World Cup 2022: France faces midfield battle against Australia

Even without the injured Karim Benzema, defending World Cup champion France has plenty of attacking power.


Most teams would love to have either Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann or Olivier Giroud in their forward line, let alone all three. They have 119 international goals between them, plus an abundance of speed, craft, experience and skill.


But France does not have the same assurances in midfield, and that is where Australia could trouble Les Bleus on Tuesday in their opening Group D match.


France struggled to beat Australia 2-1 when the teams met in their World Cup opener four years ago, and that was with a full-strength midfield.


France coach Didier Deschamps is missing the injured N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba — his dynamic engine room from 2018. Pogba has played 91 times for France and one of his 11 goals came in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the 2018 final.


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While Pogba’s form has been up and down since then, Kante’s consistency rarely ever dropped and he’s arguably an even bigger loss.


A tireless runner with an incredible ability to close down space, surface from anywhere to win the ball and then release it cleanly, Kante is one of the best defensive midfielders in world soccer. But he’s recovering from a hamstring operation and won’t add to his 53 international appearances.


So Deschamps faces Australia with a revamped midfield where the most experienced player is Adrien Rabiot — Pogba’s teammate at Italian club Juventus — with 29 appearances.


The 27-year-old Rabiot finally feels ready to emerge as France’s new midfield leader.


“When I played in the French youth teams, I was often more experienced than my teammates. Now I find myself in a similar position,” he said. “I feel that I’m able to help others, to lead by example. I like being in this position.”


World Cup 2022: France faces midfield battle against Australia


France’s national team coach Didier Deschamps, center, gestures during a training session at the Jassim Bin Hamad stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. France will play their first match in the World Cup against Australia on Nov. 22. Photo/AP


That’s some turnaround for Rabiot, who four years ago actually asked to be taken off the list of reserve players for the 2018 World Cup. He was dropped for more than two years by Deschamps, who called his decision “a huge mistake.”


Now Rabiot will likely line up on the left of a midfield three at Al Janoub Stadium with 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni in the center, and either Eduardo Camavainga or 23-year-old Matteo Guendouzi on the right.


Tchouameni has impressed for France, but he has played only 14 times for Les Bleus, and never in a major tournament. Neither has Guendouzi, who has made six appearances, or the 20-year-old Camavinga, who has made only four.


For Juventus this season, Rabiot has been scoring and assisting more regularly and taking an increasingly important role that he hopes to transfer to the national team.


“It’s a great responsibility that I’m ready to take up,” he said. “I’d rather be in this position, than not be in this squad.”


A physically imposing player, Rabiot is a strong runner with excellent technique at holding the ball, a good passing range and is strong in the air — something which could trouble Australia’s defense on free kicks and corners.


Real Madrid paid 100 million euros ($97 million) to sign Tchouameni from Monaco in the offseason. In a similar way to Pogba, he is a lean and athletic player with an assured first touch who sprays passes short or long with equal effect.


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But Australia has a solid midfield, too, led by the experienced Aaron Mooy — a tough tackler and able passer who played two seasons in the Premier League with Brighton and has made 53 appearances.


Mathew Leckie was Australia’s best player at the 2014 World Cup and poses a threat from the wing. The 31-year-old Leckie is also the national team’s top scorer with 13 international goals.


Leckie and Mooy both started against France four years ago.


“We don’t want to experience the same feeling we had after that game. Even though we won, we didn’t play well enough,” France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said Monday. “We have to be careful of their set pieces and their transition play is good.”


But coach Australia coach Graham Arnold’s plans for this match were hit when winger Martin Boyle pulled out on Sunday with a knee injury. Boyle has a decent scoring record with five goals from 19 appearances for Australia.


“We all feel for Martin and it is a cruel blow for him,” Arnold said. “He has been an integral part of our journey to get to Qatar.”


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Business in tatters due to plunder, money laundering: Fakhrul

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said businesspeople are going through a very tough time due to the economic crisis, mainly caused by widespread plundering and siphoning off money abroad.


“Every big businessman is now saying one thing that they’re facing a very bad time and their businesses and factories are shutting down. They are also now in a situation that they even don’t have money to pay the wages of their workers,” he said.


Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader also said the government has been blaming the Russia-Ukraine war for the economic crisis. “Maybe there are some reasons behind it. But TK86 lakh crores were laundered in the last 10 years, including Tk,78,000 crores in the last one year. Can the economy of a country exist where people belonging to the ruling party indulges in widespread plundering and money laundering?”


Uttar Banga Chhatra forum and Bangladesh Chhatra Forum jointly arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman’s 58th birthday.


Fakhrul said the businesses now need incentives and facilities from the central bank at this time to overcome the situation.


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“But the banks are refusing to open new LCs due to dollar shortage while huge money from the reserves was plundered earlier. The common people, including the rickshaw pullers and hawkers now say this government is a thief,” he said.


The BNP leader said people have woken up to get rid of the current situation and oust the government. “A struggle has already begun as people have taken to the streets. I’m getting encouraged in this old age from our every rally to wage another Liberation War to defeat the current regime.”


Govt must pay price for taking 7 lives:


Fakhrul alleged that police shot dead Bancharampur’s Sonarampur Union Parishad unit JCD leader Nayon Miah on Saturday without any provocation and reason. What kind of a country it is. You have to face trial in the people’s court.”


He said their party’s seven leaders and activists, including Nayon Miah, were killed in their ongoing movement for the restoration of democracy and people’s voting rights. “We lost our seven warriors and you (govt) must pay a heavy price for it.”


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Fakhrul also asked the government to quit power safely before time runs out. “Otherwise, the turbulent mass wave that has already been created will sweep you away like a tsunami.”


Accusing the government of implicating the BNP leaders and activists in false cases, he urged the judiciary to ensure justice.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

PM Hasina hails the Armed Forces for standing by the people : PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday lauded the country’s military for standing by the side the people during natural disasters and other crisis.


“I believe that our army is now truly the people’s army. The armed forces stand beside the people during any disaster and accident and extend their cooperation to them,” she said.


The premier was addressing a civic and military gathering at a reception arranged at Senakunja of Dhaka Cantonment on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day 2022.


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Hasina said Bangladesh doesn’t want war against anyone, but instead wants peace and friendly relations with all the countries.


“We’ll not fight against anyone. We want peace,” she said.


The PM said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had framed the policy of ‘Friendship to All, Malice to None’ (the cornerstone of the country’s foreign policy) and this is being followed by her government.


On this day during the War of Liberation in 1971, the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising Army, Navy and Air Force, came into being and launched an all-out attack on the Pakistani occupation forces which accelerated the victory in the Liberation War.


Since the independence of the country, this historic day is observed as the Armed Forces Day.


She said her government has relentlessly been working for the socio-economic uplift of the common people of the country by keeping the friendly relations with all countries of the world in line with the policy.


Bangladesh out of this situation: PM


Sheikh Hasina said her government can take ahead the development programmes since a democratic trend continues now, but unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic affected the progress of the country.


She said the prices of commodities and transport cost soared significantly due to the Ukraine-Russia war and sanctions following the pandemic.


“Even then we’ve been trying as much as possible so that our people don’t suffer (from price-hikes of essentials),” she said, adding that they are trying to purchase from every possible source to ease their sufferings.


She focused on the ongoing food programmes run by the government to support the poor people amid this crisis. “We’ve been implementing all sorts of steps to improve the life and livelihood of the people,” she added.


The PM said Bangladesh was recognised as a role model for development, but the pandemic, war and sanctions have put the country largely into trouble. Economic recession is now seen everywhere including the UK, the US and Europe, she added.


“In this situation, our economy still remains vibrant and is moving. But with cooperation from all, we would definitely be able to take it out of this situation (trouble),” said Hasina.


She reiterated her call to grow more foods and cultivate every piece of arable land.


Focusing on her government’s steps to modernise the armed forces, the premier said she has developed every force and built up every institute so that the Army, Navy and Air Force can move, keeping the pace with the world as the Armed Forces of Bangladesh are working in the United Nations peacekeeping missions.


She said the peacekeepers of Bangladesh have been working in the UN missions for 34 years with dedication and pride. Now Bangladesh is the largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations, she added.


PM’s Security Affairs Adviser Major Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and the chiefs of the three services were present.


Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, cabinet members, political leaders, foreign diplomats, leading figures representing different professions, editors, senior civil and military officials and their spouses, among others, attended the reception.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


Covid-19: Bangladesh registers another death, 26 cases

Bangladesh registered another Covid-linked death and 26 more Covid cases in 24 hours till Monday morning.


With the new numbers, the total number of fatalities rose to 29,431 while the caseload rose to 2,036,393, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).


The daily case test positivity rate rose to 0.66 per cent from Sunday’s 0.64 per cent as 3,943 samples were tested during the period.


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The deceased was a man from the Sylhet division which took the death toll in the division to 1,356.


The mortality and recovery rates remained unchanged at 1.45 percent and 97.47 per cent, respectively.


In October, the country reported 60 Covid-linked deaths and 10,043 cases.


Bangladesh registered its highest daily caseload of 16,230 on July 28 last year and daily fatalities of 264 on August 10 the same year.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


98 JCD activists sued over attack on police in Chapainawabganj

A case has been filed against 98 leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) for launching an attack on police with crude bombs during a rally in Nachol upazila of Chapainawabganj.


Mintu Rahman, Officer In-charge (OC) of Nachol Police Station said sub-inspector Akbar Ali filed the case against 18 named and 70-80 unnamed people on Sunday night.


“We’re currently conducting drives to arrest the accused,” Mintu said.


According to police, some JCD men organised a rally on the premises of Oxford Academy in Sreerampur area under the district’s Nachol Sadar Upazila on Sunday afternoon without any permission.


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Upon receiving the information, police went to the spot and tried to disperse them, which resulted in a heated argument and a chase and counter-chase between them, he said.


The JCD men threw crude bombs on us during rally, which injured two policemen and five more crude bombs were recovered from the spot, Mintu added.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


NASA’s Orion capsule reaches moon, last big step before lunar orbit

NASA’s Orion capsule reached the moon Monday, whipping around the far side and buzzing the lunar surface on its way to a record-breaking orbit with test dummies sitting in for astronauts.


It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, and represents a huge milestone in the $4.1 billion test flight that began last Wednesday.


The close approach of 81 miles (130 kilometers) occurred as the crew capsule and its three wired-up dummies were on the far side of the moon. Because of a half-hour communication blackout, flight controllers in Houston did not know if the critical engine firing went well until the capsule emerged from behind the moon, 232,000 miles (370,000 kilometers) from Earth.


The capsule’s cameras sent back a picture of the world — a tiny blue orb surrounded by blackness.


“Our pale blue dot and its 8 billion human inhabitants now coming into view,” said Mission Control commentator Sandra Jones.


The capsule accelerated well beyond 5,000 mph (8,000 kph) as it regained radio contact, NASA said. Less than an hour later, Orion soared above Tranquility Base, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on July 20, 1969.


“This is one of those days that you’ve been thinking about and talking about for a long, long time,” flight director Zeb Scoville said.


Earlier in the morning, the moon loomed ever larger in the video beamed back, as the capsule closed the final few thousand miles since blasting off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, atop the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA.


Orion needed to slingshot around the moon to pick up enough speed to enter the sweeping, lopsided lunar orbit. Flight controllers evaluated the data pouring back, to determine if the engine firing went as planned. Another firing will place the capsule in that elongated orbit Friday.


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This coming weekend, Orion will shatter NASA’s distance record for a spacecraft designed for astronauts — nearly 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) from Earth, set by Apollo 13 in 1970. And it will keep going, reaching a maximum distance from Earth next Monday at nearly 270,000 miles (433,000 kilometers).


The capsule will spend close to a week in lunar orbit, before heading home. A Pacific splashdown is planned for Dec. 11.


Orion has no lunar lander; a touchdown won’t come until NASA astronauts attempt a lunar landing in 2025 with SpaceX’s Starship. Before then, astronauts will strap into Orion for a ride around the moon as early as 2024.


NASA managers were delighted with the progress of the mission. The Space Launch System rocket performed exceedingly well in its debut, they told reporters late last week.


The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket caused more damage than expected, however, at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad. The force from the 8.8 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of liftoff thrust was so great that it tore off the blast doors of the elevator.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Ex-state minister Shah Muhammad Abul Hussain passes away

Shah Muhammad Abul Hussain, former state minister for Finance and Planning and BNP leader, died at a hospital on Monday. He was 85.


Abul Hussain, also a former vice-president of Barishal North unit BNP, breathed his last at Evercare Hospital at 11 am, said BNP’s media cell member Sayrul Kabir Khan.


The BNP leader was survived by his wife, one son, a daughter and grandchildren to mourn his death.


He will be buried at Banani Graveyard following a namaz-e-janaza at Gulshan Azad Mosque after Maghrib prayer.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


So it’s farewell time Ali Imam bhai

One by one, most of the names of my own past are tiptoeing away from the scene. It’s not just the elderly but the near contemporary like Ali Imam bhai who was just a couple of years senior to us. We were both students together in the same university many moons ago and into cultural activities as well. It was soon after liberation and cultural freedom was in the air. Somehow we all ended up in the TSC auditorium so many times, me more an organizer and him, more a participant. He was already one of those young ones who was already a star.


