August 29, 2012
ASK expresses grave concern and condemnation
Ain o Salish Kendra expresses its grave concern and condemnation over the incident of police resistance and attack on the rally and protestation of students against the Government’s recent decision not to have test for admission to Medical and Dental Colleges but on the basis of their previous result.
On 12 August 2012, in a meeting at the Health and Family Planning Ministry regarding the admission in Medical and Dental colleges it has been decided that in 2012-2013 academic session in MBBS and BDS course at public and private medical college, the admission will be done without admission test. From the very beginning the admission seekers of this year are protesting the decision. Recently when they gathered to protest against the decision at different places of the country including Dhaka and Chittagong, police resisted their peaceful gathering; snatch away their banner, festoons and leaflet and attack on them. At the same time police also arrested few students and took them to the police station.
Every year thousands of students participate in the medical admission test. It is their right to express their views on the issues related to their future. At the same time they also have the right to protest such decisions. We think that the resistance of police also violated the right of the students to express their views in a democratic way. We also hope that considering their logic in favor of restoring admission test in medical admission, the authority will take such a decision which will ultimately help in the future academic life of the students.
August 29, 2012
Enough is Enough.
It has been 18 months, since Limon Hossain a 16 year old boy, college student, lost his leg due to a failed operation by the counter terrorism force, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). On 23 March 2011, Limon who was living modestly with his family in Sathuria village Rajpur, was taking the cows to graze when he was shot and later maimed. His mother Henoara Begum filed an investigation report with the police after two wrongful charges were made against him.
After delayed submission of charge sheets, numerous postponed court hearings, 18 months later the police have responded to Henoara’s case with an investigation report which clears the RAB members involved in the case on the grounds of no evidence.
This is unacceptable.
Five investigation teams were formed. None of them have been made public. In the Police investigation, Limon and his family had not been interviewed or questioned.
Furthermore, soon after the police investigation report had been published, Limon’s mother, father, brother and uncle were attacked and falsely accused by a local known RAB informant, Md Ibrahim Howlader who is also the 17th witness in the RAB case filed against Limon.
This attack is not a single incident. It is done to intimidate and silence Limon and his family and to create a culture of fear in the locality.
Limon’s mother only announced a few days before this incident that she would be pursuing a ‘Naraji’ (no confidence) petition against the report made by local police.
Efforts for better protection for Limon and his family are a must. They have been through a traumatic journey, falling victims to a mistaken operation by the RAB, five investigations later and still no sign of justice or apology.
If Limon does not get justice then it will set a negative example in society and will frustrate our efforts to strive as a democratic nation practising and promoting human rights and particularly the constitutional right to life and equality under the law.
ASK demand an immediate, impartial, judicial inquiry.
Despite maiming and injury, an unnecessarily prolonged investigation process which has interrupted not only Limon’s education but the livelihood of his family. We have witnessed various forces working against them, even where the Priminister Sheikh Hasina withdrew her supportive statement due to pressure from the powers that be.
Limon and his family have remained resilient.
ASK salute Limon and his family for bravely struggling to pursue truth and justice in a case which has demonstrated levels of state terrorism existing in our country.
We also want to show solidarity to those journalists who have helped support Limon and his mother by publicising the facts of this case to the nation.
August 22, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) strongly protests and condemns the attack on Limon Hossain and his mother allegedly by a RAB informant in Jhalakathi.
Limon and his mother were injured in an attack allegedly by a RAB informant named Md. Ibrahim on the Eid day when they were on their way back to their rented house at Kaukhali upazila in Pirojpur district from their village home. Limon’s mother Henuara Begum was admitted to Rajapur Upazila Health Complex following the attack. Ibrahim, who is known as a Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) source, is also the 17th witness in the case filed against Limon by RAB.
This attack is not the first and only one of such nature on Limon and his family. This type of incident will create psychological pressure on Limon and will weaken him to establish the truth. This also indicates the tendency of sustaining the culture of threat in the locality. ASK demands judicial inquiry for the case filed by Limon’s mother and also demand better protection for Limon at his village home. If Limon does not get justice for being shot and maimed by the RAB, then it will obviously set a negative example in the society.
August 5, 2012
ASK’s Grave Concern and Condemnation
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern and seriously condemns the attack, arson, destruction of households and looting of minorities at Rajapur and Kabirajpara area of Amarpur Union in Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur district.
