Dhaka Courier

Seven people, including an assistant presiding officer

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Seven people, including an assistant presiding officer, were killed and 13 others injured in a gun attack on a vehicle that was part of a motorcade carrying election officials and law enforcers in Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati. Election officials and law enforcers were returning to the upazila headquarters in four vehicles after counting votes at a polling centre of the 2nd phase of the Upazila Parishad election. Terrorists opened fire on the last vehicle of the convoy from a hill at Noymile of the upazila around 6pm.

Intelligence sources said members of United People’s Democratic Front might have carried out the attack. They said Barorishi Chakma, nominated by JSS led by Santu Larma contested the Upazila Parishad election from Baghaichhari against Sudarshan Chakma of JSS (MN Larma), also known as JSS-Reformist. Barorishi, however, boycotted the election halfway through and after that various posts appeared on Facebook threatening an attack.

 

Bangladesh rejected the US State Department’s 2018 country report on human rights practices saying many things mentioned in the report were ‘by and large’ more applicable to the US rather than Bangladesh. “I’ve enough doubt about their own investigation. We welcome reports that are objective and fact-based ones,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said Bangladesh has already sent a protest note to US authorities in this regard and mentioned that it would be more objective if they had done their own investigation. The foreign minister said the US report provided information collected by other individuals and organisations. He suggested the US authorities go for a rigorous investigation and come up with an “informative and objective” report which will help Bangladesh address the weaknesses, if any.

 

Scam-hit BASIC Bank continues to be overwhelmed with default loans despite going on a loan rescheduling spree, logging an operating loss of Tk 118 crore last year. In 2018 the bank rescheduled loans of Tk 1,286 crore, 36 percent more than in the previous year, when it registered a profit of Tk 35 crore.

Still, the bank's non-performing loans hit a peak of 57.6 percent of total outstanding loans at the end of December last year, up from 52.7 percent a year earlier. The default loans increased as the large amounts of loans, upto Tk 5,500 crore that the bank had regularised during 2014 and 2015 were reclassified again, said Alauddin A Majid, chairman of BASIC Bank.

 

A traumatised Bangladesh cricket team returned home early this week from their tour of New Zealand, which was cut short after a terrorist attack at two Christchurch mosques. The Tigers, as they are lovingly known, were just on the verge of entering one of the mosques near Hagley Park cricket stadium for their Friday Jumma prayers when they were warned by a passing driver and asked to turn away.

Some of the players nevertheless heard the shooting and sighted dead bodies as they scrambled to get away, and the remaining third Test of their series against the hosts was almost immediately called off. Their situation in the aftermath raised alarms around the lack of an advance security team to accompany them on overseas tours, as well as talk of hiring a team psychologist.

 

  • Vol 35
  • Nation this week
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