Goodbye son of wisdom and progress!



Ashraful Islam, Planning Editor, Barta24.com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Prominent security and geopolitical analyst Major General (retired) Abdur Rashid passed away early today (June 14, 2024) while undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka, after an illustrious life of 70 years. Outside of this broad identity, when you approach him as an individual, you feel that he is a son of wisdom and progress. Normally, after serving important duties in the Bangladesh Army, most of the military officers are no longer seen in the public sphere. In that judgment, General Abdur Rashid was a completely exceptional personality. We know that he has shown remarkable success in all fields including training and command management in his professional life. But the aspect that has become much bigger than that is that Abdur Rashid has been able to effectively utilize the experience gained in his professional life for the welfare of the society and the state.

One Abdur Rashid followed military knowledge and Socio-State as well as global geopolitics so deeply that the national media of Bangladesh used to listen to his analysis with great interest. The extraordinary eloquence revealed in the analysis of this uncompromising former military officer on the question of liberation war and progressive Bangladesh is rare among contemporary analysts. His comparative study of the subject concerned was so extensive and profound that it distinguished him among many speakers. Abdur Rashid did not only shine himself but also increased the glory of Bangladesh Army in his seven decades of life.

I got to know him long ago through his scholarly writings and speeches. But I have had the opportunity to know the real man only for 1 year. During this period there was only 3 direct meetings with General Abdur Rashid. Twice at his Mirpur DOHS residence and once at my invitation he came as a speaker at the Friendship Day discussion. Also, at least 10-15 phone calls have been made with him. The deep hypnosis created for General Abdur Rashid at this time is undoubtedly a significant chapter in his life memory.

Especially the appreciation of Abdur Rashid's personality created by being in his presence is important for everyone. The two times I went to his house, the professional discussion gradually turned into a long conversation. The scheduled meeting of half an hour turned into 3 and half hours. The main tone of the discussion there was mainly the resonance of ideological solidarity. Bangladesh's great liberation war, progressivism, the outside world's view of Bangladesh-repeatedly revolved around the center of his discussion. General Abdur Rashid received military training from the United States. He was very aware of the experience of the Pentagon and the mentality of the US military leaders. That's why we will see, General Rashid's discussion of moderation is a wonderful introduction!

His candid assessment of the recent Russia-Ukraine war, Israeli brutality in Gaza, Myanmar's internal civil war, Rohingya crisis, China's strategic position, India's Kaladan multimodal project in Myanmar or the rise of separatists in Bangladesh was extremely erudite and informative. We were impressed by the modesty and sincerity in the personal behavior of this wise man with journalists. Today when I sit down to write something about him, many things are crowding in my memory. Even as a military officer, his excellence in standard use of Bengali language has always impressed me. Recently I have seen him suffering from breathlessness while talking for a long time, even the doctor had forbidden it but still he could not remain speechless. He considered speaking and writing as his lifelong duty to the state.

General Abdur Rashid was always concerned about the foreign orientation of our politicians. He thought that because our politicians lacked patriotism, they were open to foreigners, but they were just as backward in international conspiracies about Bangladesh. In a recent exclusive interview to Barta24.com, he said, 'Since there is a Rohingya problem in Bangladesh, we should adopt a two-pronged diplomacy. On the one hand, connections should be made with the Arakan Army, whether overtly or covertly. And naturally, we have diplomacy with Myanmar at the government level.'- Abdur Rashid also commented that Bangladesh is looking for a solution to the Rohingya crisis.

We have seen Abdur Rashid's deep analysis in the broad context of contemporary geopolitics being realized in many cases. He has also made an outstanding contribution to military diplomacy in recent decades. His departure is an irreparable loss to the country at this time of world war.

Because of the ideological proximity, beyond the professional requirements, General Abdur Rashid's child received love and affection. The last time we spoke after returning from Singapore for treatment, he told me in a confident voice that he hoped to make a full recovery soon. Hr promised to come to my organizational office and also accepted a lunch invitation. But that wish remained unfulfilled.

Finally, it can be said that one Abdur Rashid was an asset of the Bangladesh Army and the State. His wisdom, patriotism and undying devotion to progress are truly unmatched. Long will he live among us for his illustrious career and ideals. May his heavenly life be peaceful, we wish that.

Internet Shutdown in the Country, BTV Fire, Death Toll Rises



BTV set ablaze in deadly protests, death toll rises

BTV set ablaze in deadly protests, death toll rises

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The latest updates on the quota reform movement have become challenging to obtain and share due to restricted or disconnected internet access across the country, including Dhaka. Internet-based calls to Bangladesh from various parts of the world are also impossible. This information has been reported by various international media outlets.

