Fire in Bangladesh Factory kills 23, injures 70

Tongi, Bangladesh: 23 people have been killed and more than 70 injured at a packaging factory in Bangladesh. Local police stated that around 100 workers were in the factory when the fire broke out. A boiler in the factory exploded, causing the fire to erupt and engulf the building.

Bangladesh newspaper, The Dhaka Tribune, reported that flames quickly spread through the four-storey Tempako Packaging Factory, which is 20 km North of capital city, Dhaka. The explosion instantly killed 17 people, while according to latest statistics, more than four workers succumbed to their injuries.

The government deployed more than twenty teams of firefighters to control and eventually extinguish the massive blaze. The fire also caused the four-storey building to partially collapse, injuring more workers.

This latest incident is just one in a string of fires over the past few years. Due to poor safety measures and conditions in factories, workers’ lives are often put at risk. In 2013, the popular Rana Plaza collapsed, leaving a horrific death toll of more than 1000 people.


Police raid in Bangladesh kills nine militants

On Tuesday morning, the Bangladesh police rushed into a militant hideout near Dhaka. The gun battle killed nine suspected Islamic extremists. One wounded militant was captured and another successfully escaped. The operation Storm 26 was able to destroy the militants.

The militants were the members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). During the battle with the police they shouted “Allahu akbar” or “God is greatest”.

This is a banned group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

The militants were hiding in a building in Kalyanpur, on the outskirts of the capital. They furiously fired on the officers when they tried to enter, the police said to the PTI.

After the attack the police officers told the reporters that the militants were wearing black outfits, turbans and had backpacks, so similar to the outfits that the attackers in the cafe had. He also added that they were plotting a major attack in the city like that of the cafe.

The building owners are questioned by the police. They have got hold of 13 grenades and a huge quantity of explosive gel, among other weapons, ranging from pistols to commando knives.

Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina said to the PTI that a speedy action saved Bangladesh from another terror attack.

Earlier this month, the cafe attack in Bangladesh killed 22 foreigners and five attackers.

Dhaka Attacks: 2 Key Witnesses Go Missing

Following the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery and O’Kitchen restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave on July 1, two witnesses namely, Tahmid Hasib Khan and Hasnat R Karim have reportedly gone missing.
According to the Dhaka Tribune, families of both Tahmid and Hasnat have given statements stating that none of the two have reached home, after they were released by the police on the night of July 6, hours before the Eid celebration.
Tahmid and Hasnat were rescued by security forces along with at least 30 other hostages, on July 2 and were taken in for interrogation soon after the rescue operation along with other survivors. All other survivors, except Tahmid, a student of University of Toronto and Hasnat , a former teacher at the North South University, were released a day after their rescue.
It is still not certain as to why they were the only ones detained for an extended 72 hours as compared to the rest of the survivors. However, sources in the police department have claimed that both of them gave separate statements about the incident.
As per initial reports, police said that they were looking for their alleged linkage in the terror strike at Gulshan café. According to Deputy Commisioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Masudur Rahman stated that both youths were released after interrogation.
While Rezaul Karim, Hasnat’s father has confirmed that his son has not made it home. A search campaign was initiated by Tahmid’s family on social media in the hope of finding him after the attack.


Eid Celebrations Marred by 2nd Terror Attack in Bangladesh

Four have been killed and about 12 injured by Islamic extremists during the Eid prayers in Kishoregonj, Bangladesh. The terrorists launched homemade bombs at the prayer site, where more than two hundred thousand people had gathered to commemorate Eid,reported the Times of India.

Officials say that one of the attackers was shot dead, while the other one was captured alive. This event took place less than a week after the horrific hostage attack at a small café in Dhaka by seven Islamic terrorists, that killed 22 civilians.

Amongst the casualties, two police officers and one woman were killed. Once the bomb exploded, the police opened fire at the terrorists simultaneously injuring innocent bystanders.

Reports suggest that the Eid attack was targeted at the main Imam, or chief leader, who is widely known in the district for his secular views.

The government responded to this attack by denying that international Islamic extremist forces are at work, instead stating that it was the work of local militants, who are carrying out these activities in an effort to destabilise the government.

