The Bangladesh government rejected any insinuation suggesting that the masked individuals riding motorcycles, who incited violence during the mass rally of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Dhaka on October 28, are "thought to have been" supporters of the ruling party. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, through its permanent mission in Geneva, sent a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) rejecting the UN body's October 31 media release in this regard.

Amid the ongoing political unrest in Bangladesh, the OHCHR had urged the government to 'observe the greatest restraint while curbing the tensions'. In its summary of the events of Oct. 28, it pointedly claimed 'approximately 30 journalists were assaulted by protesters and masked individuals riding on motorcycles, who are thought to have been ruling party supporters. This has elicited almost immediate pushback from Israel, in the form of an indignant letter to that veered mostly between admonishing, intimidating and hectoring.

Nearly 300 garment factories were shut amid lingering protests by workers in Gazipur and Ashulia today to press home their demand for an increase in the minimum wage, according to industrial police. Almost 220-225 are in the Gazipur industrial area, said Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Sarwar Alam. In Ashulia, 60 factories were closed today, according to Sarwar Alam, superintendent of police of Ashulia Industrial Police-1.

As of Wednesday (Nov. 1), 300 more factories located mainly in Gazipur, Konabari, Bason, Mouchak and Kashimpur areas, were shut because of the ongoing unrest, he said. garment manufacturers proposed Tk 10,400 in the minimum wage against the workers' proposal of Tk 20,393. Currently, the minimum wage in the readymade garment sector is Tk 8,000, which was set five years ago. The member factories of the BGMEA will implement the new wage structure for their workers from December this year as per the recommendation of the government-formed wage board, said the trade body today.

The much talked about Ansar Battalion Bill, 2023 was passed in the Jatiya Sangshad, rejecting the proposal to empower Ansar battalions to frisk detainees, arrest offenders, and seize goods. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan placed the bill, which was passed by voice vote. The Ansar Battalion Bill, 2023, was placed in parliament on October 23. The bill triggered a vigorous debate in parliament, but even more notable perhaps was the huge reaction it drew outside the House as well, with huge opposition from the nation's police force.

Some amendments were recommended in clauses 7 and 8 of the bill by the parliamentary standing committee on the Home Ministry. Committee sources said the amendments were directly recommended by the police leadership. According to the Home Ministry, the headquarters of the Ansar and VDP sent a proposal in 2017, seeking to increase the authority of the Battalion Ansar that required amending the laws governing them. The police has always opposed the move, seeing it as an intrusion of its own turf.

The Supreme Court fixed November 9 for hearing on a six-year-old review petition challenging its verdict that scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution which had empowered parliament to remove judges for incapacity or misconduct. A full bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan set the date after Attorney General AM Amin Uddin prayed for fixing a date for hearing of the matter.

The government filed the 908-page review petition with the Appellate Division on December 24, 2017 outlining 94 grounds on which this court may consider the government's prayer for restoring the 16th amendment, cancelling the provision of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and striking out some of its observations. The HC in May, 2016 declared the 16th amendment unconstitutional and void as it found the changes went against the principles of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. This was then upheld on appeal by the Appellate Division, with the later disgraced Chief Justice S.K. Sinha presiding.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts