured the minister of providing all possible support and cooperation to Bangladesh for further strengthening its print, electronic and online media platforms.They stressed the importance of ensuring that freedom of media and freedom of expression are not curtailed by any law or regulation that is originally meant to protect institutions’ and individuals’ rights.It was agreed at the meeting that EU would share its different relevant guidelines or rules in the area of media with the government of Bangladesh.Bangladesh ambassador in Brussels Mohammed Shahdat Hossain attended the meeting, while from the EU side, senior officials from offices dealing with foreign affairs, strategic communication and human rights joined it.In the evening, the expatriate community members of Chattogram living in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands organised a traditional mezban in honour of the information minister.While addressing the event, the minister urged them to work for Bangladesh from abroad.Bangladesh ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal and Bangladesh ambassador to Belgium were present.