Status-quo on felling trees on Jessore-Benapole road

Cutting tress of Jessore Road

photo of trees along the Jessore-Benapole highway.

 

The felling of century-old Jessore-Benapole highway trees has been halted for six months in the backdrop of protests against the government’s solution to widen the road.

While issuing the status-quo, the High Court today also issued a rule asking the government to explain why the decision to chop down the trees should not be declared illegal.

The bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.

In its statement, the court said the government can continue development work of the road, but without chopping down the trees on the road.

Last July, the authorities took the decision of chopping down 2,700 trees on the highway, many of which stand majestically on both sides of the road throughout well over a century.

The “development project” taken was to widen a 30-kilometre segment of the highway.

However, since then, protests have been brewing all over social media and environmental groups have been demonstrating against what they called a “shocking decision”.

N’ganj mayhem: Action to be taken against gun-toting men

A man brandishes a gun during a clash between the supporters of Narayanganj Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy and local Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman in the city's Chashara on January 16, 2018. Photo: Collected

 

Terming the Narayanganj incident “unfortunate”, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said action will be taken against those who brandished firearms during Tuesday’s clash.

“We are doing what is required. We are looking into those who brandished firearms and took laws in their hands,” the home minister told journalists.

He came up with the comments in reply to a query after inaugurating an upgraded rehab center under Department of Narcotics Control in Tejgaon Industrial Area in the afternoon.

On Tuesday, Narayanganj city Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy and around 50 others were injured as supporters of local Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman attacked Ivy and her followers, leading to the clash on Bangabandhu Road in Narayanganj's Chashara.

There had been tension in the city over the last few days as Osman took a stance against the mayor's decision to evict illegal hawkers from footpaths, locals said.

 

At a rally on Monday afternoon, the AL lawmaker said the hawkers could not be evicted until they are rehabilitated, and that they would do business on footpaths from 5:00pm to 10:00pm on Tuesdays till February 21.

Ivy, meanwhile, declared that she would not allow hawkers to occupy footpaths.

Around 4:15pm on Tuesday, Ivy along with city councillors and her followers took position in front of the Nagar Bhaban. They then marched in procession towards Chashara where several groups of hawkers had already taken position.

When the procession reached Sayam Plaza in the area around 4:30pm, some of Ivy's followers tried to evict hawkers from the footpaths, leading to an altercation resulting in a clash

As the two sides got involved in a scuffle, Jubo League leader Niazul Islam, who is loyal to Osman, came forward and threatened Ivy's supporters brandishing a firearm.

Gunshots were heard and some were seen brandishing firearms at that time.

Niazul, who introduces himself as a Jubo League leader, is brother of Jubo League activist Nazrul Islam alias Sweet, who was killed in a shootout with law enforcers.

Now HC stays elections to 18 DSCC wards

Dhaka South City Corporation Elections

 

The High Court today stayed the process of holding elections to the councillors’ post of 18 wards included in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in July last year.

The elections were scheduled to be held on February 26.

The court also issued a rule asking the Election Commission and the government why the schedule issued by the EC for holding the elections should not be declared illegal.

The HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Faruque came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Mozammel Mia, a voter of Demra union, challenging the legality of the election schedule.

Yesterday, Mozammel Mia submitted the petition saying that all the posts of union parishads (UPs) have to be dissolved before including them as wards in the city corporation and then a gazette notification has to be issued to this effect under the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act, 2009. But, the posts of UP chairman have not been dissolved yet. Nor have the new voter lists for the new wards been published, the petition added.

The HC stayed the process of holding elections to the councillors’ post under DSCC a day after the court halted for three-month the process of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) polls.

Recruitment tests of 8 state-run banks cancelled

8 State Bank Recruitment examinations

A section of the examinees, who took part in the recruitment tests of the eight state-run banks on Friday, is staging demonstration in Dhaka on Sunday, January 14, 2018 demanding cancellation of the written tests. Photo: Courtesy: Prothom Alo

 

Amid protest of the candidates, Bankers’ Selection Committee today cancelled the recruitment tests for eight state-run banks.

The decision came after an emergency meeting between Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir and the committee members, Bangladesh Bank General Manager GM Abul Kalam Azad told reporters today at the Central Bank.

The candidates have been protesting demanding cancellation of the “controversial” recruitment tests of January 12. They also demanded holding fresh exams for all the candidates.

A five-member committee have been formed to investigate the mismanagement took place during the recruitment tests, the BB spokesperson said.

The Bankers Selection Committee is comprised of chief executives of 14 state-run banks and financial institutions, including Sonali, Rupali and Janata banks.

The 100-mark MCQ test, held at 61 exam centres in Dhaka to fill up 1,663 posts, was mired in mismanagement, including no seat plans, shortage of seats, use of mobile phones by examinees and question paper leaks.

 

The Bankers' Selection Committee following the demonstrations had declared that the recruitment tests would be held on January 20 but only for the 5,600 candidates who could not take the exams at Government Bangla College and Hazrat Shah Ali Mohila College in Mirpur due to seat shortage and mismanagement. However, more than 2,13,000 who sat for the exams would not have to retake it.

Madrasa teachers end hunger strike upon assurance

18 more teachers of Ebtedayee madrasas fall sick on the fourth day of their ongoing indefinite hunger strike in front of the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka. Photo courtesy of Prothom Alo

 

Eight days into waging a hunger strike demanding nationalisation, madrasa teachers today called it an end following assurance that their demand will be placed to the prime minister.

Technical and Madrasa Board Secretary Md Alamgir today conveyed to the demonstrating madrasa teachers that he will convey their message to the premier within three days.

Following the instructions of the prime minister and the finance minister, the Ministry of Education will take an initiative, he told the madrasa teachers.

Then, the secretary ended their hunger strike by feeding them juice.

Bangladesh Independent Ebtedayee Madrasa Teachers' Association President Kazi Ruhul Amin Chowdhury, however, told The Daily Star, they want an announcement before the next budget.

 

Prior to this, a representative team of the demonstrating madrasa teachers met Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid. Insiders say, Nahid conveyed his sympathy to their demand.

The teachers had been on a sit-in programme as part of their ultimatum since January 1.

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