2 held for burning housewife to death in Rangpur

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-13 has arrested a father-in-law and a sister-in-law from Mymensingh in the sensational murder case of burning a daughter-in-law by pouring kerosene on her body in Rangpur city.

“They were arrested from Phulbari police station area in Mymensingh district on Wednesday,” said a press release issued today by Senior Assistant Director (Media) of RAB-13 Flight Lieutenant Mahmud Bashir Ahmed.

The detainees are father-in-law Md. Akhter Mian, 55, of Nachchnia area and sister-in-law Most Aleya Begum, 32, of Khasbag area under Mahiganj police station of Rangpur city.

Victim Salma Begum, 23, of the same area married Swapan Mian, son of prime accused Akhter Mian, following a love affair four years ago.

After her marriage, her in-laws started torturing her in various ways for dowry.

Victim Salma took a loan of Taka 50,000 from an NGO when her sister-in-law Aleya Begum took Taka 10,000 from Salma as a loan.

When the victim asked for return of the loan, Aleya and other accused tortured her on March 24 last in front of her husband Swapan Mian and demanded dowry money instead.

As the victim’s husband continued to protest the incident, Akhter Mian and other accused entered the victim's room and started beating her mercilessly on March 28 last.

“At one stage, they poured kerosene on the victim’s body, set her on fire and left the house after blocking the door of the room from outside. When her husband tried to put out the fire, he himself got burnt,” the release said.

Locals came forward to put out the fire, rescued the couple and admitted them to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

Later, critically burnt Salma with 70 percent body-burn was sent to Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery at Dhaka where she died on March 31.

The victim's mother filed a case in this connection with Mahiganj police station of Rangpur Metropolitan Police on March 28.

Alongside police, RAB-13 started intelligence monitoring of the sensational incident.

“On a tip off, RAB-13 jointly with Crime Prevention Specialized Company of RAB-14, Mymensingh conducted a raid at Phulbari police station area in Mymensingh and arrested the two accused on Wednesday,” the release said.

During preliminary interrogation, the arrested accused admitted that they had premeditatedly poured kerosene on the victim and set her on fire.

“The elite force handed over the detainees to Mahiganj police station today,” the release said, adding that efforts are on to nab the other absconding accused.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Nation set to celebrate Pahela Baishakh tomorrow

The country is set to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year-1430, tomorrow upholding the rich cultural values and rituals of the Bangalees.

'The Bangla Nabobarsho festival' is also going to be celebrated at its traditional venue Ramna Batamul here.

This year, the first day of the Bangla calendar, will be celebrated following its all rituals at the venue along with bringing out the traditional 'Mangal Shovajatra' (procession) organized by the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University.

But, due to the ongoing holy month of Ramadan, it will be celebrated on a limited scale.

People are expected to join the "Nabo Barsho" festivities across the country, particularly in the capital city.

Pahela Baishakh is one of the most colourful festivals through which the Bangalees bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year.

On this occasion, people from all walks of life wear traditional Bengali dresses.

Young women wear white sarees with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles, flowers, and tips, while men wear white pyjamas and panjabi or kurta.

The government has drawn up an elaborate programme. The Mongol Shovajatra will be brought out at divisional, district and upazila levels to reach the traditional programme to the grassroots as it has earned the international recognition.

However, business communities, especially in the rural areas, are ready to open their traditional 'Halkhata', new account books. On the day traders also offer sweets to customers.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are expected to issue separate messages greeting the countrymen on the eve of the Pahela Baishakh.

All secondary schools and colleges of the country are asked to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla calendar.

"The educational institutions across the country must organise student rallies in the morning as part of celebration of Pahela Baishahk," said the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) on Wednesday (April 12).

DSHE director Prof Shahedul Kabir said that DSHE sent an order to all schools and colleges on Tuesday regarding Pahela Baishakh celebration following a directive of the Ministry of Education.

DSHE directed that the students must sing the national anthem, as well as "Esho He Baishakh," a popular song by Rabindranath Tagore, to welcome the Bangla New Year on that day as part of the celebrations.

About 'Mangal Shobhajatra' the DSHE also asked the authorities concerned to "publicise" the' Mangal Shobhajatra,' which was declared an "intangible cultural heritage" by Unesco in 2016.

Bangladesh Awami League (AL), one of the country's oldest political parties, has drawn up programmes to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh.

To observe the day, Dhaka South City unit of AL will bring out a colorful procession in the city on April 14.

The procession will start from Bahadur Shah Park in the capital on Friday at 7 am where AL central leaders including the party's General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will participate.

The procession will parade different areas of the city and end at AL's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue.

Besides, a discussion will also be held in front of Bahadur Shah Park in Old Dhaka at 7 am on the same day.

Dhaka South City AL Acting President Nurul Amin Ruhul, MP, will preside over the discussion while Dhaka South City unit of AL General Secretary Humayun Kabir will conduct it.

Different government and non-government organisations, socio-cultural platforms, including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Bangla Academy, Department of Public Libraries, the National Museum, Kabi Nazrul Institute, Copyright Office, National Book Centre, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), the Department of Archives and Library and Dhaka University will hold various programmes along with seminars, exhibitions and quiz, essay and art compositions to observe the day.

As part of the Bengali New Year celebrations, Baishakhi rallies will be organized in all districts, upazilas and unions of the country.

Besides, local administration will organize quiz competitions, cultural programmes and folk fairs.

The programmes of the day usually begin in the city with the musical soiree of Chhayanat, a leading cultural organisation of the country, at Ramna Batamul at dawn.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private television channels will live broadcast the programmes.

The city people usually start the day with the traditional breakfast of 'panta bhat' (soaked rice), green chili, onion and fried fish at Ramna Park, Suhrawardy Uddyan, Dhaka University Campus, Rabindra Sarobor at Dhanmondi and other amusement places. But, on the month of Ramadan, this traditional way of celebrating Pahela Baishahk might not widely be followed.

Graffiti are expected to be painted in the walls signifying the arts, culture and heritage of the country.

On the occasion, all museum and archaeological sites will remain open for all while children, students, people with disabilities and autism will be allowed to visit the museum free of cost.

Improved traditional food will be distributed to jail inmates, patients in hospitals and orphanages on the occasion.

Bangladesh missions abroad will also organise different programmes to welcome the New Year.

The law enforcement agencies will take extensive security measures across the country so that people could celebrate the day.

The day is a public holiday.

Different national dailies will publish colourful supplements while Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV and radio channels will air special programmes highlighting the significance of Pahela Baishakh.

Some historians attribute the Bengali calendar to the 7th century king Shashanka, which was later modified by Mughal emperor Akbar for the purpose of tax collection.

During the Mughal rule, land taxes were collected from Bengali people according to the Islamic Hijri calendar. This calendar was a lunar calendar, and its new year did not coincide with the solar agricultural cycles.

Akbar asked the royal astronomer Fathullah Shirazi to create a new calendar by combining the lunar Islamic calendar and solar Hindu calendar already in use, and this was known as Fasholi shan (harvest calendar).

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Planning Minister stresses citizen engagement in public procurement

Planning Minister MA Mannan today said that efforts to involve citizens in public procurement at the field level need to continue although there are some challenges.

"Although citizen engagement in public procurement is a new concept, it has positive outcomes and it is a step forward," he said while speaking as the chief guest at the 16th meeting of the 36-member Public-Private Stakeholders' Committee (PPSC) on public procurement.

The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), the Ministry of Planning, organized the meeting at the NEC Conference Room in the capital under its Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP). The CPTU has been implementing the project with support from the World Bank, said a press release.

State Minister for Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam was present at the meeting as the special guest while Secretary of the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) Abul Kashem Md. Mohiuddin chaired it.

Senior Secretary and Member (Socio Economic Infrastructure Division) of Planning Commission Mosammat Nasima Begum was also present at the meeting. Director of CPTU, Masud Akhter Khan moderated the programme.

The secretary delivered the welcome speech. Director General of CPTU Mohammed Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury made a presentation on the enhancement of the electronic government procurement (e-GP) system and major milestone achievements in recent times.

The PPSC is a platform for representatives from the public and the private sectors to make recommendations and guidance on the overall improvement of public procurement management in the country.

Mirza MHassan PhD, Senior Research Fellow, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), made a presentation on citizen engagement and its model in public procurement and Munshi Sulaiman PhD, Research Director of BIGD, made another presentation on impact evaluation of citizen engagement that BIGD has implemented in 48 upazilas over the last four years as consultant engaged by CPTU under DIMAPPP.

Dr Shamsul Alam said that e-GP has added great value to the efforts of Digital Bangladesh. He emphasized digital systems in government activities to reduce hassles in service delivery.

Dr. Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI), appreciated the citizen portal initiative of CPTU to give information on public procurement to citizens.

Representatives from the Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division, Public Works Department, Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry, Foreign Aided Projects Audit Directorate, Economic Reporters Forum, Development Journalist Forum of Bangladesh, Finance Division, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, among others, took part in open discussions.

They appreciated citizen engagement in public procurement and said it helps in enhancing the quality of public procurement.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Female newspaper hawker Khuki dies

Dil Afroz Khuki alias Khuki, the only female newspaper hawker in Rajshahi, died in the early hours of today.

She was 60.

She breathed her last at Missionaries of Charity Ashadan Mother Teresa Monastery at Mahisbathan in Rajshahi city around 1:30am.

Khuki, a resident of Rajshahi city's Sagarpara area, used to distribute newspapers to earn her livelihood.

She got married when she was a student of Bharateswari Homes School in Tangail in 1980s. But she became a widow at younger age following the death of her husband.

She started working as a newspaper hawker in 1991. Her struggle works as an inspiration to deprived and disabled people in the locality.

She received 'Joyeeta Award'.

On November 13, 2020, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came forward to alleviate the plight of the woman newspaper vendor. On behalf of the Prime Minister, local administration took the charge of Dil Afroz Khuki.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

BB asks banks to ensure smooth ATM, MFS services during Eid vacation

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has asked the commercials banks to ensure smooth and uninterrupted transactions through the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Point of Sale (POS), Internet Banking, Online e-Payment Gateway and Mobile Financial Services (MFS) during the vacation of Eid-ul-Fitr.

In a circular, the BB instructed the banks to ensure adequate security at the ATM booths, create awareness among the merchants and clients to prevent forgery in POS services, keep on running the Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on Card not Present transaction for online e-Payment Gateway and inform the clients about transactions through SMS service.

It also instructed the banks to provide Help Line services during the vacation, if any client faces harassment.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Festive mood to welcome Pahela Baishakh in Ctg

An excited mood has been prevailing to welcome ‘Pahela Baishakh', the Bengali New Year-1430, everywhere in Chattogram city and the district amid traditional festivities tomorrow.

All the upazila towns, Chattogram city and other important places of the upazilas have worn festive looks and law enforcement agencies have taken tight security measures to ensure peaceful celebrations of the traditional 'Pahela Baishakh', Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chattogram Abul Bashar Md Fakruzzaman said.

The cities, districts and upazila administrations, authorities of different municipalities, including Chattogram City Corporation, authorities of different pourshova and other organisations have completed their preparations to welcome 'Pahela Baishakh' in all 15 upazilas of the district.

The government, non-government, socio-cultural, professional, trade bodies, business and other organisations, NGOs, private bodies and educational institutions have also taken preparations to celebrate the occasion.

Celebration of the traditional 'Chaitra Sangkaranti', the last day of the year, already began today in the country’s business hub Khatungonj side by side hats, bazars, groceries, sales centers and important places through traditional 'Halkhata' for renewal of business accounts clearing dues, Mahabubul Alam, President of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industries said.

According to the Chattogram district administration, colourful programmes have been chalked out to welcome 'Pahela Baishakh' with traditional festivities of the Bangalees.

To welcome the Bengali New Year, a colourful “Mongol Shova Jattara” will be started from Chattogram Circuit House at 10 am tomorrow and the rally will be concluded at Shilpokala Academy after parading different important city streets, DC Fakruzzaman added.