A group of miscreants at Hindu populated Balaibazar, Rajapur and Kabirajpara area of Amarpur Union in Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur district organized a gathering of people by using religious sentiment and instigated them with a rumor that a mosque has been demolished. The instigated mob attacked the houses of Hindu community in Rajapur and Kabirajpara situated at the eastern side of Balaibazar. In the attack, 30 houses of the Hindus have been burnt. Besides, more than a hundred cattle including precious goods have been looted. About 50 men and women have been injured in the attack.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) believes that such kind of attack will affect the existing communal harmony of the country. We expect that the authority will promptly take appropriate action against perpetrators who instigated the attack upon proper inquiry so that such type of communal attack does not recur. Moreover, the local administration and the law enforcement agency should be sensitive enough to take prompt steps in case of such incidents.
August 1, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern and strongly condemns the attack, destruction of households, looting and sexual assault on women of minority families at Brahmadanga village of Bagerhat district.
A group of 40-45 people including local goons and drug dealers armed with stick, axe and other weapons attacked Hindu populated Brahmadanga village at Fakirhat of Bagerhat district and tortured men, women and children. They also destroyed and looted the houses and sexually assaulted the women of more than fifty minority families as a consequence of a quarrel between the kids regarding a football match. The attack left twenty persons injured. As the injured persons were admitted to the hospital, the goons also attacked there and forced them to flee by threatening. It is also reported that at present most of the families of the village have left their homestead. The victims also informed that although the police of the local camp had been informed immediately after the attack, they took long time to arrive there.
ASK believes that such kind of attack will affect the prevailing communal harmony. ASK hopes that the authority will take significant steps against the perpetrators upon proper inquiry to stop recurrence of such violence. Moreover, the local administration and the law enforcement agency should be sensitive enough to take prompt steps cautiously in case of such incidents.
July 20, 2012
ASK’s Deepest Condolence
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its deepest condolence at the death of one of pioneer of modern Bangla literature, unparallel popular literary genius and dramatist, Humayun Ahmed.
The literary genius breathed his last at the Bell View Hospital of New York City in the USA at the age of 64. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) believes that his death is an irreparable loss to Bangla literature. The vacuum created due to departure of such an immensely popular author and dramatist cannot be filled up. He impressed the minds of the readers all of the fields of literature, such as short story, novel, drama, cinema etc. His writings smoothly depict the life style, happiness and sorrow, hope and gloom of the middle class society. He introduced a new era of Bangla literature. Moreover, the struggles for independence, liberation war and patriotism have been reflected in his literary creations that have inspired the young generation of this country in different ways.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) prays for eternal peace of his departed soul and conveys its empathy to his family members.
July 18, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses grave concern at the killing of three workers and injury of nine others as the members of the Ansaar opened fire at the workers agitating in demand of enhancement of wages in Akiz Bidi Factory in Daulatpur Upazila of Kushtia District.
It has been published in the newspapers that the workers of the said factory have been demanding to increase their wages for a long time for manufacturing bidi (a local variety of cigarette). The workers have been agitating for the last two months with this demand. The managing committee of the factory, though initially assured the workers of meeting their demand, finally decided that the wages will not be increased. Moreover, it was declared that if the arbitrary decision of the owners is not obeyed all the workers will be subjected to forced leave from the next day- which amplified the tension in the factory. It resulted in a clash between the workers and the security officials of the factory. At one stage, two workers were killed on 15 July 2012 and another died in the hospital after being shot by the Ansaar members. Many workers have been injured in the incident.
We know that the workers are subjected to various kinds of torture and harassment including deprivation of their lawful wages. The government including the factory owners, authorities should be concerned on the matter. We believe that use of force by the law enforcement agencies is not an effective measure to stop the movement. We urge all the parties concerned to show more tolerance and also urge the government to take effective measures in order to mitigate the tension by way of discussion.
July 10, 2012
ASK’s Strong Protest and Condemnation
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) strongly protests and condemns the insensitive statement of BGMEA that the birthrate will raise if the maternity leave is increased.
According to different media, BGMEA sent a proposal to the Ministry of Labour with the aforesaid statement, as the Government proposed to amend the Labour Act, 2006 by fixing the length of maternity leave up to 24 weeks. Moreover, the BGMEA contended that the existing 16 weeks’ maternity leave also seems irrational to them. At the same time, they have argued that the efficiency of the female workers will decrease due to long absence from the work and their tendency to rejoin the work will also decline. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) believes that in Bangladesh, where there are still many obstacles in the way to empowerment, rights and dignity of women; and despite all these impediments, where women are actively participating in the development of the country; such insensitive statement from the leaders of an industry is highly condemnable and unacceptable. Such a stance and argument, only from commercial consideration, shows disregard to the women and children, and above all the future generation of the country. Because, breast feeding and intense care up to six months are the basic rights of every infant. ASK believes that such a statement by the BGMEA is contrary to different initiatives taken by the government to protect the fundamental rights of women and children and at the same time comes as degrading for the women.
