Tahsina Rushdir Luna. File PhotoTahsina Rushdir Luna, the wife of missing BNP leader M Ilias Ali, on Sunday alleged that she was obstructed by immigration officers at Shahjalal Airport from going to the UK for joining her son’s graduation ceremony.Talking to UNB, Luna said she along with her two children went to the Airport in the morning to go to London in a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight at 10:00am.”As I went to the immigration after collecting my boarding pass, the officials there told me to give my passport and other documents for examination. After keeping me waiting for around one and a half hours, they told me they can only allow my children, not me, to go to the UK,” she said.As she wanted to know the reason, Luna said an immigration official said, “We can’t permit you to leave the country for the sake of the state’s security.”Later, she together with her daughter Saiyara Nawal and son Labib Sarar returned home.Luna said she was supposed to attend her eldest son Abrar Ilias graduation ceremony at the University of West England, Bristol next week as his guardian.Ilias Ali, the then organising secretary of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP), went missing along with his driver, Ansar Ali, on the midnight of 17 April, 2012.Since then, BNP has been blaming the security agencies for his mysterious disappearance, an allegation denied by the government. read more
*This report has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam. Mirpur Government Bangla College Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) unit president Mujibur Rahman Anik. Mirpur Government Bangla College unit president of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Mujibur Rahman Anik has allegedly beaten up the vice-president of same unit, Shuvra Mahmud.Shuvra alleged Anik along with 10 to 15 leaders and activists beat up her at her flat at Darus Salam in the city on Tuesday morning. After assaulting her, she was taken to Darus Salam police station and kept there for four hours. Later, she was released after signing a bond.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Shuvra Mahmud claimed Anik had an affair with a second year student of Eden College. He had promised to marry her and was involved with her physically too. In the meantime, he married another girl. The student of Eden College wanted to file a case against Anik, but her parents stopped. Later she went along with Shuvra to the Lalbagh police station on Monday to file a case against Anik. Lalbagh police station advised them to file the case with the Mirpur police station.When they went to the Mirpur police station to file the case, the police went to look for Anik at his house in Darus Salam. Upon return, police said, “The incident is not under their jurisdiction, it is under Darus Salam police station.” Later, they went to the court and initiated to file the case. The student of Eden College stayed at Shuvra’s house on Monday night.Anik and his followers later went to Shuvra’s house and beat up her, Shuvra alleged.Mujibur Rahman Anik told Prothom Alo that he did not beat her up. “A normal boy does not beat girls,” Anik said. About Shuvra, Anik said, “She is a younger sister in my college. I have no relations with the student of Eden College.”Officer-in-charge of Darus Salam Selim-uz-Zaman said the Eden College girl left her residence in Khilgaon two days ago and couldn’t be traced. One of her cousins located her at Shuvra’s house.Police went to Shuvra’s residence and found her with another girl and boy.The police asked Shuvra why she kept the Eden College student at her house.The officer-in-charge said police brought all four to the Darus Salam police station and their parents were informed. The family of the girl did not want to press charges. The police then handed over the student to her family. Shuvra did not make any allegations of beating, the police official claimed.BCL unit vice-president of Mirpur Government Bangla College Shuvra Mahmud said, “I am not hearing with my left ear. Anik stabbed my left hand in 2015. I filed a general diary (GD) with the Mirpur police station. Anik put pressure to withdraw the GD.”Principal of Mirpur Bangla Government College Imam Hossain said steps will be taken if the incident took place on the college campus. So far no one made any complaint in connection with the incident, he said, adding the police will take steps if the incident took place outside the campus.Anik is the second accused in a case related to instigating suicide of Fatematuz Johora Bristi, a female leader of Kafrul and a student of political science at Mirpur Government Bangla College. read more
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has arrived at the compound of the makeshift court which is set to announce its verdict in a graft case against the former prime minister.BNP activists clashed with the law enforcers and ruling Awami League men on her way to the court.Hundreds of BNP workers and supporters joined Khaleda Zia when her motorcade was crossing Maghbazar area.The fifth special judge’s court is set to deliver its verdict in Zia Orphanage Trust case anytime today.
FaridpurThe police on Wednesday arrested a councillor of Boalmari municipality for posting derogatory comments on prime minister Sheikh Hasina and country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his Facebook wall.The arrestee was identified as Minhajur Rahman Lipon Miah, councillor from ward-5 of the municipality and also the general secretary of Boalmari upazila Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, the youth wing of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Police arrested him from in front of his residence at Govt College road around 4:00pm, said officer-in-charge of Boalmari police station Mizanur Rahman.Lipon allegedly posted objectionable writings about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Facebook, said upazila nirbahi officer Mohammad Zakir Hossain. read more
An ethnic Uighur man talks on the phone in front of the Id Kah Mosque in the old town of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Photo: ReutersChina will step up a campaign against religious extremism in the far western region of Xinjiang on Saturday by implementing a range of measures, including prohibiting “abnormal” beards, the wearing of veils in public places and the refusal to watch state television.Hundreds of people have died in recent years in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, in unrest blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants and separatists, though rights groups say the violence is more a reaction to repressive Chinese policies.The government strongly denies committing any abuses in Xinjiang and insists the legal, cultural and religious rights of Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group, are fully protected.While China officially guarantees freedom of religion, authorities have issued a series of measures in the past few years to tackle what it sees as a rise in religious extremism.New legislation, passed by Xinjiang lawmakers on Wednesday and published on the region’s official news website, widens existing rules and will come into effect on April 1.Workers in public spaces like stations and airports will be required to “dissuade” those who fully cover their bodies, including veiling their faces, from entering, and to report them to the police, the rules state.It will be banned to “reject or refuse radio, television and other public facilities and services”, marrying using religious rather than legal procedures and “using the name of Halal to meddle in the secular life of others”.“Parents should use good moral conduct to influence their children, educate them to revere science, pursue culture, uphold ethnic unity and refuse and oppose extremism,” the rules say.The document also bans not allowing children to attend regular school, not abiding by family planning policies, deliberately damaging legal documents and “abnormal growing of beards and naming of children to exaggerate religious fervour”.A number of bans on select “extremist behaviours” had previously been introduced in some places in Xinjiang, including stopping people with head scarves, veils and long beards from boarding buses in at least one city.The new rules expand the list and apply them to the whole region.While Uighurs have traditionally practiced a more relaxed form of Islam, the popularity of veils for women in particular has grown in recent years in what experts say is an expression of opposition to Chinese controls.After a period of relative calm, there has been a rise in violence in recent months in the Xinjiang’s southern Uighur heartland and a large increase in security.Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “great wall of iron” to safeguard Xinjiang during the annual meeting of China’s parliament earlier this month. read more
Police officers stand guard beside a cordoned-off area, after former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal became critically ill after exposure to an unidentified substance, in Salisbury, southern England on 5 March. Photo: ReutersA former Russian double agent living in Britain as part of the biggest spy swap since the Cold War is in a critical condition after suspected exposure to what police have called “an unknown substance”, British media reported Monday.The BBC and other outlets named the victim as 66-year-old Sergei Skripal, who was hospitalised in intensive care on Sunday along with an unidentified woman, in the city of Salisbury.A former colonel in Russian military intelligence, Skripal was sentenced to 13 years in jail in Russia in 2006 on charges of spying for Britain.But he was granted refuge in the UK following a high-profile spy exchange between the United States and Russia in 2010.His apparent targeting echoes the case of Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-Russian spy who died in 2006 after being poisoned with radioactive polonium in London.A British inquiry into the death ruled in 2016 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “probably approved” the killing and identified two Russians, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, as the prime suspects.Major incidentBritish police said Monday they had declared a “major incident” after two people — a man in his 60s, and a woman in her 30s — were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury, 85 miles (140 kms) southwest of London.They remain in intensive care while a “multi-agency response” has been coordinated, Craig Holden, Temporary Assistant Chief Constable of Wiltshire police, said in a statement.”Alongside our partner agencies, we are conducting some extensive enquiries to determine exactly what led to these two people falling unconscious and clarify whether or not any criminal activity has happened,” he added.Parts of the city centre remained sealed off Monday night as emergency responders in hazardous material suits continued to canvas there.TV footage showed them hosing down public areas and searching bins, while a local restaurant closed “as a precaution” in connection with the incident, police said.Meanwhile police vehicles were also filmed at the purported home of Skripal in Salisbury.No visible injuriesHolden said Wiltshire police “received a call from a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of two people” at around 4:15pm (1615 GMT) on Sunday.”The pair, who we believe are known to each other, did not have any visible injuries and were taken to Salisbury District Hospital.”They are currently being treated for suspected exposure to an unknown substance” he said, adding that they were “in a critical condition.”Police said it had not been declared a counter terrorism incident, and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.Freya Church, who saw the couple slumped on the bench, told the BBC they “looked so out of it”.”It looked like they’d been taking something quite strong,” she said.The trust running Salisbury District Hospital advised people Monday not to attend the emergency department “unless extremely urgent” as they dealt with the situation.A spokeswoman for Public Health England, the government’s healthcare agency, said there did not “appear to be any immediate risk to public health”.She added: “in situations like this our scientists and medical colleagues join the multi-agency response and, when appropriate, contribute any necessary public health advice.”Despite the reassurances Wiltshire police warned local people to call emergency services “if you feel your own or another’s health is significantly deteriorating”.Spy swapSkripal was among 14 spies swapped by Moscow and Washington at Austria’s Vienna airport in 2010, in scenes reminiscent of the Cold War.The exchange included Anna Chapman, a glamorous member of the exposed Russian spy ring on the US east coast who rose to further fame upon her return to Moscow.Skripal, a retired Russian secret service colonel, was convicted and jailed for 13 years in 2006 for betraying Russian intelligence agents to Britain’s MI6 secret service.Russia accused him of working with MI6 since the 1990s and that it had paid him $100,000 (81,000 euros) for information.He was pardoned ahead of the 2010 spy swap and flown on to Britain, where he had reportedly kept a low profile for the last eight years.Marina Litvinenko, the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph: “It looks similar to what happened to my husband but we need more information.She added if a Russian poisoning plot was proved, it showed “nothing has changed since my husband died.” read more
Saiful Karim. File PhotoMuch-talked about alleged yaba trade ringleader Saiful Karim was killed in what the police called a gunfight in Naf river port area in the small hours of Friday.Saiful wanted to surrender to the law enforcement through the persons who facilitated the surrender of 102 drug traders to the police in February, a police source said.“Police had arrested Saiful when he returned home from abroad after nine months of hiding. He informed us about a large consignment of yaba smuggled in Bangladesh from Myanmar a few days ago,” Teknaf Model police station officer-in-charge Pradip Kumar Das told Prothom Alo.When police went to recover those pills around 12:30am Friday, armed yaba traders launched an attack on them, forcing the police to retaliate, he added.Following the retreat of the yaba traders, policemen recovered bullet-hit Saiful from the spot and took him to the Teknaf Upazila Health Complex. Physicians there transferred him to Cox’s Bazar District Hospital. But, he died on the way to the hospital.Cox’s Bazar police superintendent ABM Masud Hossain confirmed the death of Saiful to the newsmen.The police also claimed that 100,000 yaba pills, 42 rounds of bullets and 33 bullet shells were recovered from the spot.OC Pradip Kumar also claimed that three policemen of Teknaf station were injured in the gunfight.Saiful came to limelight as a main perpetrator behind the smuggling in of 1.3 million yaba pills that were recovered from Chattogram’s Halishahar area on 4 April in 2018.In a confessional statement, Rashid alias Munna and Ashraf Ali, two accused in the smuggling of the huge haul of yaba pills, named Bangladesh’s Saiful Karim and Myanmar’s Abdur Rahim behind the yaba trading.Chattogram city detective police’s former deputy commissioner Md Shahidullah led the team that recovered the yaba pills. He is now at the district’s counter terrorism unit.“Saiful Karim smuggled in first consignment of yaba pills in 1997. He is responsible behind yaba addiction of hundreds of thousands of young people in the country,” Shahidullah added.It has been learnt that Saiful tops the list of narcotic smugglers prepared by the home ministry and second on the Cox’s Bazar’s yaba godfather list. read more