In the port city, the celebrations will begin with traditional 'Baishakhi' programmes of Shilpokola Academy, Shishu Academy, different educational institutions including Chattogram University, Chattogram University of Engineering and Technology and DC hill premises at 10 am tomorrow.

Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) in association with a dozens of its organisations will welcome the Bengali New Year, Abdul Aziz, Public Relation Officer of the CCC told BSS.

City Mayor Reazaul Karim Chowdhury will attend the function as chief guest.

Thousands of people of all ages will take part in the procession carrying festoons, placards and banners and singing Baishakhi songs, 'Palli Geeti', 'Jari gan', 'Bhatiali', 'Baul', 'Lalon Geeti', 'Nazrul Geeti' and 'Rabindra Sangeet' and folk songs at the DC hill park.

Improved diets will be served to the inmates of all hospitals, including Chttogram Medical College Hospital, Chttogram Central Jail, orphanages, 'Shishu Paribars', and vagabond centres in the city.

The law enforcement agencies have taken extensive security measures in the city and district for the celebration in a cheerful and festive environment.

Meanwhile, the Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) recently issued a traffic advisory ahead of the Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year.

According to the traffic advisory of the CMP on April 14, people should use 14 diverted points for traffic movement centering the DC Hill and CRB hill and Swadhinata Park.

All entry and exit points of the DC Hill and CRB hill and Swadhinata Park will be monitored round-the-clock by setting up the Closed Circuit TV Cameras, Krishna Pada Ray, Commissioner of the CMP said.

He also urged people of all concerned to complete their respective functions by 5 pm on April 14.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

National Logistics Development & Coordination Committee forms 5 subcommittees

National Logistics Development and Coordination Committee today formed five multi-sectoral sub-committees, aiming to assist the national committee on formulation of national logistics development policy, simplification of existing policy framework and promotion of foreign investment.

The subcommittees were formed in the second meeting of the National Logistics Development and Coordination Committee held at the Prime Minister's Office, according to a press release.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah chaired the meeting.

Under the direction of the Prime Minister, with the aim of achieving the country's national growth targets, increasing export capacity, attracting investment and creating massive employment, a 29-member national committee was formed on January 22, 2023 with government, private and development support organisations. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah was made the chief of the committee.

The scopes of work of the subcommittees were determined in this meeting to improve the logistics sector to international standards.

Finally, a decision was taken in the meeting to take some steps that can be quickly implemented to increase the efficiency of the existing logistics services in Bangladesh.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Ashrayan gets recognition as creative work of Sheikh Hasina

Ashryan project, one of the special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been recognised as a creative work and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been given a certificate as the initiator of the project.

Bangladesh Copyrights Office issued a certificate in this regard on April 10, which was handed over to the Deputy Project Director of Ashrayan on Wednesday, an official of Registrar of Bangladesh Copyrights Office said today.

Ashryan project, a special poverty alleviation project, is designed, initiated and implemented by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 1997.

The prime aim of the Ashrayan project is to eradicate poverty and improve livelihood of marginal people apart from ensuring their economic and social security.

Over 5, 54,597 families have been rehabilitated from 1997 to March, 2023 through the Ashrayan project.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

US embassy to pay attention to heinous crimes of 1977

Human Rights Officer of US Embassy in Dhaka, Sophia Meulenbreg today assured 'Mayer Kanna', a network of 1977 victims, that her government would pay proper attention to the heinous crimes occurred in the darkest part of Bangladesh history.

The officer gave the assurance when a delegation of 'Mayer Kanna' met with her in city's American Club, said a release of the organization here.

"The delegation handed over some documents to Sophia, which clearly provided evidence about the helpless soldiers in the army and air forces who were executed even before so called mock trial. They were executed in October but letters were sent to families in December stating their conviction and staying in jail," said the release of Mayer Kanna.

Sophia thanked the delegation for coming to see her and handing over her the relevant documents of gross human rights violation and massacre in the army and Air Force in 1977. She was empathetic to the cause of the victims' family, it added.

The Mayer Kanna members requested the US government to raise their demand for justice in every possible way and places so that their unheard voice may not be suppressed again and again.

