Bangladeshi open web platform Dataful was inaugurated in a virtual programme on Saturday.
Dataful aims to ease people's access to information about services for all sectors, said a press release.
Planning Minister MA Mannan inaugurated the web platform as the chief guest which will provide information of government and private sectors.
After the launching Mannan said “Trusts should be developed to ensure open use of information and Dataful will contribute to this.”
Proper presentation of information eradicates confusions and doubts, he said adding that “So we need to ensure appropriate use of information.”
Noted educationalist and former Dhaka University vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique who was special guest of the event, said “I was with Dataful from the beginning as information access is necessary for creativity and intellectual developments.”
Dr Krishna Gayen, Ex-Director General of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, who presided over the programme, said that the aim of Dataful will be perceived by reducing confusion among people by providing accurate information.
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Speakers at a webinar on Saturday observed that people in the country’s north are still not getting the full benefit of electricity generation due to inadequate transmission facilities.
They urged the government to take prompt measures to improve the transmission system in that part of the country to allow its residents to avail the full benefit of adequate power generation.
“Even if a small storm goes across the region, electricity system trips due to weak transmission system,” said Khairuzzaman Liton, Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) while addressing the webinar titled: “Quality Power Supply to North Bengal & Challenges for NESCO” organized by Energy and Power.
Liton said the power generation has improved a lot, but work still remains before the people start reaping all the advantages of electricity.
The webinar was also addressed, among others, by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman Belayet Hossain, NESCO (Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd) Chairman and additional secretary at Power Division Humayun Kabir, managing director of the company Zakiul Islam, and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) executive director Yakub Elahi Chowdhury.
Belayet Hossain said the electricity supply situation will improve further in the northern region when the under-construction Thakurgaon power plant will come to operation.
He said the government has taken up a number of projects for improvement of power supply situation in the northern districts including Rajshahi city area.
Humayun Kabir said the government is trying to improve the transmission system.
But it will take two to three years to address the transmission and distribution problems as the ongoing projects need this period to be implemented, he added.
Yakub Elahi Chowdhury said projects for contractions of a number of transmission lines were undertaken for the northern region which include a 400 kV line as well.
“Once these projects are implemented, they will play a vital role to improve the situation,” he added.
Zakiul Islam said NESCO is committed to improve the power distribution at its command area, where people have eagerly waited to get electricity for many years.
A special team of Detective Branch (DB) under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have arrested six alleged members of an extortionist gang from different areas of the capital.
A special team of Cyber and Special Crime Division of the DB conducted simultaneous drives at Jatrabarti, Motijheel, Turagh and Paltan areas and arrested the members of “Seven Star Group”.
The arrestes are Bellal Khan, Rakib Khan Titul, Md. A H Hannan, Md. Delwar Hossain, Md. Sohag and Md. Khorshed Alam.
Mobile phone sets, SIM cards and documents used in extortion were also recovered from their possessions, said DMP’s Deputy Commissioner (Media) Md Walid Hossain on Saturday.
The arrested gang members used to work dividing into three groups, he said.
Members of their first group used to collect phone numbers targeting celebrities and established businessmen from different sources.
The members of the 2nd group used to call the targeted people for extortion introducing them as members of top terrorist gang ‘Seven Star Group’ in Dhaka and the 3rd group received money through bkash and Nagad, said Walid Hossain.
A victim lodged a complaint to the DB’s Cyber and Special Crimes division saying that an unidentified person introducing him as Jisan Mahmud of Malibagh, a member of the so called Seven Star Group, phoned him and demanded Tk 5 lakh for running the gang.
The group members also threatened to abduct and kill him.
Based on the allegation, the detectives conducted the drives and arrested the six gang members.
A case has been filed against the arrestees with Jatrabari police station.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has imposed a ban on organising rallies and moving with explosives in and around the parliament, which begins its new session on Monday.
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The DMP restrictions will be effective from 12am on Sunday night ahead of the 11th session of the 11th parliament.
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DMP has banned the carrying of arms, explosives and other harmful materials, as well as rallies, processions and agitation in and around the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
The restrictions have been imposed to maintain law and order in and around the parliament area during the coming session, said DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam on Saturday.
