Nation this week

Thursday, October 19th, 2017


The High Court instructed the government on October 16 to block for six months the links and gateways of online “Blue Whale Challenge” game, which is blamed across the world for suicides among its players. In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the authorities to restrain for the same period the mobile phone operators from offering special night-time internet packages with discounts, saying such offers encourage the public to search and eventually play such games. The HC also asked the government authorities to form a monitoring committee with experts to identify the victims affected by the games and to provide them with counselling if necessary.


Investigators of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have ruled out the possibility that Rajshahi-based Maldivian student Raudha Athif was murdered. In a report which they submitted to a district court on October 17, they came to the conclusion that she took her own life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her dormitory in Rajshahi city on March 3. The main accused of the case, a classmate of Raudha, should be acquitted of the murder charge as no witness or evidence was found against her, the CID report recommended.


Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha is facing 11 charges, including money laundering and corruption, the Supreme Court said in a statement  on October 14, a day after he left the country for Australia. President Abdul Hamid informed the judges of the SC’s Appellate Division about the allegations last month and they discussed the allegations with Justice Sinha, it mentioned. But, as the five judges did not get an acceptable explanation or a satisfactory answer [from the CJ] during the long discussion with him, they categorically told him that ‘in this situation, it would not be possible for them to conduct trial proceedings sitting in the same bench with him until the allegations are resolved – read the statement which was posted on the SC’s official website. The SC release, signed by its Registrar General Syed Aminul Isalm, comes a day after Justice Sinha handed over a written statement to newsmen before leaving for Australia on Friday night.


A massive cholera immunisation campaign began in Cox’s Bazar on October 10 to protect the newly-arrived Rohingyas and host communities from the life-threatening diarrhoeal disease. As many as 900,000 doses of the vaccine have been mobilised and are being delivered by more than 200 mobile vaccination teams, making it the second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign ever, says a press release from the Unicef. The campaign, which is led by the health ministry and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef, is being held in Ukhia and Teknaf, where more than half a million people have arrived from across the border since August, joining vast numbers already residing in a series of settlements and camps. The first round of the campaign will cover 650,000 children aged one year and older. The second round will commence on 31 October and will target 250,000 children between the ages of one and five years with an additional dose of the vaccine for added protection, the press release said.

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