• Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Eid home-goers on risky trips

Eid home-goers on risky trips

With the Eid rush reaching its peak today, the city dwellers' journey home will be far from hassle-free, as the authorities appear to have failed to check overloading and plying of rundown vehicles. The risks and sufferings will be much more for those travelling by launches that carry passengers double or even triple their...

Eid-ul-Azha

3-day break for all, 9-day for many

Dhaka city will go into a slumber as public and private offices will remain closed on most of the workdays next week. Many officials will enjoy an extended leave in the rest of the weekdays after Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid vacation will end on Tuesday. Many of those who will go to their village homes to celebrate the festival will extend their stay there for another four days, including the weekends, and so the city during the time will witness a...

Textiles, Jute Ministry in 2009-13

Siddique's reign under scanner

Siddique's reign under scanner

When the then textiles and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique ordered the sale or privatisation of 47 state-owned jute mills and factories violating rules during 2009-2013, the government turned a blind eye. Only in February this year, the Prime Minister's Office formed a committee to investigate the irregularities. The committee found Latif sold those industrial units either without inviting tenders or in non-transparent ways. And those were sold at throw away prices or were simply given away to certain individuals for free. The five-member committee headed by PMO Director General Paban Chowdhury submitted the report to the prime minister on August 31. The committee recommended action against those involved in the malpractice,...

Guard Recruitment

UNO hurt as AL, BCL men attack office

UNO hurt as AL, BCL men attack office

Activists of Awami League and Chhatra League yesterday attacked the office of Nawabganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer in Dinajpur, leaving the UNO critically injured. UNO Syed Farhat Hossain sustained severe injury to the head in the attack carried out around 11:30am, Ahmed Shamim Al Raji, deputy commissioner of the district, told The Daily Star yesterday....

Outages back with gas shortage

The country is once again facing daily power cuts and poor gas supply as gas-based fertiliser production has been in full swing for the last one month. For the best part of this year, the government had shut down fertiliser factories to divert gas to power plants and for other commercial use. But the situation has changed in the last one month when all fertiliser factories began operating, drawing gas which would have otherwise gone to some power plants. Power Development Board...

Minister faces eight cases

Two Dhaka courts yesterday ordered Post, Telecommunications and IT Minister Abdul Latif Siddique to appear before them on October 28 and 30 in two cases over hurting the religious sentiment of the Muslims. The courts summoned the minister hours after the cases were filed against him. Latif was sued in six other cases in Chittagong and Sylhet for his derogatory remarks about hajj, Prophet Muhammad (SM) and Tablighi Jamaat. A writ petition was also filed with the HC seeking change in the...

Removal decision effective

Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif yesterday claimed that Posts and Telecommunications Minister Abdul Latif Siddique's removal from the cabinet has been made effective. According to a UNB report, Hanif said the prime minister has decided to remove Latif from the cabinet after hearing the remarks on hajj, Prophet Muhammad (SM) and Tabligh Jamaat. He made the comments at a press conference at the AL president's political office at Dhanmondi in the city. Addressing the press conference, Hanif said, "The...

Published Date: October 1, 2014
Siddique may lose cabinet berth

Siddique may lose cabinet berth

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday decided to sack Abdul Latif Siddique from the cabinet over his comments on hajj, Prophet Muhammad (SM) and Tabligh Jamaat, highly placed sources said. Latif’s remarks in New York on Sunday triggered widespread criticisms at home and abroad, and embarrassed the government.    A top official at the Prime Minister’s Office said Hasina was annoyed at the comments by the posts, telecommunications and information technology minister at a discussion at Jackson Heights. The PM’s decision came hours after a video of the discussion caused uproar in the social media and sparked protests in Bangladesh and in the US. However, no official confirmation of Latif’s removal was available. Sources told...

News Analysis

Published Date: October 1, 2014
Speaking recklessly

An outburst of public criticism has prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s decision to drop Abdul Latif Siddique from her cabinet over his derogatory remarks against hajj and Tablighi Jamaat.  The comments by the post, telecommunications and information technology minister violated the law and hurt people’s religious sentiment.  Uttering words deliberately to wound religious feelings of any person is a punishable offence under Section 298 of the Penal Code, 1860. An individual might be punished with a highest jail term of one...

Published Date: October 1, 2014
Forced to confess to a crime he did not commit

Forced to confess to a crime he did not commit

Joj Mia yesterday narrated before a Dhaka court how he had been forced by three CID officials into confessing falsely that he took part in the August 21 grenade attack.   “I gave the confessional statement before a magistrate [in 2005] because the [then] CID officials threatened me with [death in] crossfire,” he told the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1. He identified the ex-CID officials in the dock -- Ruhul Amin, Abdur Rashid and Munshi Atiqur Rahman -- who had made up a story and falsely implicated him in the two cases filed in connection with the grenade explosions at a rally of the then opposition Awami League in 2004. He was later cross-examined by...