The ban will be in force till the end of the session.
The restricted areas are Mahakhali crossing of Mymensingh Road to Bangla Motor crossing via Old Airport Road, the western part of Bangla Motor Link Road to Saarc Fountain at Sonargaon crossing, the eastern part of Panthapath to Farmgate via Green Road Link Road, Shyamoli crossing to Dhanmondi 16 (old 27) Link Road on Mirpur Road, Rokeya Sarani Link Road to Bijoy Sarani Parjatan crossing via old 9th division (airplane) crossing, the eastern part of Indira Road to Manik Mia Avenue’s western part and restricted parts of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban and all the roads and lanes in the area.
In a patriarchal society where rape is often perceived as an instrument to intimidate the voiceless, a change in mindset is needed to end rapes and other crimes against women in Bangladesh. Stricter laws alone won't help, say experts.
“We often see that children in our male-dominated society observe the female members as weak and voiceless in the families. This observation further accelerates the mindset of domination, which provokes many boys and men to show their masculinity through brutalising women," Prof Mahfuza Khanam, Chairperson of Dhaka University's Psychology
Department, said at a webinar.
"Family plays a crucial role in building the mindset of the children, and only better moral education can prepare a human being to fight against these crimes," Dr Khanam said at the latest episode of 'UNB Light and Lens'.
The webinar, titled ‘Increasing Rape Assaults: Prevention and Solution’, shed the spotlight on recent cases of rapes and speakers shared their viewpoints on how a collaborative working process can stop the crimes from recurring.
Hosted by UNB Senior Executive (Digital) Zahid Islam, the webinar was also joined by Associated Press Dhaka office Bureau Chief Julhash Alam, Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) President Advocate Salma Ali and former Executive Director of Ain O Salish Kendra and human rights activist Sheepa Haafiz.
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On blaming women for rapes, Sheepa Haafiz said, “According to our law, we see a century-old definition that says the decency of woman must get evaluated on a rape case. So, when the law itself acknowledges this sort of mindset that if one can anyhow prove a woman indecent, her rape case losses the validity, and unfortunately we see that almost everyone, including the law enforcement authorities, mainstream media and people, often try to dishonour and blame the rape survivor with illogical reasoning.”
On her part, BNWLA President Advocate Salma said, “There is a saying that 'justice delayed is justice denied', and this is a brutal truth when it comes to bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice, because of our flawed judicial system.”
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“If we look at the recent cases, many, including that of Begumganj, hogged limelight because the same went viral on social media. In our country, we have often seen that the rape survivors are often discouraged by police to come forward. Those who still lodge complaints are often subjected to harassment by the criminals. The government should take serious steps to put an end to this culture," she said.
Addressing the role of media, AP Dhaka Bureau Chief Julhash Alam said, “Nowadays, we see the flawed value system, in which some of the journalists and media entrepreneurs promote the culture of blaming the rape survivors, as many national media do not have proper editorial guidelines regarding the usage of language and controlling the negative mindset on social media, unlike reputed organisations around the world."
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“Also, the media often has to work on a ‘hit and run’ process as it needs to deliver prompt news to the audience, based on immediate findings from the law enforcement authorities - so sometimes, the journalists unfortunately deliver news with misinterpretations,” he added.
Regarding the solution, Sheepa said that the government must develop a proper law enforcement system to ensure proper implementation of justice."
“Communication is the best way to raise awareness among people regarding the rape crimes, but it is also the worst way as has often been used to disgrace women in society. We need to choose the right method of communication that can alert us regarding the crime and make us respectful and compassionate to each other. This is very much possible through awareness projects in the district and upazila levels,” she added.
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Advocate Salma Ali recommended that the government must ensure survivor-centric comprehensive legal assistance to women and children, including psycho-social services, women and child-friendly legal aid services, and if applicable, safe shelters.
She also suggested the establishment of a separate bench at the High Court for speedy trials and urged the government to use modern forensic technology to ensure proper investigation of such cases. "Free and fair trials are also needed."