The deadline for submitting nominations for upazila polls is Monday



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
photo: Barta24

photo: Barta24

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The deadline for submitting nomination papers for the first phase of the upcoming Sixth Upazila Parishad election ends tomorrow, Monday (April 15).

Election Commission (EC) deputy secretary of the election management section Atiyar Rahman said that according to the schedule of the first phase, the last date for submission of nomination papers is April 15. Scrutiny of nomination papers on April 17. Appeal against Returning Officer's decision from 18 to 20 April. Appeal disposal 21 April, last date for withdrawal of candidature 22 April. Symbols will be allotted on April 23, and voting in 152 upazilas will be held on May 8.

District Election Officers and Upazila Election Officers as Assistant Returning Officers have been appointed as Returning Officers in this round of elections. The appeal filed against the decision of the Returning Officer will be disposed of by the Deputy Commissioner as the appellate authority.

EC Secretary Md. Jahangir Alam said that nomination papers should be submitted online. Candidates can also deposit the security deposit through mobile banking. So the entire system will be online.

As per the schedule for the second phase, last date for submission of nomination papers is 21 April, Scrutiny of nomination papers is 23 April, acceptance of appeals is 24-26 April, disposal of appeals is 27-29 April. Last date for withdrawal of candidature is 30th April; Allotment of Symbols is 2nd May. Voting in 161 upazilas will be held on May 21.

Additional Deputy Commissioners have been appointed as Returning Officers and Upazila Nirbahi Officers as Assistant Returning Officers in this round of elections. The number of voters is more than 5 lakh where more than one Assistant Returning Officer will be deployed.

The two-phase elections after the four-phase upazila polls may be held on May 29 and June 5.

   

OC directed to take action against MP Anwar Khan



District Correspondent, Barta24.com, Lakshmipur
photo: Collected

photo: Collected

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The OC of Ramganj Police Station has been instructed to take action against Anwar Hossain Khan, Member of Parliament of Lakshmipur-1 (Ramganj) Constituency.

Returning officer Prionkya Dutta gave this written instruction to take action against the MP who raised allegations of violation of code of conduct in Ramganj Upazila Parishad elections.

The letter to the OC mentions that in the election campaign and favoring the rival candidate in violation of the Election Conduct Rules has been filed against Anowar Hussain Khan MP of Laksmipur -1 constituency. A copy of the complaint has been sent herewith for taking necessary action as per the rules regarding the said complaint.

On Sunday (May 19) night, this instruction was given based on the complaint made by Imtiaz Arafat, the candidate for the chairman of the upazila parishad election.

Imtiaz Arafat, candidate with the pineapple symbol, made a written complaint to the Returning Officer on Saturday (May 18) in this regard.

In his letter to the returning officer, Imtiaz alleged that MP Anwar Hossain Khan is making various plans to win over his rival candidate Delwar Hossain Dewan Bachchu by violating the code of conduct. Former Chairman of Noagaon Union and former President of Union Awami League Rana was picked up from Noagaon Bazar and took him to Khan Tower. He took him there and threatened him in various ways to do election work for Dewan Bachchu. Later, Rana managed to escape from there which is against the electoral code of conduct.

When asked about the letter, Ramganj Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mohammad Solaiman said on Sunday night, "I have not received the letter." Action will be taken according to the letter if received.

It is to be noted that the 2nd phase of the Sixth Upazila Parishad election will be held on May 21 in Ramganj of Lakshmipur.

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Lawmaker Anwarul Azim goes missing in India



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
photo: Collected

photo: Collected

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Member of Parliament from Jhenaidah-4 Constituency Anwarul Azim Anar went to India and went missing for four days, his family said.

The family has informed the Detective Police (DB) that the MP's relatives have been out of touch since Thursday (May 16) after he went to India for treatment. Relatives are worried about this.

Anwarul Azim's daughter Mumtarin Ferdous went to the Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Police (DB) office on Sunday afternoon. He met Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Commissioner (DB) Mohammad Harun-or-Rashid and informed about the matter.

Mumtarin Ferdous told reporters at the DB office that her father went missing in India. He came to the DB office to report the matter.

DB Mohammad Harun-or-Rashid told reporters, "Member of Parliament Anwarul Azim uses a Bangladeshi mobile phone and an Indian mobile phone in India. Numbers of two are sometimes found closed and sometimes open. The issue is also being discussed with the Indian police force. Trying to find out what happened to Anwarul Azim is going on.

Anwarul Azim's personal assistant Abdur Rauf told reporters that on May 12, MP Anwarul Azim went to India through the Darshana border for treatment. He was in contact with the family till May 14. However, on May 16, Abdur Rauf received a call from the MP's cell phone. He could not pick up the phone. Later, when he called again, the phone was switched off. Since then, contact with the Member of Parliament has been lost.

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Chuknagar Massacre: A of 1971 Bangladesh Genocide



Pradip Kumar Dutta
File Photo: Collected.

File Photo: Collected.

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The pogrom initiated by Pakistanis began on March 25, 1971, with Operation Searchlight, marking the onset of widespread genocide.

Bangabandhu proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, and the country entered into a protracted War of Liberation, known as the Muktijuddho. Throughout the nine months of this war, the Pakistani army and their collaborators committed genocidal offenses on a daily and hourly basis.