Bangladesh has seen a rise of Islamic extremism since 2013, with the brutal killings of liberal thinkers, bloggers and activists.

Tripura awaits upcoming Railway Budget, expects Superfast Trains

As the Railway Budget is to be presented in the Parliament at the end of this month, there is a surge of hope amongst the people of Tripura as they are expecting the introduction of the super-fast trains. The trains if introduced in the North-Eastern state will run from the capital city of Agartala.

The state is also hopeful of receiving funds for the Bangladesh Project connecting Tripura and Bangladesh.

People from interior landlocked parts of Tripura have to travel some 600 kms for almost 24 hours on the hilly national highway 44  to reach Guwahati, Assam. Guwahati is the closest railway station for the Tripurites. The other option that is available in the hilly terrains is to travel by expensive air service.

The local people are also hopeful of a possible rail link between India and Bangladesh which will work from Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh. This could become a reality only if the funds are allocated for this project in the current budget.

Furthermore, with the conversion of the meter gauge to broad gauge, people look forward to having few super-fast express trains like Rajdhani, connecting the state with New Delhi and at least two direct trains every week to Kolkata.  Not only will the connectivity improve in these parts of the country but basic facilities like medical emergencies will also be met.

CEO NFR S I Garur said, “Whatever our projects are going on adequate funds will be ensured and new projects will come up. New trains will be there definitely for Agartala will the commissioning of this project. New trains will be introduced from Agartala.”

The trial runs have been conducted on these converted lines in the state. Currently the southernmost city of Subroom and Akhaura (in Bangladesh) are in the process of conversion.

Source: ANI

Business Standard

Bangladesh upholds death sentence for Islamist leader Motiur Rahman Nizami

The Bangladesh Supreme Court has advocated the death sentence of Motiur Rahman Nizami, 72, the leader of the country’s largest Islamist party for crimes during its 1971 independence battle, four decades ago, from Pakistan. On Wednesday, chief justice SK Sinha terminated an appeal by the “Emir” of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Nizami was the head of a brutal militia during the conflict, and was sentenced to be hanged for killing, rape and composing the murder of top intellectuals.

“The court upheld the death sentence in three out of four charges. We’re very happy,” prosecutor Tureen Afroz told reporters. Jamaat’s leader since 2000, and also a minister in a former Islamist-allied government from 2001-2006, Nizami will face the gallows within months, unless his instance is revised by the same court, or the President grants him mercy.

Since December 2003, three senior Jamaat officials, along with a key leader of the main opposition have been executed for war crimes, notwithstanding worldwide uproars over the inadequacies of their trials by a debated war crime tribunal. The court dismissed earlier reviews of those four opposition frontrunners on death row, leading to their execution, the latest in November last year. The bodies of the leaders were found blindfolded with their hands tangled and discarded in a marsh on the peripheries of the capital.



Indian Army celebrates ‘Vijay Diwas’ in Jammu

Jammu: The Indian Army on Wednesday, celebrated Vijay Diwas to pay homage to the martyrs of the 1971 war, which led to Pakistan’s defeat and birth of Bangladesh. The 44th anniversary of ‘Vijay Diwas’  was celebrated at the the Northern Command headquarters with great enthusiasm.
Colonel S D Goswami, Army spokesperson said, “December 16th is celebrated as ‘Vijay Diwas’ to commemorate the historic victory of India over Pakistan and a large number of dignitaries, service personnel and ex-servicemen participated in the celebrations.”
93,000 Pakistani troops had surrendered to the Indian Army in 1971 war. This historic event took place in Dhaka and was the largest military surrender post the World War II. The victory signifies the unparalleled dedication of the Indian Army who fought selflessly in order to liberate the people of erstwhile East Pakistan which in turn led to the creation of independent Bangladesh.
The Northern Command commemorated Vijay Diwas with a wreath laying at Dhurva Shahid Smarak by Lieutenant general NPS Hira.


Indian Army celebrates Vijay Diwas to pay homage to 1971 martyrs Image source: News 18
Indian Army celebrates Vijay Diwas to pay homage to 1971 martyrs
Image source: News 18