US visa restrictions will not affect trade: Salman F Rahman



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Prime Minister's Adviser on Private Industries and Investment Salman F Rahman said the US visa restrictions against those responsible for obstructing Bangladesh's democratic election process will not have any impact on bilateral trade.

He said this while talking to reporters on current affairs after attending a conference on development planning in the capital on Saturday (September 23).

Referring to US visa restrictions as very good, Salman F Rahman said, I think it is very good. Action will be taken against those who obstruct the election. On behalf of the government, we have always said, yesterday the Prime Minister also said this in her speech at the United Nations. They are talking about fair elections. We want the same. We don't want to interrupt. There will be visa sanctions against those who obstruct fair and impartial elections.

He told reporters that they (the United States) have spoken not only of obstruction, but also of violence. You know, the main opposition party, they are openly saying that 'we will not allow the election'. They also said yesterday that they will not allow the election to be held under Sheikh Hasina. How not to let it happen? There is only one way to prevent it by violence. I think there will be sanctions against those who obstruct. It is very good. Donald Lu said in an interview that members of the opposition party, the ruling party and law enforcement agencies will take action against those who stand in the way.

He said that the US State Department has said that the sanctions are coming, that there are opposition parties, government parties and members of the law enforcement agencies. So everyone is on the list. Let's see, whose name comes!

In response to the question whether the credibility of the election will be questioned if the European Union does not send observers, he said, not at all. Whether to send observers is up to them. I will conduct my election according to the constitution.

Three coordinators were found



News Desk, Barta24.com
Three coordinators were found

Three coordinators were found

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Asif Mahmud, Abu Bakr Mazumder and Rifat Rashid, three of the coordinators of the quota reform movement in government jobs, have been traced. They were missing since Friday (July 19). Finally, on Wednesday (July 24), all three gave their whereabouts on social media.

Asif Mahmud wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, "I was picked up from the metropolitan residential area of Hatirjheel on July 19 at 11 pm. He was forced to announce the suspension of the movement. As he disobeyed he was  rendered senseless by injection. In these four-five days, as often as he regains consciousness, he is kept senseless by injections. Today Wednesday at 11 o'clock he was left blindfolded again at the same place. Now I am in the hospital with my family. I am trying to know what happened in these few days. I will tell the details about the movement after talking to the coordinators when I am a bit healthy.

In another Facebook post, Baker Majumdar wrote, 'I was picked up from Dhanmondi after the evening of 19 July and when I refused to give a statement to stop the movement, they locked me in a dark room. I was blindfolded in the area next to the area from which it was picked up. I am safe with my family now. I will tell you everything in detail after taking first aid.

On the other hand, in a Facebook post, Rifat Rashid said that he was in hiding. He wrote, 'I am alive, not dead. I narrowly escaped being lost. Following the decision of the coordinators, I went to the safe hiding following the life of this snake-ludu. Today's home is tomorrow's home. Every time I tried to connect the phone, I was subjected to phone tracking. I don't know how long I will be safe.'

Sarjis Alam, one of the coordinators of the movement, confirmed to the media that Asif and Baker were found. At the same time Rifat Rashid's father Delwar Hossain said that he has been in contact with his son. 

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As the evening approaches daughter’s face is viewed in Nazim's blurred eyes!



Raju Ahmed, Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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On 19 July at 6:30 PM, Jatrabari. Although there were few clouds in the sky, the moment of sunset could be understood very clearly. There was a lull in the firing around for a few minutes amid the heightened situation of the Quota movement. Shoemaker Nazim wanted to take that opportunity. He was returning to Demra's house after work from Jatrabari in the capital for his frightened wife and one-and-a-half year old child.

Despite the sound of bullets, bombs and cocktails all around, he didn't have the courage to step forward thinking of the waiting daughter and wife. He was thinking of crossing the road and returning home by rickshaw.

A long line of quota activists was crossing the road in a hurry. Before realizing anything, the shooting started again. Nazim fell on the road after being shot in the waist, arms, legs and chest. At that time, the face of one and a half year old daughter Lamia came into view. At one point he lost consciousness. Later Nazim was rescued by the agitators in the hospital.

Nazim is currently under treatment in ward number 102 of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. On Tuesday (July 23) morning, he was telling this reporter the story of returning from the face of death in the hospital.

Nazim said, I work from morning till evening. Salary Tk. 460 per day. If you do overtime, you get up to Tk. 600. I could not return home at night because of the trouble. He did not care for his wife and child. I went out as soon as the sound of gunshots stopped. But not saved.

Nazim was unconscious after being shot. The last time he remembered the daughter's face, Nazim said with tears in his eyes, I thought I was dead. When I regained consciousness, I saw my wife crying at the hospital. But I had no feeling in any part of my body. I didn't understand whether I was alive or dead

Nazim said, there are old parents in the village house of Narsingdi. Sending money every week keeps their mouths fed. But Nazim has no way to save himself in such a situation. On the one hand, his life is at risk if he doesn't get better treatment, on the other hand, if he doesn't send money, his parents won't have enough food. The family will be destroyed in front of the eyes in the heat of the movement.

Nazim was shot in the waist, arms, legs and chest. The doctor said that several parts of the body including two fingers may have to be removed. Nazim may not be able to escape from the cruel future even if he can escape from death.

Nazim said in a hoarse voice, "What will happen to the daughter, what will happen to my family?" However, despite the risk of death, fear and despair, the hard-working Nazim did not lose heart. He wants to recover from the bullet wound. He wants to save himself and his family.

