"The judges have ruled that all extrajudicial punishments in the name of fatwa, or religious edicts, are illegal and without lawful authority," the government's deputy attorney general Akram Hossain Chowdhury told AFP. The ruling also provides jail terms for clerics or any members of village courts who order such punishments by invoking Islamic sharia law.
Human rights lawyer Shadeen Malik hailed what he described as a "landmark" ruling. "The cases of beatings, whippings and public humiliations of people, especially poor rural women, would be drastically reduced following this verdict," Malik said. "It states clearly that nobody has the power to inflict physical and mental torture to any person in the name of religion," he added.
Seeking attention of the union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, Bhattacharjee in his letter to the HRD ministry secretary said: 'The relations of the internationally acclaimed bard with the then kings of Tripura were extremely close and the poet had visited the state as many as seven times between 1899 and 1926.'
Tripura's Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Anil Sarkar strongly supported the resolution and said: 'With nearly 230 million speakers, Bengali is one of the most spoken languages, ranking fourth in the world.' At present, the UN has six official languages - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
'At the international level, Bangladesh also trying to gather opinion in favour of introducing Bengali language in the UN as one of the official languages,' said Sarkar, who is also an award winning renowned poet and writer.
Reuters, Washington, 9 July : The World Bank said on Friday it will double lending to Bangladesh to $6.1 billion over the next four years to tackle poverty and help the disaster-prone country adapt to climate changes.
The poverty-fighting institution said a chunk of the new lending will also support infrastructure investments, particularly in energy, as part of an effort to accelerate economic growth. Some $1.2 billion of the overall funds will go to building Bangladesh's longest bridge on the river Padma, to unlock the economic potential of the lagging southwest region, the bank said in a statement. READ FULL STORY
A report submitted by security agencies to the state government says that with Kishenji no longer mobile, the Maoists has set up new jurisdictional units with additional responsibility to Hembram. The report indicates that frequent encounters with security forces and tighter police surveillance have forced Maoists to shift their core operational base from the Lalgarh-Belpahari area in West Midnapore to the Ayodhya hills of Purulia. This area is currently not covered by the security forces.
Zulfiqar Hassan, IG, Western Range, confirmed reports that the Maoists had shifted base. “Some kind of activity has been reported from the area indicating that the Maoists are preparing a strong base in Purulia,” he said.
"There is a huge demand of Bangladeshi quality products like pharmaceuticals, ready made garments, ceramics, jute and jute goods in international markets, including Europe. So you can exploit this opportunities to expand markets of these products in African countries," she said.
Kolkata, 9 July : The Cooch Behar airstrip in north Bengal is ready for operation and a flight between Kolkata and Cooch Behar will be introduced soon, West Bengal Transport minister Ranjit Kundu said today.
The West Bengal government would provide subsidy to the company operating the air service, Kundu told the assembly while participating in a discussion on budgetary grants for his department. Stating that the MP from Balurghat wanted renovation of the airstrip there for air service to Kolkata, he said it would depend on the success of the Cooch Behar flight. He also said the state government was trying to rejuvenate the Behala Flying Club here to train pilots.
Dhaka, 9 July : Japan, South Korea and China - have expressed their intent to enhance relations with Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who visited China and South Korea, is due to visit Japan in October to further the ties.
New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has formally written to invite Hasina, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office told New Age newspaper today.
Kolkata, 9 July : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today called on West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan at Raj Bhavan here today.
Raj Bhavan sources described the visit as a "courtesy call". Mukherjee was with the governor for over an hour, while the Railway Minister left Raj Bhavan a little early, the sources said.
Bankura police superintendent Vishal Garg told Bengal Newz that 10 people died on the spot when the accident occurred around 11.30 pm on Thursday. Two people succumbed while they were being shifted to a local hospital. A police source said the impact was so severe that the car was thrown off the road and got mangled. The dead and the injured had to be extricated from the car by using gas-cutters.
The lorry has been confiscated. However, the lorry driver managed to flee, Garg said. All occupants of the car, going from nearby Kadasole village, were killed in the accident. Local villagers began the rescue operations and extricated the bodies and the seriously injured persons from the mangled car using gas cutters.
IANS, Raiganj , 9 July : Six people were killed and two others injured when an autorickshaw collided head-on with a speeding trailer near Raiganj in North Dinajpur district Friday, police said.
Superintendent of Police Milan Kanti Das told IANS that five people, including a woman, died on the spot in the early hours of the day. "One person succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital. The condition of the other two is critical," the police officer said. "All the victims were residents of Mirual village and returning home after attending a marriage at Timidigha. They started late Thursday night and their vehicle collided with the trailer early Friday morning on the national highway 34," he said.
Dhaka, 9 July : The minimum wage for Bangladesh garment workers is likely to be Tk 3,000 per month.
A source who attended the minimum wage board's meeting yesterday told The Independent that the board would consider the draft of the award for the garments workers minimum wage, which is likely to be around Tk 3,000 at its next meeting scheduled to be held on 19 July. However, the representative of the garment factory owners at the meeting didn't agree to revise their previous proposed wage of Tk 1,989. Meanwhile, it appears that the minimum wage would not be declared by 28 July.
Authorities of the Sunderbans Reserve will observe the two tigers that have been radio-collared before any new collar is put around the neck of the animals, Field Director Subrat Mukherjee told journalists.
Along with the nationwide estimation exercise, the Sunderbans has been identified for a Rs. 35-lakh project to radio-collar 6-8 tigers and compare the behaviour of the big cats living on the estuarine islands with that of the animals living elsewhere in the country.
Jhargram, Kolkata, 9 July : The six women from the Jungalmahal area, who had accused the security forces of raping them, underwent a medical examination at the Jhargram Sub-Divisional Hospital on Thursday.
A medical board comprising three doctors examined them and will file a medical report soon, said hospital authorities. On Tuesday, residents of Sonamukhi village met SDO (Jhargram) P Murugan and alleged that six women aged between 25 to 50 years were raped by security forces on 30 June during a raid of their houses following an encounter with the Maoists.
“The total number of peace keepers from Bangladesh rose to 10,855 till the date,” Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman apprised President Zillur Rahman when he called on him at Bangabhaban Thursday. During the meeting, the Air Chief apprised the President that he is going to the United Kingdom (UK) on 14 July to attend ‘Air Chief Conference’ at invitation of the Chief of the British Royal Air Force. He also said that apart from taking part in the conference he will hold meetings with the chiefs of Air Force of the participating countries. The Air Chief said for the first time the BAF has recently deployed its own transport flight C-130 at Congo under UN Peace Keeping Mission.
The President gave the him a patient hearing and assured him of extending his all-out support and cooperation for modernization of the Bangladesh Air Force.