We expect that the concerned ministry of the government will consider increasing maternity leave up to 24 weeks in order to protect women rights, child rights and to create a healthy future generation.
July 3, 2012
ASK’s Grave Concern and Condemnation
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern and condemnation over the incident of two Bangladeshis being killed and another being injured in the firing of the BSF, the Border Security Force of India, and also urges to the authorities concerned to strengthen their diplomatic efforts to stop such killings.
Different media reported that on July 2, 2012 one was killed at the Benapole Border of Jessore district and another was killed along with one more injured at the Kolaroa Border of Satkhira district being shot by the BSF. It is also reported by the media that the cattle trader who was killed at Benapole Border was randomly beaten, stabbed and fired, and then after confirmation of his death, his body was thrown in the Ichhamoti River by the BSF. It should be mentioned here that for a long time, the BSF has been engaged in such killings violating the international rules. Although the Indian authority has repeatedly assured that the BSF shall be sensible and cautious in using fire arms in the Border and if necessary, shall use only rubber bullets, no reflection of their promise has been observed in reality. According to the information available to ASK, from January to June this year, 19 Bangladeshis have been killed and 56 have been tortured by the BSF in the Borders. A recent report by the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has also depicted the barbaric activities of the BSF.
We expect that the authority will take a strong stance to stop such killing of Bangladeshi citizens in the Borders and shall put diplomatic pressure on the Indian authorities to take effective steps regarding the matter.
June 18, 2012
We have been anxiously observing that the employers, instead of being sympathized to the economic crisis and genuine demand of the workers, have taken recourse to power position and force to suppress the movement. We have come to know through newspapers that the police force took a very undesirable role. We are also concerned on the reaction of the workers who renouncing the peaceful means of protest became violent at some stage of their movement. They have been involved in causing damage to the factories and also in engaging in clash with the police.
However, the BGMEA and the BKMEA have taken a wrong decision to shut down all the industries in the Ashulia Industrial Area and in fact have shut down the industries. But according to Section 2 of the Labour Act, only the owners of the industries can declare a lock out. The BGMEA or the BKMEA have no jurisdiction to take such a decision. In the circumstances, an acute crisis has emerged in the most potential income generating sector of the country, the garments industry, which is based on the financial capital of the owners and labour of the workers. Now millions of workers and their family members are going to face a critical situation.
In the present circumstances, we urge all the stakeholders concerned including the employers, the workers and the government, to resolve the crisis peacefully by taking such decisions and steps that are acceptable to all the parties. To save the industry, to save the lives of millions of workers from an inhumane condition and to save the national economy from an obvious crisis, we call upon the workers to avoid destructive programmes, and the owners, to abandon the idea of applying force in order to suppress the movement of the workers in demand of legitimate claims. We hope that the government also will dispose its responsibilities in this regard.
June 17, 2012
According to different media, on June 15, 2012 some miscreants picked up Jamal Uddin, the Kashipur (Sharsha) representative of the Daily Gramer Kagoj, from a tea stall at Kashipur Bazar and killed him by successive stabbing, and then took out his eye balls and cut off the leg veins. Recently, we have observed increased incidents of tortures on the journalists, while discharging their professional duty. In the present case, it is under aged that the deceased journalist became the target of the criminal gang and the police did not act properly in response to the General Diary filed by the deceased journalist informing them about the risk of his life. Even in the past, many journalists have been subjected to torture or killing for unveiling the misdeeds of the crime syndicates. It cannot be said that the government have arranged for adequate security of these journalists. As because, the previous cases of violence against journalists for discharging their professional duty have not been tried properly and the perpetrators remained unpunished, it has emboldened the criminals to repeat the crime.
We expect that the administration will take appropriate action against the persons responsible upon proper investigation so that such incident does not recur in future.
Government’s Stern Stand to Resist Influx of Rohingya Refugees : ASK’s Grave Concern and Appeal for Consideration of the Matter from a Humanitarian Point of View »
June 14, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern on government’s stern stand to resist the entry of Rohingya refugees fleeing from ethnic conflict in Rakhain state of Myanmar and urges the government to consider the matter from a humanitarian point of view.
