Nation this week
A Dhaka court awarded death sentence to 20 while five others were handed life time imprisonment in the 2019 murder case of BUET student Abrar Fahad. The court of judge Abu Zafar Md Kamaruzzaman of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 pronounced the verdict. While pronouncing the verdict, the judge said the accused were awarded capital punishment to stop repetition of brutal murder. Abrar's father and other family members were present at the court to hear the verdict.
However, students who staged demonstrations seeking justice after the murder of Abrar Fahad did not say anything formally. Wishing not to be named, several students apprehended whether the verdict will be implemented soon or not. In 2019, Abrar Fahad, 21, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering department of BUET, was beaten to death by Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders at Sher-e-Bangla Hall of the university. He was found dead on the staircase of the hall in the early hours of October 7.
The High Court formed a three-member committee to investigate the death of Tajul Islam at Haragachh police station in Rangpur. A bench comprising Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order and asked the committee to submit its report within 15 working days. Headed by Rangpur District and Sessions Judge, the other members of the committee are additional deputy commissioner and an additional police commissioner of Rangpur.
Tajul Islam, 55, a resident of Dalalhat village in Haragachh union, was reportedly beaten to death by police at Haragachh Natun Bazar on November 1. Tajul was detained with some drugs during a police drive at Haragachh Natun Bazar and he fell unconscious as police beat him up mercilessly. Enraged by the incident, locals cordoned off Haragachh police station, threw brick chips at police and vandalised some vehicles. On December 3, the High Court ordered police to submit a report on the custodial death of Tajul Islam.
Just 1 percent of Bangladesh's population holds 16.3 percent of the total national income in 2021 while the bottom half hold 17.1 percent, according to a report titled 'World Inequality Report 2022', by the World Inequality Lab of Paris. Neighbouring India -- where 20 percent of the national income is held by the top 1 percent -- topped the list, but Bangladesh was unranked. The latest update of the index, published on December 7, showed 44 percent of Bangladesh's total national income is held by only 10 percent of the population.
The figures did not change much from the previous year but showed how income inequality has been rising since the 1980s. In 1981, the share of pre-tax national income of 1 percent of people was 11.8 percent while the bottom 50 percent held 20 percent wealth. The scenario has been stable in recent years but the number of poor is increasing day by day and also the number of rich, according to economists.
As water-logging caused by the untimely December rain persisted in parts of Bangladesh for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday (December 8) causing crop wilting, agriculturists warned diseases could follow the prolonged inundation. No official estimate of crop losses caused by the untimely winter rain has yet been made available but the Department of Agricultural Extension says the inundation has affected at least 2,95,491 hectares of cropland in 32 districts.
Potato has emerged as the worst-hit crop as excess water means death to crops grown under soil while the continued inundation is set to cut the production of other crops such as aman rice, mustard, wheat, onion, winter vegetables and legumes, agriculturists said. After enduring frequent crop losses in seven spells of flash flood between June and October, farmers were particularly looking up to winter, the most profitable season for them when many crops can be grown.
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