Five police officers, including the OC of Bangshal Police Station in Dhaka, were sued under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prohibition) Act for allegedly torturing a man to death in custody. They are OC Moinul Islam and four sub-inspectors of the police station -- Imdadul Haque, Abu Saleh, Masud Rana, and Bulbul Ahmed. Ima Akter Happy, wife of victim Faruk Hossain, filed the case with the Metropolitan Sessions Judges' Court. The Detective Branch has been asked to investigate the case and submit a report on March 28.

On January 12, Faruk, 45, a former personal bodyguard, left his Lalbagh home. Later, he called Happy, informing her that he was being tortured by some policemen of Kayetuli Police Outpost in Bangshal. After rushing to the outpost, Happy found Faruk beaten and detained by police. On January 13, Faruk was sent to Dhaka Central Jail after being produced before the CMM Court in connection with a narcotics case. On January 15, the complainant learned through a phone call that Faruk had died at DMCH.

The High Court asked the owner of Nuru Engineering Workshop at Kamolpur in Bhairab to pay a 13-year-old child Tk 30 lakh as compensation for damaging his right arm. The workshop allegedly engaged Naim Hasan Nahid, a Class VII student, in operating a heavy auto drill machine by force during the Covid-2019 pandemic in 2020, in violation of Section 34 of Labour Law 2006, which prohibits child labour or employment in unsafe and risky professions.

The court asked the factory owner, Yakub Hossain, to pay the full compensation by December 2024, and also to pay the boy Tk 7,000 every month until he completed his higher secondary education. The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque issued the directives after disposing of a writ petition filed by the boy's father, Anwar Hossain, a shoe trader, in December 2020 seeking Tk 2 crore as compensation for the amputation of his right arm from the elbow.

The lending rate ceiling in banks reached nearly 12.38 percent at the end of January, from 10.7 percent in October. The central bank on January 17 raised the policy rate by 25 basis points to 8 percent from 7.25 percent in an effort to address mounting inflationary pressures in the country. The six-month moving average interest rate (SMART) of 182-day treasury bill has increased to 8.63 percent for February from 8.14 percent in January.

Bangladesh Bank also raised the interest rate corridor margin to 3.75 percent. The lending rate for banks is determined by adding the corridor and SMART. Given the SMART of 8.63 percent, the highest limit for bank lending rate stands at 12.38 percent for February. The BB had imposed a 9 percent ceiling on lending rate in April 2020. However, the restriction was lifted on July 1, 2023.

Bangladesh has dropped two notches in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2023. According to the CPI, Bangladesh secured 10th position from the bottom -- down from the previous index's 12th. This is Bangladesh's worst performance in the index since 2008, when the country also ranked 10th from last. The country ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the CPI 2023, a list compiled by anti-graft watchdog Transparency International.

Bangladesh shared 149th spot with Central African Republic, Iran, Lebanon and Zimbabwe, all with 24 points out of 100. Bangladesh scored 25 out of 100 in the last index, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said while disclosing the latest edition. Somalia was ranked as the most corrupt with just 11 points. Denmark was ranked least corrupt for the second year in a row with 90 points, followed by Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore in the top five.

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