Fast Track Projects: A New Bangladesh

 

Bangladesh Awami League is not drawing itself back from its promises made to the countrymen during 10th National Parliamentary Election. The ultimate objectives of the party as well as the government are to achieve socio-economic freedom of the people and to build a developed and prosperous country free from hunger and poverty. To fulfill these objectives, government is eager to continue its efforts started from 2009. Within one month of newly formed government, it has made a vital step in finishing works it started. To make a huge development in country’s socio-economic sector government has prioritized six mega projects by putting them on fast track.

BCIM Corridor (Silk Route) for Regional Trade: A New Ray of Hope for Bangladesh

 

To boost up trade in the South Asian Region, Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar has decided to create a regional economic corridor. Once this corridor is effective, Bangladesh will have the benefit of doing duty free trade of 5.5,000 crore taka. This corridor will increase the trade among these four countries by 44,500 crore taka every year.

Information and Tele-communication: Hope of a New Bangladesh

 

It’s been a month since Bangladesh Awami League has been bestowed to continue its journey towards development and prosperity. Since the last tenure of the government, digitalization of the country from every level of the society is the major concern of development.

 

 

Introduction:
A human rights group, or human rights organization, is a non-governmental organization which advocates for human rights through identification of their violation, collecting incident data, its analysis and publication, promotion of public awareness while conducting institutional advocacy and lobbying to halt these violations. One of the major duties of a human rights organization is to unveil the truth about any incident of human rights violation.

Odhikar, a self claimed Human Rights Organization of Bangladesh asserts that they raise the “awareness of human right and its abuses”. So their main job should be portraying the truth behind any kind of human rights violation and disclosing the factual data regarding the incidents. But, on June 10th, 2013 Odhikar published a report in claiming that 61 people had been killed in a drive in the early hours of May 6, which police conducted to clear the Shapla Chattar area at central Dhaka of Hefazat activists, who had gathered there for the rally and they became violent. Vandalizing buses, shops in the footpath of different books including the Holy Quran, killing police, torching vehicles and offices were the actual scenario of that area of Motijheel in the Dhaka city.Odhikar’s fact-finding report, “Assembly of Hefajat-e Islam Bangladesh and human rights violation”, is a composition of half-truth, biased and one-sided presentation of what happened on May 5 and in the early hours of May 6,2013 in the capital, according to an analysis of a renowned daily newspaper ‘The Daily Star’(http://archive.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/questions-aplenty).

Hefajat’s siege of Dhaka:
Hefajat-e-Islam in their first congregation at Motijheel, Dhaka that they would siege Dhaka on 5th May, 2013. As a preparation of their target, they held Conferences in dozens of cities and towns of the country and also at the 5 entry points of the capital.

Though there was no agenda of a central gathering in the capital, at one stage Hefajat claimed to hold one at Baitul Mokarram or Manik Mia Avenue.
A disturbing development was the confrontation between Hefajat activists and law enforcing agencies and on the streets of Dhaka. It started just at noon and continued deep to midnight and marked by deaths of innocent people as well as law enforcement, destruction and burning of the books and holy Quran, shops, markets and offices.
Hefajat activists unleashed violence all around Motijheel,Bijay Nagar,Paltan area which created a terrible situation in those areas. Despite all these the then Opposition BNP called upon everyone including the party leaders and activists, to stand with food and drinks beside the Hefajat-e-Islam men demonstrating at the city’s Shapla Chattar.
“The activists of Hefajat who came to Dhaka are “Musafirs” (travellers) and our guests. Stand beside them with food and drinks,” BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu on behalf of BNP (Bangladesh Nationalists Party) chairperson Khaleda Zia urged the BNP men.
Link: http://news.priyo.com/2013/05/05/stand-beside-hefajat-men-bnp-74698.html


Reaction to Odhikar’s Claims:
Police:
Additional Inspector General of Police Shahidul Haque called for a press conference at the Police Headquarters in 5 September.

After cross-checking the Odhikar list, police found that 18 people never existed at the given addresses, five people were named twice, four are still alive and six died in Narayanganj and Hathazari violence and one of heart attack.
Link: http://archive.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/step-against-odhikar-jurisdiction-of-ngo-bureau-police/


“We investigated Odhikar’s facts finding report uploaded on its website in Bangla and English on June 10. We found numerous distortions and false and fabricated information in the report.”- DB Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam told journalists at his office.

“The distorted report and the doctored images on its cover page may instigate the religious sentiments of the Muslims and malign law enforcers and the country as well as the government at home and abroad,” he said.