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Diplomats were stunned by the devastation: Foreign Minister



News Desk, Barta24.com
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Foreign Minister and Joint General Secretary of Awami League Dr. Hasan Mahmud said that the diplomats were shocked to see the devastation in different places of Dhaka. He said the diplomats said 'this is your internal matter, we are with you'.

He said this during a press briefing at State Guest House Padma on Wednesday (July 24) evening. Earlier, the foreign minister visited four buildings in Dhaka which were severely damaged and burnt by the miscreants at various places recently along with foreign mission chiefs and diplomats.

Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, today we took the diplomats working in Bangladesh to various state institutions in Dhaka city such as Metrorail, Setu Bhaban and Health Directorate. Our plan was to take them to a few places, especially the Directorate of Disaster Management, the data center. But it took much longer than expected due to heavy traffic jams and rain. That's why I showed them the devastation of the Mirpur metro rail. The way it was set on fire, even the foot over bridge was burnt. As rampage has been carried out in the Setu Bhavan, up to 12 floors have been set on fire. They went up to the seventh floor and caused havoc.

The minister said that BTV is the home of television. Many of those who run television channels today have got their hands on BTV. BTV is the first TV channel in the region. It was established in 1964. It was the first channel in Bengali language then, there was no television channel in India yet. The way it was burned there. And what devastation, rows of cars burned. Same situation in Setu Bhawan. The cars next to the metro rail were burnt. These are attacks on the state. These are people's property, they are not property. They also succumbed to the onslaught of the Pakistani invasion forces. Pakistani invasion forces did not burn our television channel, but they did. In the same manner as the Pakistani occupation forces have burnt people's houses, they have burnt people's property, state property. Houses burned.

Dr. Hasan said, a protest has been organized in front of our mission in Los Angeles. Pakistanis joined there. Several Pakistanis were involved in organizing it. Similarly, the BNP-Jamaat Chakra took the help of the Pakistani community in the protests that took place in front of our various missions. Demonstrations and rumors are spreading in these places about that support. After the diplomats left today, many said 'this is shame'. Many have shared their feelings with me, all saying 'we are with you, we are with you'. This is your 'internal affair, we are with you'.

The minister said, we sent a note from our ministry to everyone that this is our internal matter, that foreign embassies or diplomats should not send any statement to the media. Statements have been issued by their state in various places and they are complying with it. That's why I didn't call the media there today. They also did not want to talk to the media. They are living up to it. In the past, when something like this happened, our diplomats were encouraged to speak up. Thank you for not doing it this time (media).

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Who gave the order to kill people, asked the Prime Minister



News Desk, Barta24.com
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Pointing out that there was a big conspiracy behind the violent situation surrounding the quota reform movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, 'It was a big conspiracy. But we have already received information that people will enter. All the hotels, where they might be staying, have been brought under surveillance by detectives. They were not there, they have moved to the periphery just outside of Dhaka (areas close to Dhaka).'

Questioning who gave the instructions to kill people in the movement, the Prime Minister said, 'One more thing to notice, none was killed yet but the statement of the State Department (of the United States) came that few men were killed. Who gave them news of the killing? So who gave the order to kill? It also needs to be reported. And then the killing had started.'

She said these things during an exchange of views with editors and heads of news and senior journalists of various media outlets at the Prime Minister's office on Wednesday (July 24) afternoon.

The head of government said, 'I knew that the election would not be allowed. I still chose. It will not be acceptable after the election, we have been able to do that, we have been able to form the government. I had a feeling this kind of hit would come again.'

Sheikh Hasina said, "They (anti-discrimination student movement) must give an answer to the nation as to why they created this opportunity." We sat with them again and again. Notification was also made. I have not left any of their demands unfulfilled.

The Prime Minister said, "The quota reform they demanded, we have given much more than what they asked for." When their demands were accepted, why did they give these militants an opportunity? Quota activists will have to give this answer to the nation one day. Why did people make such a great opportunity to destroy? We have always sympathized with them. We tried to keep them safe all the time. But what happened can never be forgiven.

The Prime Minister said, "They have come from Shibir-Jamaat from all over the country. Chhatra Dal cadres were also with them. They (BNP) were also active in all the incidents that happened.

Urging the countrymen to raise their voice against all forms of terrorism, militancy and violence, the Prime Minister said, 'The way the devastation, black pant-white shirt clothes, fake ID cards, what was in their back packs? Stones and weapons are sharp. Forcing the Imam to mike with weapons in the mosque, this is a terrible face of militancy that came before everyone today, the nation, everyone should stand against it.

In the recent violence, the Prime Minister referred to the destructive activities by attacking and setting fire to Metrorail, Elevated Expressway, Bangladesh Television, Disaster Management Bhawan, Setu Bhawan, BRTA Office, Data Center.

She said, "Those who have destroyed the country, those who today have damaged and destroyed all the structures we have built for the socio-economic development of the people, increase their income, facilitate their movement, and improve their quality of life. Who is the loser? Surely the people. Here, the people have to stand up, against this terrorism, against militancy, the people have to be vocal because they have never been able to do anything good in any country.

Stating that there was no other option but to impose curfew in the recent situation, the head of government said, "I did not want any such incident to happen in our democratic system, curfew should be imposed." We did not want this to happen in a democratic environment. But there was no way out. There is no count of how many more bodies would have fallen if not given.

Sheikh Hasina called on the media to present correct news and said, 'It is true that many people listen to rumors. The ear is taken by kite, the child behind it, does not put his hand in the ear to see if there is an ear. Protect people from lies; serve the news in such a way that people can know the correct information.

The press secretary of the Prime Minister Naimul Islam Khan moderated the meeting.  Mozammel Haque Babu, President of Editors Guilds, gave the welcome address. After that, media editors and journalist leaders spoke.

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