Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the technocrat ministers

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the technocrat ministers of her cabinet to step down after announcement of the election schedule. The directive was given during this week’s cabinet meeting held at Prime Minister’s Office. Currently, there are four technocrat ministers at the cabinet: Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam, State Minister for Science and Technology Yafes Osman, Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar. All the opposition parties and alliances have demanded for holding the general election under a nonpartisan government and dissolution of the parliament ahead of it.

However, ruling Awami League has repeatedly asserted that it will keep to the constitution – meaning that the election will be held under its government. The first round of dialogue, held after a letter of interest from the Jatiya Oikyafront, was held on November 1. Oikyafront said they were not happy with it. Now, a second round of talks with the ruling alliance, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, was scheduled to be held on November 7, after Dhaka Courier went to press this week.

 

Valiant freedom fighter Kader Siddique and his party Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) joined the Jatiya Oikyafront, a newly floated political alliance. KSJL President Kader Siddique made the announcement at a press conference at the party's central office in Dhaka's Motijheel. Several leaders of the party and the Oikyafront were present.

“From today, we are joining the Jatiya Oikyafront for an acceptable national election… We will work for the Oikyafront with all our strength. We together will wage a movement for people's freedom,” Kader said at the programme. “Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan… many autocrats [of Pakistan before Bangladesh's independence in 1971] were defeated. This current autocratic government will also be defeated.”

Speaking at the press conference, ASM Abdur Rab termed Kader Siddique's inclusion in the alliance a landmark in the country's history. Meanwhile Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, the lead component of another alliance, sent a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda to hold a dialogue regarding the upcoming general election. In the letter signed by Secretary General Maj (Retd) Abdul Mannan, the party urged the CEC to meet with them by November 9.

 

A group of Bangladeshi nationals were rescued from drowning near the Texas border. Border Patrol agents rescued the group of Bangladeshi nationals after they nearly drowned in the Rio Grande, according to Breitbart. It said Marine agents working river patrol observed a group of migrants in the Rio Grande River on the evening of 29 October. The agents observed the four migrants were having difficulty staying afloat in the current, Breitbart quoted Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials as saying.

The agents carefully approached the group and noticed two of the men disappear under the surface. Officials said the agents quickly responded and grabbed the two men from the water and pulled them onto the boat. Agents then pulled the two remaining migrants into the boat and transported all four to the shoreline where ground-based agents waited.

 

The leader of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was killed in a reported ‘gunfight’ in Bogra’s Shibganj upazila. The deceased, Khorshed alias Master alias Samil, 33, is the chief of JMB Bangladesh chapter. Bogra Sadar circle’s Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP-Media) Sanatan Chakraborty said they raided the upazila’s Tantipukur area, early on Tuesday, following a tip-off that a group of militants was gathering there.

Upon seeing the police, the criminals are said to have opened fire—forcing law enforcement to fire back, triggering a gunfight. The majority of the alleged militants fled the scene. Police apparently found Khorshed’s bullet-riddled body on the spot and rushed him to Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital, where doctors declared him dead. On his way to the hospital, Khorshed revealed his identity, ASP Sanatan said.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • Nation this week
  • Issue 18

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