Nation this week
Following the killing of Maj (retd) Sinha Rashed Khan, several policemen took Sinha's associate Shahedul Islam Sifat to Teknaf Police Station and put pressure on him to give deposition in their favour. Sifat said this in his deposition to the Cox's Bazar District and Sessions Judge's Court for the second consecutive day, according to court sources. After the deposition, the defence lawyers cross-examined Sifat, who was present on the spot when the killing took place at a check point on the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf highway on July 31, last year.
On day one, Sifat told the court in his deposition that police inspector Liaqat Ali shot Maj (retd) Sinha dead. Later, Pradeep Kumar Das, suspended officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station, rushed to the spot and confirmed Sinha's death. The court observed that the police personnel who were on duty at the courtroom on the first day showed "utter negligence" as Pradeep, the prime accused in the murder case, was allowed to talk over phone.
As many as 74 % of tea garden workers in Sylhet still live below the poverty line, according to a recent survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and Unicef. Basic data on women and children working in tea gardens are lacking, slowing down progress in the Sylhet division compared to other parts of the country, the study found. The findings of the study were revealed at a UN Women Bangladesh webinar, "Enhancing social protection for female tea garden workers and their families in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh", this week.
The survey and two workshops were arranged jointly by ILO, UNFPA and Unicef. Major points of discussion at the webinar included Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting (GRPB) and social protection of tea garden workers. Ram Bhajan Kairi, general secretary of Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union (BCSU), said each tea garden worker receives only Tk 120 as a daily wage. The government and tea garden owners are not making efforts to increase it.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken an initiative to ban "harmful" online games such as PUBG and Free Fire in the country following a High Court directive. BTRC Vice Chairman Subrata Roy Maitra told reporters this week that they started the process after receiving the court order. "We have already asked the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to take action to block PUBG and Free Fire [from the country's online space]," he said.
The telecom regulator was also preparing a list of harmful online apps, including TikTok, Bigo Live and Likee, Maitra said. He said they were currently evaluating and reviewing which apps were to be brought under this list. Maitra added that they will block the apps they can. "But we may not be able to ban all of them due to technical shortcomings. In that case, we will write to the concerned authorities and consult or outsource the task to those who can," he said.
A lawyer filed a writ petition seeking a directive from the High Court to the government to remove reports, videos and photographs, which were "defamatory and character assassinating of deceased college student Mosarat Jahan Munia and detained film actor Shamsunnahar Smriti alias Pori Moni, and JKG Healthcare chairman and doctor Sabrina Arif Chowdhury, "from media platforms.
The petitioner, Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed, in the petition also challenged the legality of publishing, broadcasting and posting reports, videos and their personal photographs assassinating individuals' characters, especially of women, in newspapers, online portals and social media platforms. She prayed for another directive to the government to prevent the media from publishing, broadcasting and posting such reports, photographs and videos. The lawyer said that there was a number of defamatory information found in newspapers and social media, which are not only defamatory for actress Pori Moni but also for all women in the country.
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