Ali Imam bhai was not the only one of course and there were others like M.Hamid bhai, K.M. Harun bhai and others. Interestingly many of these performing artists ended up in the TV world, BTV. It was then the lone star and Ali Imam bhai went there too. And for him there was no looking back.


“Let a storm rise”


I remember a set speech competition where my task was to hold the cup from which various participants picked a topic and 5 minutes later would deliver a speech on it. It must have been the winter of 1973. Ali Imam bhai picked up the topic ,a line from a famous song, “ emon ekta jhor uthuk” (Let a storm arise ) and spoke scintillatingly on it. Of course he won the top prize but more than that it showed his ability to articulate on any topic and not just make sense but speak forcefully too. He was gifted and he went on from achievement to achievement with an ease few can muster.


We met professionally several times in our life but when I was working for UNICEF we were close. He was also freelancing for Channel I and Faridur Reza Sagar bhai. Together they made a team and while Sagar bhai was the organizer, Ali Imam bhai was the creative soul. Later on , he became even more closely involved and ran a UNICEF project on media and children. He knew children, he understood the media and together they made the best combo.


His achievements as a writer for juveniles literature was unparalleled and it was not the Bangla Academy award that certifies it but the fact that he wrote more than 300 volumes plus. He probably would have gone on to write another 100 had ill health not cut him down in what could easily have been his literary prime.


For him and many others, 1971 was a storm and it threw to the fertile earth many talents and unleashed the power of several generations that has constructed the socio-cultural framework of Bangladesh. He was one of the architects of that.


Time and farewell


I remember years back when we met at the Bangla Academy book fair. We sat down at one of the impromptu tea stalls and sipped tea discussing nothing in particular. I asked him about a book he had mentioned doing with me on history for children. He replied,“ Oh, Afsan, how I wish I had enough time to do all the projects I have planned. I just have no time. “


Farewell, Ali Imam bhai. Now you will have all the time in the world.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

Phone Conversation: Momen, Lavrov want to take Dhaka-Moscow relations to greater heights

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday shed light on the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Russia and expressed their desire to take these relations to greater heights.


During a telephone conversation, the Russian foreign minister expressed his regret for not being able to come to Dhaka due to schedule complications and expressed his intention to make the visit soon.


Momen thanked Russia for its cooperation with Bangladesh in the construction of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and invited Russian President Putin to visit Bangladesh on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Lavrov was scheduled to visit Bangladesh on November 23, mainly to attend the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers meeting, to be held in Dhaka on November 24.


Russia is a dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) while Bangladesh is the current chair of group.


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Momen highlighted the role of the Soviet Union in the War of Liberation of Bangladesh and said that Dhaka will always remember it with gratitude.


He sought the cooperation of the Russian foreign minister in sending the Rohingya refugees, who have taken shelter in Bangladesh, back to Myanmar.


In reply, Lavrov assured Momen he would talk with Myanmar.


Among other things, the two ministers also discussed the cooperation between Bangladesh and Russia in the United Nations and other international organizations.


The Russian foreign minister greeted the Bangladesh prime minister on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin.


On Sunday, Momen said the increased activities of Russia due to the situation in Ukraine might be the reason behind the revised decision taken by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


“I can understand it. They are very busy. Their activities due to the war have increased to a large extent. Maybe for that reason he is unable to come,” Momen told reporters after attending a programme in a Dhaka hotel.


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The foreign minister said the Russian side in a diplomatic communication with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed that the Russian foreign minister is unable to come.


The IORA Council of Ministers meeting, to be hosted by Bangladesh, will be preceded by the 24th meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials, to be held on November 22-23.


The IORA is an inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 member states and 10 dialogue partners.


IORA member states are Australia, Bangladesh, Union of Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Republic of Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


The 23 member states of IORA and 10 dialogue partners are expected to join the ministerial and senior official meetings.


Source: United News of Bangladesh

She walked into court demanding justice. Now HC has reversed the acquittal of BGB member accused of raping her

The High Court has ordered to take action against the officer who acquitted a BGB member in a case filed over the rape of a teenager in Nilphamari.


The Inspector General of Police has been instructed to take departmental action against Sahidur Rahman, the police investigation officer who gave the report on the BGB member in this case.


The High Court has also canceled the order to exempt BGB member Md Aktaruzzaman from the rape allegation.


An HC bench of Justice Jahangir Hosen Selim and Justice Md Bashir Ullah passed the order on Monday after hearing an appeal petition filed by the rape victim.


Besides, the Superintendent of the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has been directed to investigate the case and submit a report to the Nilphamari Women and Child Abuse Prevention Tribunal within 60 working days.


