Salman F Rahman was spontaneously elected in the 11th parliamentary elections yesterday from Dhaka-1 constituency. He polled 3,04,797 votes from 178 centres while his nearest rival Salma Islam garnered just 38,017 votes from this constituency. Salman F Rahman and Salma Islam are widely considered the main candidates in the election from this constituency. Salma Islam has since withdrawn herself from the election. Salman F Rahman contested the election with the Awami League (AL) symbol of the ‘nouka’ (or ‘boat’), while Salma Islam contested on the ‘motor vehicle’ symbol. After the election, Salman F Rahman said: “The election was fair and neutral in every centre of the country. In Dohar-Nawabganj, the situation was the same.”
Before the election, 23 people were arrested from the area under this constituency for allegedly distributing money to influence voters and instigate violence. Salman F Rahman is a top businessperson who owns the Beximco Group. Salma Islam, a presidium member of the Jatiya Party (JP), is the wife of another top businessman, Nurul Islam Babul of Jamuna Group.
As a local voter of the area said, “Salman F Rahman is a man who can change the fate of the people of Dohar-Nawabganj. We believe he will pay special attention to the people of his constituency.” It is the first berth in Parliament for Salman F Rahman, the private sector adviser to AL chief and outgoing prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Kshitindra Baisya, a 67-year old swimmer has announced his retirement as he hopes inspire younger generations with the mystical and relaxing aura of the country’s waters. He told AFP, “I didn’t have much idea about the beauty of this country until I swam dozens of its rivers.” Born in 1952, eh is not just an open water swimmer, but also the member of the 24-hour club.
He taught himself swimming at the age of 18 and once he started, there was no looking back. What started out as a rejuvenating activity transformed into passion and motivated him to swim long stretches within four years. At the age of 22, he completed an open water swim in Jagannath Hall Pond at Dhaka University that lasted for 93 hours and 11 minutes.
Though he had registered a 108 hour 5 minute swim in the aforementioned pond in 1976, he received recognition in 1978 when he swam 74 km of India’s Bhagirathi River. Despite of multiple records in pool, he prefers to swim in channels that connect to the Bay of Bengal, nearly 700. His winning mantra includes yoga, regular basic exercises, diets filled with bananas and dates and his special swimming technique of breaststroke with head above water.
Apart from numerous such milestones to his name, there was one swim that he had not conquered: he Bhugai, Kangsha and Maghra rivers in Bangladesh’s north. Previously, in 2017 and November 2018, he had tried to complete the swim marathon, but couldn’t. However, on September 5, he completed the 185km stretch in 61 hours without any break.
Fighting sleep, fatigue, and polluted water, Baisya swam for two successive days and nights. He said, “It was a difficult task as the water was almost stagnant due to a lack of monsoon rains. On top of that, parts of these rivers were polluted, with garbage floating around.” As he accomplished one of the most memorable feats of his life, he knew it was time to retire.
Currently, he has shifted his focus on teaching swimming to young kids. Considering the fact that more than 150 million people live by the sea, it is imperative to stay ready for any possible threat. On a note of determination, passion, and love for the country’s waters, he said, “I truly hope young swimmers will be motivated by watching what I do at this age.”
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader and retired army Major Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain is facing sedition charges as an audio leak has surfaced, featuring his alleged ties with Pakistan’s ISI. The audio leak suggests that the BNP leader is planning to sabotage the 2018 General elections, which are set be help on December 30.
The leak is available on YouTube, and is being scrutinized by the common people and the authorities for authenticity. Major Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain says that the leak is fake, but Mohammad Ali Sumon, the chairman of Daudkandi Upazila Parishad, has filed a case against the BNP leader.
In the case, Mohammad Ali Sumon alleges that Mosharraf Hossain is in contact with Mehmood, a Dubai-based ISI operative. Ali has urged the police to take necessary actions and find out more about Hossain’s Pakistani connection.
The police, however, will need approval from the home ministry to proceed. Daudkandi police chief Alamgir Hossain said that they are preparing to send the case to top brass.
Mosharraf Hossain will be contesting the 2018 elections as a BNP candidate for the seats of Comilla-1 and 2. Mohammad Ali Sumon, on the other hand, is the son of Subid Ali Bhuiyan, the Awami League candidate from Comilla-1.
Awami League leaders have long been complaining that the leaders from BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami were ‘hatching a plot’ with the Pakistan intelligence agency. Now they have found the audio clip as evidence.
In the audio, ‘Mosharraf Hossain’ is purportedly saying, “You know we’re really in crisis. I have several cases. And with excuse of one case my passport is seized. I cannot go out of the country. This is my position.”
In another part of the audio file, the man thought to be Mosharraf Hossain is saying, “I am still what you think. But practical connection or communication is impossible for me. To come out, I know that would be fruitful.” He adds, “What I want to mean is I will meet your man here so you can get the message. But now what I like to request you that from your side if you can cooperate with China, that will be useful before the election.”
Television channels are featuring this news round the clock as BNP is thought to be a nationalist party that values the country’s independence fiercely. The shocking revelation will immensely affect BNP in the upcoming elections.
Over 58 sites were temporarily shut down by Bangladesh’s telecoms regulator on Monday. These sites included several popular online news portals that had been covering the upcoming elections. The regulators cited security reasons as they had to scrutinize dozens of websites for behavior that can harm the impending elections.
The International Internet Gateway (IIG) operators were asked by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to block 58 sites which include sites like Priyo, Poriborton, and shibir. Mohammad Zakir Hossain Khan, the BTRC Media and Communication wing Senior Assistant Director explained, that as an authority over the Bangladeshi cyberspace, they unblocked the websites around 5 pm.
International Internet Gateway President Sarwar Alam Shikder explicates, “When an issue is raised to us by the commission which is related to law and order of the country, we are bound to comply.” The sites in question were reportedly not listed with the information ministry, which is also why their content was being scrutinized.
Abdul Malek, an official from the ministry said, “It is the responsibility of this ministry to bring all news portals under a system so that they can run smoothly.” The authorities, however, failed to alert the websites that were being temporarily shut down.
Priyo editor Zakaria Swapan reveals that they did not receive any communication or a simple warning suggesting the short-term closure. He denied that the website had been spreading fake propaganda news. Mohammad Nowsher Ali, the editor of risingbd(dot)com recounts the same incident where their portal was shut down without a formal notice.
Special care is being taken for the 2018 General Elections, where Kamal Hossain from the Jatiya Oikya Front will be pitted against Sheikh Hasina from the Bangladesh Awami League. Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also happens to be an advisor in her cabinet, predicts that the Awami League will win up to 220 seats.