According to different media, in the context of communal violence between the Muslims and the Buddhists in Rakhain Province of Myanmar, the Rohingyas have been trying to enter Bangladesh through the Teknaf border by crossing the Naf river and the sea for the last few days. To resist the influx, the Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) and the Coast Guard have been kept alert in the border area with added reinforcement. According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, on June 12, 2012, BGB sent back nearly 1000 Rohingyas to Myanmar. It was further informed that on June 13, 2012, approximately 148 Rohingyas who fled in 4 trawlers were sent back. Although those trawlers instead of getting back to Myanmar, have been floating on the hostile sea with a hope to reenter Bangladesh. In those trawlers, there are many old persons and children including men and women. Forcing the Refugees to go back to Myanmar, would amount to compel them towards certain death despite having knowledge of the situation prevailing. Different international human rights organizations including the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have already requested Bangladesh Government to shelter the Rohingya refugees. But the Minister for Foreign Affairs negated the possibility of providing shelter to the Rohingyas clarifying the position of the government.
Ain o Salish Kendra believes that if any citizen is subjected to violence or suppression due to communal, racial, gender-based or linguistic reasons by the State or any section of the State and is forced to leave his own country due to the insecurity for saving his life; then it is the moral responsibility of every other State to stand beside that person. We should not forget that facing the genocide, torture and violence of the Pakistani military; ten million refugees took shelter in India during our Liberation War. Had India have not opened its border at that time the casualties by the Pakistani army would have been many more. Although it caused immense pressure on the Indian economy at that time, still, from humanitarian consideration India stood beside us that day.
We hope that, considering these aspects, the authority would respond to the anxiety and appeal of the international community and refrain from sending back the Rohingy refugees forcibly.
June 11, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern and strongly condemns the assault of a judge by the police at the court premises of the Narsingdi District and Sessions Judge.
Different media reported that on June 10, 2012 additional police force was deployed in the court premises of Narsingdi district as an enhanced security measure for appearance of the accused of the sensational murder case of former Municipality Mayor Lokman Hossain. It has also been reported that at that time the Judge of the 2nd Court of Joint District and Sessions Judge, Narsingdi, introduced himself as a judge as the police wanted to check his bag while entering the count premises in a rickshaw. As the police asked him to show his identity card and as he was taking it out, another police officer attacked him with a helmet. Besides, two more police officers came forward and joined him, and then all three started giving blows and beating the judge with sticks. We strongly condemn such attack on a judge by the police. The assault of journalists, teachers, lawyers, clients etc. by police has been increasing in the recent times. We are really annoyed at such arrogant attitude of the police. We believe that such aggressive and intolerant attitude of the police is not a good sign for a democratic country. We are informed that the authority formed a committee to investigate the matter and the accused have been primarily withdrawn to police line.
We expect that the authority will take proper steps to discourage the members of law enforcement agencies from such attitude by taking stern action against the perpetrators upon due investigation.
May 16, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is seriously concerned at the incident of using baton and hot water on the agitating teachers of registered private primary schools.
According to the newspapers, on May 15, 2012 police used baton and hot water to scatter the teachers of registered private primary schools, who joined the previously declared programme in demand of nationalization of their jobs. 5 persons were injured in the incident. We believe that every citizen of this country has the freedom to organize and attend peaceful assembly. At the same time, such kind of mass gathering or participation in demonstration by the private sector teachers in demand of their professional claims, are very much a part of the democratic system. In the alleged incident of torture on the participating teachers by police is unexpected and unacceptable.
We expect that the government would direct the law enforcement agencies to refrain from such kind of attitude. In addition to that we urge the concerned authorities of the government to come forward to arrange for necessary treatment of the injured teachers.
May 15, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern and condemnation at the assault of the zonal representative of the daily Kaler Kantha.
According to the newspapers, on May 14, 2012 the nephew of the State Minister for Home Affairs and his followers attacked Abdullah Al Mamun, the zonal representative of the daily Kaler Kantha after publication of a report on May 11, 2012 titled as ‘The Relatives of MP Tuku Got the Tender of TR-Ka.Bi.Kha.’ We seriously condemn the incident. It is also reported that the journalist is at present under treatment at Pabna Medical College Hospital with critical condition. We think such an attack on a journalist is a straight intrusion on the freedom of expression.
We expect the administration to take appropriate steps against the perpetrators upon fair investigation and to play an effective role in protecting human rights. At the same time, the concerned authority should be persistent to stop recurrence of such incidents.