The DB (Detective Branch) said the first name in the list was that of Siddiqur Rahman, the driver of a bus requisitioned by police, who was actually killed by Hefazat activists. The 57th name was Kamal Uddin Khan, manager of General Insurance Company, who actually died of cardiac arrest on that night. The DB also said 19 people on that list never existed: Masum Billah of Narayanganj, serial 12; Lutfor Rahman of Mymensingh, serial 13; Moulana Md Hasan of Narayanganj; Hafej Lokman Hossain of Narayanganj, serial 29; Al Amin of Narayanganj, serial 30; Moulana Jubair of Munsiganj, serial 31; Shafiullah Badal of Gazipur, serial 32; Sirajul Islam of Mymensingh, serial 34; Babu Gazi of Shariyatpur, serial 35; Md Sohel of Comilla, serial 39; Sekandar Ali Fakir alias Ebne Ali Maijuddin Fakir of Bogra, serial 40; Md Sultan of Jatrabari, serial 45; Rajeeb of Demra, serial 46; Moulana Mutiar Rahman of Comila, serial 49; Sbbir of Demra, serial 53; Taher of Demra, serial 54; Abu Sayeed of Demra, serial 55; Jalal Ahmed of Shariyatpur, serial 60; and Sirajul Islam of Comilla, serial 61.
Link: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2013/sep/02/odhikar-disowns-list-made-public-police


ASK (Ain O Salish Kendra); Partner Human Rights Organization:
At a press release on August 16, Odhikar said it had sent copies of the list to the UN’s special reporter on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Human Rights Watch, the Amnesty International, the Asian Human Rights Commission, and Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK). However, Sultana Kamal, executive director of ASK and also the trustee board chairman of Transparency International Bangladesh, said: “We have not yet received any such list.”
Now as we see in the report linked below “Odhikar” General Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan said, the human-rights body ‘does not presently have’ the list of the 61 people allegedly killed during a crackdown on marauding Hifazat-e Islam activists in Dhaka’s Motijheel in May 5.
Link: http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2013/08/12/odhikar-doesnt-have-the-list


Press eye-witness accounts:
Daily Star:
Hundreds of unruly Hefajat men were involved in widespread violence, including arson and even torching of bookshops that sold copies of the holy Quran. Though many TV channels broadcast the incidents live, Odhikar is completely silent about it. It has depicted Hefajat-e-Islam as a very peaceful organisation and its leaders and activists as innocent individuals.
While being flushed out of Shapla Chattar, Hefajat men attacked a policeman with bricks near the Alico building in Motijheel, leaving him dead on the spot. A correspondent of The Daily Star covering the event on that night witnessed it, but the Odhikar report made no mention of it.
Link: http://archive.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/questions-aplenty/


The Odhikar report is also silent about the fact that the minors were forced to come, lied to, and lured with money. This is a clear violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children and Children Act 2013, which mentions that children should not be engaged in any risky work or job that can jeopardize their health.

According to “Odhikar” report, they interviewed an unknown photojournalist and they claimed that he (The photo journalist) found 16 dead bodies around the stage,Hefajat stage, two near Modhumita Cinema Hall, seven at Sonali Bank premises and one each at a petrol pump and in a pick-up van. He also saw two persons carrying a body.
But in the daily star investigation they invented that photo journalist, whose name is Naim Parvej Apu of Banglar Chokh news portal.
He said, “I told Odhikar everything I saw that night but many things were not included in the report,” Apu said. “I spoke of seeing only four bodies at the Hefajat stage. I didn’t say anyone else was dead. I said they were either bullet-hit or injured.”

BBC Bangla:
Quadir Kollol, a senior correspondent of BBC Bangla, was present in “Shapla” square that night during the law enforcement operation there. He described his experience in BBC Bangla in 6 May, 2013. At first the law enforcement cordoned the whole “shapla” square.Then they requested the mass to leave the place immediately. After the crackdown, thousands of people took shelters in many buildings of Motijheel area. The law enforcement helped them to leave the place peacefully. There were 4 dead bodies; wrapped with polyethylene near the stage of Hefajat rally. Me along with some journalists saw the dead bodies. The whole Motijheel area was seemed to be a war-torn area because of the unleashed violence of the protesters. The law enforcement didn’t arrest a single person during the operation of securing “Shapla” square.
A RAB officer who took part in the operation said to BBC,”We could arrest a lot of them but we didn’t.We wanted them to go home peacefully.So that we didn’t arrest them.”
Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bengali/news/2013/05/130506_pg_motijheel_operation.shtml


Channel 71:
In an investigation report of channel 71’s famous TV show “Somikoron”(Equation) on the 5th May 2013 incident in Dhaka, revealed the real scenario of the violence committed by the Hefajat activists as well as the operation by the law enforcement and declined the false claim of the Hefajat men killing by them.
Ekattor TV Somikoron Hefajat Islam Ep 01 Part 01
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyDWt-I0sno
Ekattor TV Shomikoron Hefajat Islam EP 01 Part 02
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PNdkmG2oes
Ekattor TV Shomikoron Hefajat Islam Ep 02 Part 01
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxjZeSh03hg
Ekattor TV Shomikoron Hefajat Islam Ep 02 Part 02
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37MaA4HONqs

“Odhikar”s report presents not only false claims but also a one-sided story. This report claims that Muslims were being slaughtered during this operation by law enforcement officers. It is intended to ignite violence at home and abroad. In the context of Bangladesh’s political situation it was a very dangerous move.

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