Recent reports indicate that the death toll in the quota movement has reached 18, with six fatalities occurring on Thursday. However, the actual number may be higher, as unverified reports on social media suggest the death toll could be as high as 35. No official confirmation has been provided.

In addition, several international media outlets reported that protesters set fire to the BTV (Bangladesh Television) building on Thursday evening.

Since Thursday evening, there have been reports of an internet shutdown in Dhaka. Before the shutdown, updates on Facebook indicated that protesters had set fire to the BTV building, with images circulating on social media. There were also reports and pictures of a metro train set ablaze.

A post on BTV's official Facebook page stated that several people were trapped inside the building. Initially, it was reported that the fire brigade was not allowed to access the site, but later updates confirmed that firefighters had arrived. BTV's broadcast had already been halted by that time.

Various sources have reported different death tolls. AFP stated that 32 people have died, most of them on Thursday.

Among the dead were at least two journalists, one from Dhaka Times who died in the capital and another killed in an attack in Gazipur. The Gazipur incident has not been confirmed.

Media reports also mentioned that protesters set fire to a police station before targeting the BTV building. The BBC quoted Information Minister Mohammad Ali Arafat, who said that some people were trapped inside the BTV building and were not safe.

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Appeal hearing on quota on Sunday



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Appeal hearing on quota on Sunday

Appeal hearing on quota on Sunday

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The hearing of the full bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on quota will be held next Sunday (July 21).

The special chamber court passed the order on Thursday (July 18) evening.

Earlier, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin said that he will apply to the Appellate Division for a leave to appeal hearing against the High Court verdict on quota.

In the afternoon, Law Minister Anisul Haque said, "The Prime Minister said to take measures to bring forward the hearing of the case which was supposed to be heard on August 7, 2024." I have instructed the Attorney General of Bangladesh to apply to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh next Sunday so that they bring forward the hearing date of the case. 

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The fire has spread in BTV, many people are trapped inside



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: The fire has spread to BTV

Photo: The fire has spread to BTV

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The fire at the Bangladesh Television (BTV) building in the capital's Rampura is spreading. Many are trapped inside the building.

This was announced by a post on the official Facebook page of Bangladesh Television at 6:39 PM on Thursday (July 18).

The post reads, 'Horrible fire at BTV. Spreading rapidly. Many are trapped inside. In this situation, quick cooperation of fire service is requested.

On Thursday (July 18) around 3 pm, the agitators attacked the office of Bangladesh Television (BTV) and vandalized it extensively. At that time, they brought out the motorcycles in the building and set them on fire.

It has been seen that practically all types of traffic have been stopped in Rampura area. The police box located next to the office of the BTV building was set on fire. At least 15 to 20 motorcycles of the sergeants were burnt. One by one, patrolling teams of law enforcement forces are patrolling through helicopters.

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Freedom fighters cannot bow down to evil forces: Liberation War Minister



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Liberation War Minister AKM Mozammel Haque

Photo: Liberation War Minister AKM Mozammel Haque

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Liberation War Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said that there are crores of people who are in favor of the liberation war, they can never bow down to the evil forces, they cannot compromise.

He said this while speaking as the chief guest at a rally organized by Freedom Fighters Workers-Employees-Professionals Coordinating Council on Thursday (July 18).

He said, those who want to fish in muddy water, those who have failed in all movements in the past and BNP Secretary General also said what we could not do now is being done. In other words, they are making an evil plot in front of our young children to oust Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from power.

Referring to the speech of the freedom fighters, the Minister said, "We submitted weapons under the leadership of Bangabandhu, but we did not submit training, we did not submit consciousness." There are crores of people in favor of the liberation war, they can never bow down to the evil forces, they cannot compromise. In 1971 this evil power was defeated. We will fight again if necessary as we defeated them 53 years ago.

Mentioning that we have no word against the anti-quota movement, he said, "We do not oppose it." Our only demand is that the safety of people's life and property should not be disturbed in the name of movement. The movement was going smoothly and was not hindered. The violence that the Jamaat-Shibir and Chhatra Dal terrorists entered Dhaka University in the dark of night and carried out was not in the hands of those who started the movement.

Stating that the movement has already been looted and passed into the hands of the anti-independence forces, AKM Mozammel Haque said that, the conflict and anarchy for the last three days are because they have left. What we see now.

Referring to the Prime Minister's speech yesterday, the Liberation War Minister said that not only the Bengali nation but the whole world appreciated it. Still, who did this terror, vandalism, arson today.

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