The government published a list of 10,789 Razakars who collaborated with the Pakistani occupation forces during the country’s Liberation War in 1971. Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque released the list at a press briefing at his ministry on December 15. While addressing the briefing, the minister informed that the number of genuine freedom fighters is not more than 210,000.
However the list quickly drew huge criticism and sparked protests in different parts of the country as the names of many language movement veterans and freedom fighters were included in it. Eventually Mozammel Haque was forced to apologise. “I am sincerely sorry for this involuntary mistake. On the basis of appeal, we will exclude the names published on the list mistakenly through scrutiny,” the minister said in a written statement.
The death toll from a devastating fire that engulfed the Prime Pet and Plastic Industry factory in Keraniganj’s Chunkutia on December 11. Firefighters recovered one charred body from the factory while 33 others were hospitalised. Fifteen of the injured subsequently died in hospital. Meanwhile, Abul Hossain, deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defense said, said in primary investigation, they found that the factory did not have sufficient security measures in place.
There were not sufficient exit doors through which the staff could rush out during an emergency, Abul Hossain said while talking to journalists after visiting the spot. Locals alleged that the authorities concerned turned a blind eye to the lack of safety measures at the factory even though it had been producing disposable plastic cups and plates for around 10 years and had witnessed two other fire incidents this year alone. Police are yet to arrest the factory owner and other accused in a murder case filed in this connection.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) ordered the closure of evening courses at all public universities as it said the courses tarnish the educational institutions' image. The UGC in a 13-point directive also emphasised proper execution of vice chancellors' responsibilities, taking UGC's approval before opening a new department and position, and following university rules while giving employment and promotion.
The move came two days after President M Abdul Hamid came down heavily on the evening courses in public universities, saying that a section of teachers had turned university into a business institution disrupting its overall academic environment. “Different public universities have opened many departments, evening courses, diploma courses and institutes. Apart from the regular courses, many students are coming out successfully from such ‘business course’ and a section of teachers are getting cash benefit turning the university into a business institution,” he told the 52nd Convocation of Dhaka University
UK Visas and Immigration made the UK visa process for Bangladeshis safer, more modern and efficient by introducing the option to use card and online transactions to pay for a UK visa application. This change improves the previous model where cash was the only way to pay for a UK visa application, giving customers greater choice during this process, according to the British High Commission in Dhaka.
Last year, almost 25,000 Bangladeshis were successfully granted a UK visa across all categories – a 26 percent increase on the previous year. In addition, almost 85 percent of Bangladeshi customers receive a decision in 15 working days or less. British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton-Dickson said the UK government knows how much interest the UK visa system can generate in Bangladesh, and that is why they want to be sure that the system is as efficient as possible.