The court directed the authorities of the National Institute of Health and Mental Hospital to provide psychiatric treatment to the rape victim.


Advocate Muhammad Shishir Monir and Supreme Court Legal Aid panel lawyer Badrun Nahar appeared for the girl while Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi represented the state.


Earlier on 15 June, an exceptional incident took place in the Supreme Court, when a 15-year-old girl, along with her mother, walked into the court and demanded justice.


The girl said, “Your honour, I am 15 years old. The woman with me is my mother. A BGB member raped me but he was acquitted by a Nilphamari court. We are poor. We don’t have money. We want justice from you.”


The court then asked if there were any lawyers present from the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee who could take up the case. Lawyer Badrun Nahar stood up and introduced herself.


The court then ordered that the matter be dealt with urgently.


On 20 November, 2020, a case was filed over the rape of a th-grader in Nilphamari’s Syedpur. A BGB member, also a neighbour, was named as the accused in the case.


Following the trial, the Nilphamari Women and Children Prevention Tribunal acquitted the accused on May 17, 2022.


Later on June 29, the High Court stayed the verdict of the trial court for six months which acquitted the accused.


The court also ordered the acquitted BGB member, Akhtaruzzaman, to surrender before it in four weeks.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


India can reap benefits of Bangladesh’s connectivity outlook: Momen

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday said Bangladesh is positioned to be a “regional connectivity hub” and India being the closest neighbour can reap the benefits of the connectivity outlook, as envisioned by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.


Momen also mentioned about the actions taken by Hasina and her government for exerting “zero tolerance” towards terrorism, radicalism and insurgency, which ultimately paved the way in establishing “peace and stability” of the North Eastern states of India.


During his meeting with the foreign minister, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay K. Verma said India, under its Presidency of G20, expects active participation of Bangladesh in the G20 meetings to promote the issues of mutual interest in the global discourse.


The foreign minister reaffirmed that Bangladesh considers India as the closest and the most important neighbour and termed the relations as “solid and unique one.”


Momen underscored the exemplary economic growth of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of the PM Hasina and added that Bangladesh’s economic development is complementing the economic development of India in many ways.


Phone Conversation: Momen, Lavrov want to take Dhaka-Moscow relations to greater heights


With regard to the Indo-Pacific region, Momen stressed the need for international rules and norms based on free and fair connectivity amongst the countries of the region.


The Indian high commissioner said working in Bangladesh is a matter of honour and privilege and reiterated his commitment to work on the issues of mutual interest for further strengthening the excellent relations existing between the two countries.


He stressed on working together in the multilateral arena in supporting the candidatures floated by either country.


He urged all concerned to work towards bringing the border killings to zero, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Both the foreign minister and the high commissioner emphasized increasing the engagements between Bangladesh and Indian North Eastern region to invigorate the connectivity and age-old relationship.


Momen emphasized that more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar are being sheltered by Bangladesh.


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India can reap benefits of Bangladesh’s connectivity outlook: Momen


While Bangladesh has been sheltering them on humanitarian grounds, it has now become a huge challenge and big burden for the country.


He sought the support of India in early repatriation of Rohingyas to their country of origin Myanmar.


The high commissioner in reply informed that India is also keen to have an acceptable solution to this issue and will continue to work to ensure speedy, safe, sustainable and dignified repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar.


Foreign Minister Momen said both the countries are inextricably linked by historical, cultural, social and economic ties and over the last 50 years, the Bangladesh-India relationship has reached an unprecedented height under the visionary leaderships of the prime ministers of both the countries.


He also recalled the crucial role played by the people and government of India during the Great War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 led by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.


Source: United News of Bangladesh


3 JMB men get life imprisonment in arms case in Lalmonirhat

A Lalmonirhat tribunal on Monday sentenced three members of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to life imprisonment and another one to 14 years imprisonment in an arms case.


Lalmonirhat Special Tribunal Judge Mizanur Rahman handed down the punishment.


The lifers are identified as Shafiqul Islam, son of Nazrul islam, Apel Misti, son of Lutfur Rahman and Mokhlesur Rahman, son of Hafizur Rahman of Kaliganj upazila.


The man who got 14 years in jail is identified as Tafizul Islam, son of Mojibur Rahman of Patgram upazila.


According to the prosecution, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-13 arrested four JMB men while they were holding a clandestine meeting on August 2, 2018.


The elite force also seized arms and bullets from their possession.


A case was filed under Arms Act against them.


Source: United News of Bangladesh