During this time, countless people were forced to flee their homes and businesses to save their lives, properties, and dignity. Many ended up in refugee camps in India or became internally displaced, living with relatives in remote villages. Tragically, many were robbed, tortured, and tormented by Pakistani collaborators as they sought safety. Some were killed, while others died from hunger and exhaustion.

Chuknagar, a remote village bazar in Dumuria, Khulna district, became a crucial transit point for refugees heading to India. Located near the Indian border on the banks of the Bhodra River, it offered an escape route for people from southwestern Bangladesh (Khulna, Bagerhat, Jashore, Barishal, and Faridpur districts) who arrived by boat, on foot, and in bullock carts. After resting and eating in Chuknagar, they continued their journey. On the night of May 19, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 men, women, and children took refuge in schools, temples, mosques, and villagers' homes in and around Chuknagar. Many spent the night in paddy fields and open spaces, preparing a simple meal before resuming their journey.

By 10 am on May 20, three truckloads of Pakistani soldiers, accompanied by Bihari and Bengali collaborators, arrived at Chuknagar bazar. Armed with light machine guns and automatic rifles, they began firing in all directions at the refugees. The first victim, a local farmer named Chikan Ali Morol, was killed when he tried to protest. The soldiers continued their killing spree unimpeded, targeting anyone in their path. The carnage lasted for about five hours, with an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 refugees killed.

The massacre left bodies scattered across paddy fields, village yards, schools, mosques, temples, and the Bhodra River. Survivors had no chance to escape, as soldiers chased and shot them. Many boatloads of refugees were also attacked, and those who tried to swim to safety were killed by snipers. The water of the Bhodra River turned red with blood, and corpses floated in the river.

After the massacre, local people came out to help, but there was little they could do as almost everyone had been killed. Over the next few days, the locals buried some bodies in mass graves while others were dumped in the river. The Chuknagar refugee trail was mainly followed by the poorer sections of southwestern Bangladesh, whose relatives either died or could not return to Chuknagar after the war.

Slowly, this tragic massacre faded into oblivion, remembered only by a few patriotic Bangladeshis led by Prof. Shafiqul Islam of a local college. They tried to keep the memory alive and draw attention to the largest mass killing in the shortest time in human history. Their efforts eventually led to some recognition, but the world has largely ignored the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, which is the biggest Genocide after the Holocaust and other Genocides during WW2.

The atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces are documented in various sources, including newspapers, the Blood Telegrams, Senator Kennedy's report, Oxfam's "Testimony of Sixty," and the International Union of Jurists' inquiry.

However, the world has yet to officially recognise the genocide, contradicting the global pledge of "Never Again" to genocides.

Recognising and punishing the genocide is crucial to preventing future atrocities and ensuring justice for the victims.

While remembering the victims of the Chuknagar massacre, we urge the Bangladesh Government to be more proactive in seeking international recognition of the genocide. The Foreign Minister recently mentioned plans to create a special cell to coordinate these efforts. The sooner this cell starts working, the better. We have ample evidence to prove the genocide, and organisations of genocide scholars worldwide, including IAGS, Lemkin Institute, Genocide Watch, and ICSC, have recognised it and called for international recognition.

The involvement of Bangladesh's intelligentsia, civil society, diaspora, progressive political, and student parties is essential for achieving international recognition. The responsibility lies with all of us, especially our government.

The writer is a researcher and traveler.

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Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured

Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured

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Autorickshaw drivers clashed with the police at Kalshi in Mirpur of the capital in protest against the ban on battery-powered auto rickshaws. At one point, the protesters set fire to the traffic police box at Kalshi intersection. One person has been shot and traffic movement is blocked.

On Sunday (May 19) around 4:20 pm, the protesters set fire to the traffic police box located at Kalshi intersection.

Confirming the matter, Inspector (Investigation) of Pallabi Police Station Mokhlesur Rahman said that the agitators are carrying out violent agitation in Kalshi. They set fire to a police box located at Kalshi intersection. This is a traffic police box. We are on the spot, taking necessary action in this regard.

Earlier autorickshaw drivers stopped traffic on this road and set it on fire. Apart from this, there was a police chase incidents with the autorickshaw drivers on road number 4 of Banarasi Polli in Mirpur. Autorickshaw drivers also vandalized some cars there. At that time, the passengers in the bus panicked and got down from the bus.

Around 1:30 PM, autorickshaw drivers blocked the Kalshi road and stopped the traffic. At this time, sticks are seen in the hands of many people. They also tend to vandalize cars. They pulled the rope in the middle of the road and stopped the traffic. At one point, they forced the bus drivers to park their vehicles diagonally on the road. Thousands of passengers who use that road suffer because of this. People can be seen leaving on foot to go to their destination.

Eyewitnesses said that when the police left the bus on one side at Mirpur-10 Gole Chattar around 2.30 pm, the excited auto-rickshaw drivers started vandalizing the bus by throwing sticks and bricks. At that time, the passengers in the bus panicked and got down quickly. During the afternoon incident, the agitators vandalized a few buses besides BRTC and Alif Paribahan at Mirpur-10.

Meanwhile, Mirpur Zone DC Jasim Uddin said that no one involved in vandalism in public transport will be spared. He said that all those involved in vandalism will be brought under the law. The police showed a lot of patience. A few policemen were injured. Although the agitators were removed peacefully, they later vandalized again. Whether there is someone behind them will also be investigated.

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