Mayer Kanna Convenor Kamruzzaman Lenin, Bilkis Chowdhury and the network's legal adviser Barrister Prashanta Barua, among others, were present in the meeting.

The members of 1977 network thanked the US embassy and ambassador for accepting the documents and hearing the delegation's cause of sufferings. The network pressed that BNP's founder Ziaur Rahman was the mastermind of the heinous crimes and they are in apprehension that BNP is the principal obstruction to the way of justice, the released added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Bangladesh gets good volume of water from Ganges River: JRC

Bangladesh has received a good volume of water from the common Ganges River this year, member of the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC), Bangladesh, Dr Mohammad Abul Hossen said today.

“Considering the baseline data of the historical water flow of the river for 40 years (1949-1988), it can be said that Bangladesh has received a good volume of water from the Ganges River this year,” he told BSS.

But, Hossen said, Bangladesh got a little less water against its fair share in first quarter of March this year.

“The Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) of Bangladesh and India will hold a meeting in May next and we will raise the issue at the meeting to know whether India is diverting water from the river,” he said.

According to the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty1996, Bangladesh and India share water of the Ganges River based on every 10-day period from January 1 to May 31.

If the volume of water is 70,000 cusecs or less at Farakka point, both Bangladesh and India will get equal share of water (35,000 cusecs).

If water volume is 70,000 to 75,000 cusecs or more at Farakka point, India will get balance of the flow and Bangladesh’s share will be 35,000 cusecs.

Bangladesh will get the balance of flow and India’s share will be 40,000 cusecs if water availability at Farakka point is 75,000 cusecs or more.

According to the latest data of the JRC, water availability at Bangladesh’s Hardinge Bridge point was 85,316 cusecs, 70,827 cusecs and 69,990 cusecs in first, second and third 10-days of January this year respectively.

In first, second and third 10-days of February, water volume at Hardinge Bridge point was 67,364 cusecs, 59,376 cusecs and 47,891 cusecs respectively.

At the same point, Bangladesh received 42,372 cusecs, 41,368 cusecs and 40,390 cusecs in first, second and third 10-days of March respectively.

Bangladesh got 42,071 cusecs at Hardinge Bridge point in the first 10-day of April this year, the JRC data revealed.

The Ganges Water Sharing Treaty1996 was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on December 12, 1996 in New Delhi.

The treaty established a 30-year water-sharing arrangement and recognised Bangladesh’s rights as a lower-level riparian.

India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers. The JRC of India and Bangladesh was established in 1972 as a bilateral mechanism to address common border and transboundary rivers issues of mutual interest.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Govt distributes 1,381.48 tonnes of rice in Khulna

The government is distributing 1381.48 metric tonnes of rice among 5, 48, 868 distressed people in the district ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Under the Vulnerable Group Feeding Programme (VGF), the rice has been allotted under the 1,38,148 VGF Cards of 68 unions in the district.

Each person gets 10kgs of rice under the programme.

Apart from this, Khulna City Corporation (KCC) has distributed 15500 Eid dresses among the distressed people in 31 wards in the city. The Eid dresses include 12,400 pieces of sarees and 3,100 pieces of Lungi.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Four awarded life term for killing man in Akkelpur

A court here today sentenced four people to life term imprisonment for killing a man namely Moazzem Hossain in Akkelpur upazila of the district in 2007.

Senior Session Judge of Joypurhat Md Nur Islam handed down the verdict to Akram Hossain Babu, Mukter Hossain, Emdadul, and Enamul Haque. All of them were the residents at Raikali Kha Para village in Akkelpur Upazila.

According to the prosecution on October 17 in 2007, the convicts beaten Moazzem Hossain to death over previous enmity at Raikali Kha Para village. Following the murder, Moazzem father filed a case accusing the four people. Police pressed the charge sheet on November 30 in the year.

Testifying witnesses and evidences the court gave the order.

The court also fined each convicts Taka 10,000. If they are failed to pay they will serve one year more in jail, said Public Prosecutor Nependranath Mondol.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha