Landslide death toll reaches 135 as search resumes

first_imgRescure operation being conductedAt least 135 people were killed and many went missing in separate landslides in hilly districts of the southeast Bangladesh.The fire service with local people resumed the operation on Wednesday morning hours after it suspended operation due to bad weather and disrupted communication in the landslides-hit area.Rangamati deputy commissioner Mohammad Manjarul Mannan on Wednesday morning told Prothom Alo that the rescue operation resumed at 8:00am on Wednesday that was suspended on Tuesday night due to adverse weather.The death toll may rise as many people are still missing in the areas, he added.Rescue operation resumes in hilly districtslast_img read more

CEC justifies police actions on opposition

first_imgChief election commissioner KM Nurul HudaChief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Saturday said the police are not arresting anyone without any reason.He added that the law enforcement officials is not either going beyond the directives of the election commission as they are now under his commission’s control.”The police obey our directives. They arrest no one without any reason going beyond our directives,” he told reporters replying to a question at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city.The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies have alleged filing of fictitious cases and arrest of its thousands of leaders and activists and submitted list to the prime minister’s office and also the election commission authorities.The CEC made the remarks after the inaugural session of the EC’s three-day briefing arranged for giving its directives to executive magistrates for preventing the violation of the electoral code of conduct in the upcoming parliamentary elections.The first day’s briefing started at 10am with the participation of executive magistrates deployed in election duty in 18 districts.”The commission has given directives to the police. The police have also made commitments to us. They’re working accordingly,” he said.In reply to a question, Nurul Huda said the government does not give any directive to the commission over the election.”There’s no directive from the government. Rather, our election-related directives are now visible there in the field,” he said.The CEC said now the level-playing field prevails in the country.At the inaugural session, the CEC and four election commissioners — Mahbub Talukder, Shahadat Hossain, Rafiqul Islam and Kabita Khanom — were present.The commission in the three-day briefing will give directives to the executive magistrates over how to conduct drives against and punishing the violation of electoral code of conduct in the 11th national election slated for 30 December.Magistrates from Dhaka, Gopalganj, Cumilla, Gazipur, Munshiganj, Narayanganj, Tangail, Faridpur, Manikganj, Kishoreganj, Sherpur, Rajbari, Madaripur, Mymensingh, Netrakona, Jamalpur, Shariatpur and Narsingdi are there in the first day briefing.On 12 November, the EC directed the public administration ministry to appoint executive magistrates at the field level to check the violation of the electoral code of conduct.The EC asked the ministry to appoint one executive magistrate for every upazila, one for three to four wards of city corporations, one to two magistrates for each district sadar municipality and one magistrate for three to four upazilas of the Chattogram Hill Tracts.The commission asked the ministry to keep the magistrates engaged in the election duty till the next day of election (31 December).Besides, the commission will deploy more executive magistrates and judicial magistrates on large scale a few days before the general election.last_img read more

EC mulls restriction on live streaming

first_imgElection commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed on Friday said the commission is thinking of imposing a restriction on live telecast during the general election slated for 30 December, reports UNB.He came up with the remarks while briefing newsmen at Nirbachan Bhaban in the afternoon.The EC secretary said a proposal was placed at Thursday’s meeting on the law and order for preparing guidelines for journalists but the election commissioners said journalists can enter voting centres, take photographs and even take the opinions of voters.”There’s no restriction on such activities but the EC is considering of imposing restrictions on the live telecast from vote centres. We’ll inform you in this regard later,” he said.He said ballot papers will reach returning officers in all the 300 constituencies seven days before the 11th parliamentary elections. “We’ve started the printing of ballot papers. We hope we’ll be able to reach those to the returning officers seven days before the election day,” he said.The EC secretary said there are High Court orders about candidacy in some parliamentary seats. “We’re trying to print the ballot papers in line with the court orders,” he said.Helal also said armed forces members will be deployed for 10 days from 24 December as the striking in the election.Asked whether the armed forces members will be given magistracy power, he said only executive magistrates, judicial magistrates and senior joint district judges will be on duty in the field with magistracy power.The EC secretary said 652 executive magistrates, 640 judicial magistrates and 244 senior joint district judges will perform their duties for four days from two days before the election day.Besides, over 1,000 executive magistrates will be working with law enforcement agencies, including police, Border Guard Bangladesh and Rapid Action Battalion, he said, adding, “So, there’s no scope to give magistracy power to a force (army) separately.”About the use of mobile phones by journalists in vote centres on the election day, the EC secretary said there is an EC instruction that only presiding officers and police officers in-charge can use mobile phone inside a centre. “Others can carry mobile phone but they won’t be allowed to talk over it,” he said.About preparations for the election, Helal said they completed many preparations in the last one month. “Now, we need to impart training to field-level officers — presiding officers and polling officers.”The election commissioners will provide training to the field-level officers, he said, adding that as part of it, the EC will sit in a coordination meeting in Rangamati with election officers of the three hilly districts on 18 December.The EC will hold another coordination meeting with officers of Chattogram division in the port city on the same day.About allegations that many candidates were being obstructed from going to their respective constituencies, the EC secretary said the EC sends all the allegations to the electoral enquiry committee, but it did not find the authenticity in most cases.last_img read more

Baluchari silk makes comeback in Bengal thanks to state project

first_imgKolkata: The sale of Baluchari silk has seen a sharp spike in Bengal, after the state government launched the ‘Baluchari’ project a few years ago, aiming to revive the textile which harks back to the colonial times.”In collaboration with the West Bengal State Handloom Weavers’ Cooperation Society (Tantuja), the Directorate of Textiles had launched the Baluchari project, which has been a major success. The sale of this particular kind of silk has increased on a major scale as we roped in weavers from Bishnupur, who blended some old and new designs, keeping in mind the current trend and demands of the consumers,” said Director of Textiles Debasis Ghosh on Wednesday. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseBaluchari, a quintessential textile of Bengal, which found a home in Bishnupur of Bankura district after its place of origin Baluchar in Murshidabad, had succumbed to the vagaries of nature. Even in Bishnupur, the design, looms, weaving technique and the thread used underwent drastic change with time, leaving the originality of the textile in shambles. In such a scenario, the Baluchari project has aided its grand revival, with the hike in sales figures. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataGhosh further said: “After the launch of the project, the West Bengal State Handloom Weavers’ Cooperation Society eventually undertook its marketing duties and launched an exclusive showroom in Park Street which specialises in Baluchari silk, among others. The annual turn- over of the showroom has reached crores.” Tantuja procures handloom fabrics from cooperative societies and artisans through 12 procurement centres and two training-cum-production centres. It has 83 sales outlets all over India. Speaking about the initiative taken by the government to help the farmers in cultivation of silk, the extension officer of the directorate of textiles Partho Pratim said: “There are 59 government sericulture farms in Bengal which cultivate superior-quality seeds. These seeds are then given to the farmers at a subsidised rate, who then produce the raw silk. When the raw silk is sold in the market, the farmers earn good revenue. The weavers who buy the raw silk spin it into sarees, shawls and other garments.”last_img read more