May 13, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern at the incident of torture of Tuhin Sanjid, a journalist of the daily Bhorer Dak.
According to newspaper sources, on May 10, 2012 journalist Tuhin Sanjid of the daily Bhorer Dak was picked up eye-folded in a white microbus from near Bangla Academy allegedly because of publishing a news regarding disappearance of Elias Ali. It is reported that after a while he has taken into a building. There, as he opened his eyes, he saw an officer in the uniform of RAB and that officer asked him about the source of that published news. Tuhin Sanjid was given electric shock and was threatend to be shot down in cross fire, as he refused to disclose the source. We think, such kind of torture and threatening on a journalist for publishing news is an incedent of violating the freedom of press. We strongly condemn this incident and express our grave concern .
We expect that the adiminstration will take proper action against the persons responsible after investigating the matter and play an effective role to protect freedom of press and human rights. In addition to that the concerned authority should also be cautious to prevent recurrence of such incident in furture.
May 7, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its grave concern, and condemns the assault of Faridpur representative of the Daily Prothom Alo for publication of a news report.
According to the newspapers, Panna Bala, Faridpur correspondent of the Daily Prothom Alo, was physically assaulted on May 6, 2012 because of his report titled "Road Blocked for Meeting of the Labour Minister" published on May 3, 2012. We think, such an attack on a journalist for publication of a news report is a direct intimidation to the freedom of press. We strongly condemn this attack. It is however, reported that after the occurrence Khandaker Mohtesham the brother of the Labour Minister and the Secretary for Relief of district Awami League Mokarram Miah went to the press club, and they regretted and apolozised for the assult and also promised to take disciplinary steps against the perpetrators. The local journalists demanded arrest of the perpetrators within 48 hours. But the local administration could not arrest any person, even after 48 hours of the incident. We are seriously concerned about such slothness of the law enforcing agencies.
We expect that the administration will play an effective role to safeguard the freedom of press and human rights by taking proper steps against the persons responsible for the attack upon proper investigation.
April 29, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is seriously concerned and condemns the attack of the Chhatra League activists on the students-teachers and cultural activists involved in the movement demanding resignation of the Vice-Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, on April 28, 2012.
Different media reported that the students, teachers and cultural activists of Jahangirnagar University have been engaged in a movement demanding resignation of the Vice-Chancellor for more than last three months. On April 28, 2012, some activists of the Chhatra League attacked the students, teachers and cultural activists involved in the peaceful movement. Ten persons, including the President of the Sangskritik Jote, were injured in the attack. It is also reported that although police was present near the place of occurrence, they did not take any step to prevent the attack. We consider that such an attack goes against the progressive culture, practice of liberty right to free thinking and democratic values.
We expect that the perpetrators will be brought under the law after proper investigation of the incident and the concerned authority will take necessary steps to restore academic atmosphere of the university.
April 23, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is seriously concerned on the photograph and report of torturing two hartal supporter opposition student activists in police station on April 22, 2012 and also condemns and strongly protests such incident. As a public servant of a republic by constitution, no police officer, member of law enforcement agency or person has the power or right to torture any citizen in any situation. We have been observing with great disappointment that having no regard to the prevailing human rights or constitutional rights and by going far beyond the lawful powers, some officers of the law enforcement agencies have been in practice torturing, meting out undesirable treatment on different excess (or even going to the extent of killing). The incumbent incident is an extreme example of that. We hope that such activities will immediately be stopped, because these are not only violation of constitutional rights, but also are punishable offences.
We demand of the concerned authority to take action against the officer in charge of Khulna Sadar Police Station and his accomplices for this act.
April 19, 2012
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) expresses its concern on the mysterious disappearance of the Organizing Secretary of the Central Committee of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the President of Sylhet District Committee of the BNP, Elias Ali and his driver on Tuesday night.
Different media reported that, in the late night of April 18, 2012 Elias Ali and the driver of his private car Ansar Ali went missing. We strongly believe that it is the duty of the State to protect the person and the property of the citizens. But the mysteries surrounding such successive incidents of suspicious disappearances or silent killings remain unfolded, which is a threat for the culture of human rights in the society. Such incidents are never favorable for democratic development.
We hope that the perpetrators would be brought to justice upon proper investigation of all such incidents of disappearances and silent killings, including that of Elias Ali and his driver, and necessary steps be taken by the concerned authority to prevent recurrence of such incidents.