A Thakurgaon court took into cognisance complaints filed by the families of three victims killed during a clash between alleged "cattle smugglers" and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) on February 12. Thakurgaon Judicial Magistrate Court Judge Farhana Khan took the complaints into cognisance and fixed March 6 for a hearing. The plaintiff's lawyer, Nurul Islam, said they lodged three complaints with the Magistrate Court as the police declined to record their cases.

The complaints were lodged mentioning names of seven BGB men, including the Commander of BGB Battalion 50, Lieutenant Colonel Tuhin Md Masud, and some others unidentified. Earlier on February 14, BGB filed two cases with Haripur police (Thakurgaon) against more than 250 villagers over the clash. On February 12, three people, including a Secondary School Certificate examinee, were killed and at least 16 others injured after BGB members opened fire during what the paramilitary force claimed was a clash with cattle smugglers.

Grameenphone was slapped with four restrictions by the telecom regulator after being conferred the status of a Significant Market Power (SMP). The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) asked the operator to immediately implement the restrictions, which include a ban on signing any exclusive deals with goods and service providers.

Currently, the vendors are allowed to extend offers to only Grameenphone customers, shutting out other operators from negotiating such deals. The acceptable call drop for Grameenphone has been set at no more than 2 percent. BTRC has also asked Grameenphone not to conduct nationwide ad campaigns on the back of its dominance. Lastly the telecom watchdog made it easier for a user to leave Grameenphone under the mobile number portability facility.

Only the Awami League candidate campaigned at full throttle for the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayoral by-polls as campaigning wrapped up, while contenders from other parties were almost absent. Ruling party candidate Atiqul Islam made door-to-door visits, brought out processions, held meetings and distributed leaflets seeking votes in the by-polls scheduled for February 28.

Shafin Ahmed of Jatiya Party, Anisur Rahman of National People's Party, Shahin Khan of Progressive Democratic Party and independent candidate Abdur Rahim were hardly seen, even on the last day of campaigning. The election to councillor posts in the 36 new wards -- 18 under the Dhaka North City Corporation and 18 under the Dhaka South City Corporation -- will also be held on the same day.

Scheduled banks in Bangladesh will have to invest at least 75 percent of the outstanding amount of the offshore financing in the country, according to a policy introduced by the central bank this week. The policy is part of the Bangladesh Bank's efforts to bring credit discipline in the banking sector.

Foreign entities with presence in Bangladesh and abroad are eligible to borrow foreign currency loans from the offshore banking units (OBUs). Besides, local enterprises located at economic zones, export processing zones, private export processing zones, and hi-tech parks can take loans from the units. Some 35 banks, both local and foreign, now run offshore banking operation in Bangladesh and disbursed loans amounting to Tk 58,273 crore as of June last year.

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