Hundreds of leader and activists of Muktijoddha Mancha, a platform claiming to represent freedom fighter-families' interests, shut down the city's Shahbagh intersection on Saturday demanding arrest of Islamist leaders Mufti Syed Mohammad Faizul Karim and Mamunul Haque.
The protesters also announced a 24-hour ultimatum to arrest the religious leaders as they had opposed the establishment of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s sculpture in the capital.
The faction of Muktijoddha Mancha, led by Bulbul-Mamun section block the intersection for an hour at 4pm, inevitably triggering acute traffic congestion in the adjacent area.
They formed a human chain in the vicinity of the famous Raju Sculpture on the DU campus first, later the rally blocked the Shahbagh intersection.
They placed a seven-point demand that includes ensuring exemplary punishment for senior Naeb-e-Amir of Islami Andolan Bangladesh Mufti Syed Mohammad Faizul Karim and Allama Mamunul Haque, acting secretary-general of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, within 24 hours, setting up Bangabandhus sculpture at every educational institutions and districts.
The protesters also demanded banning religion- based politics to keep communal harmony vibrant and setting up anti-sexual harassment cells at universities to monitor sexual assaults on students.
Their demands also sought punishment against people who spread communal violence by speeches and ensuring capital punishment of child molesters.
Speaking at the rally, President of Muktijoddha Mancha Aminul Islam Bulbul announced Mufti Faizul and Mamunul as "persons non grata" in the country for their stand against Bangabandhu.
"We have set a 24 hours ultimatum to arrest the duo otherwise we will go for tougher movement countrywide to wipe them out from the country," warned Bulbul.
"When the world is researching the Quran, these culprits are busy molesting child students," he said, urging the people to resist them.
Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Shahabuddin Ahmed said "Those who take stand against Bangabandhu have no right to live in this country."
He however urged the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take immediate actions against them, terming them 'an anti-liberation group'.
The Mancha leaders said they would hold countrywide protests on December 1 to press home their demands.
Earlier on November 13 in a programme, Faizul Karim and Allama Mamunul opposed setting up of a sculpture of the country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the capital.
New dates will be released in the future, the central bank said in a notice.
Though Bangladesh Bank has not cited any reason behind the same, a senior official told UNB that the decision to defer the exam was taken in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the country.
The recruitment exam — MCQ Test — was scheduled to be held at 67 centres in Dhaka city. Some 40,155 applicants are vying for 771 jobs in seven state-run financial organisations.
These are Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Rupali Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, Bangladesh House Building Corporation, Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) and Karmasangsthan Bank.
The health authorities recorded 29 new dengue cases in 24 hours until Saturday morning.
Currently, 88 dengue patients are receiving treatment at hospitals across the county.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said 72 of the patients are taking treatment in Dhaka hospitals.
Health authorities reported 1,134 dengue cases since January and 1,040 patients have recovered.
Three confirmed dengue-related deaths have been reported this year.
Reports of six dengue-related deaths have been sent to the IEDCR, which has so far reviewed four cases.
According to official figures, 101,354 dengue cases and 179 deaths were recorded in Bangladesh last year.
Dengue fever was first reported in Bangladesh in 2000 and it claimed 93 lives. In three years, the fatality number almost fell to zero.
However, the mosquito-borne viral infection struck again in 2018, killing 26, and infecting 10,148 people.
Also read: Risk of dengue outbreak rises amid lockdown
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continues to rise in Bangladesh as health authorities detected 1,908 new cases across the country in 24 hours until Saturday, taking the total to 460,619 .
Besides, 36 more patients lost lives to Covid-19 in the period, raising the death toll to 6,580.
The death rate stood at 1.43 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services.
So far, 357,885 patients – 80.60 percent -- including 2,209 new ones in the last 24 hours have recovered.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8. The infection number reached the 300,000-mark on August 26. The first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 6,000 on November 4.
Until now, 2,743,592 tests have been carried out, including 14,012 new ones, and 16.79 percent of the patients turned out to be positive.
Bangladesh is seeing 2704.65 infections, 2207.11 recoveries, and 38.64 deaths per million.
As the whole world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 61,585,651on Saturday, according to the data compiled by John Hopkins University (JHU).
Besides, 1,441, 875 people have died so far from the virus infection, the data showed.
Also read: Covid-19: Global cases top 61.5 million
Coronavirus is affecting 191 countries and territories around the world since the first cases were reported in China in December last year.
The US has reported 13,086,367 cases since the start of the pandemic while the death toll from the virus jumped to 264,842 as of Saturday.
Los Angeles County announced a new stay-home order Friday as coronavirus cases surged out of control in the nation’s most populous county, banning most gatherings but stopping short of a full shutdown on retail stores and other non-essential businesses, reports AP.
The three-week “safer at home” order takes effect Monday. It came as the county of 10 million residents confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The county had set a threshold for issuing the stay-home order: an average of 4,500 cases a day over a five-day period, but hadn’t expected to reach that level until next month.
By far, the United States remains the nation worst hit by the pandemic, with the world's most cases and deaths, making up more than 21 percent of the global caseload.
U.S. COVID-19 cases hit 10 million on Nov. 9, and have since then increased at a pace of 1 million more cases about six days on average.
Thursday marked the 25th consecutive day that the U.S. daily cases reported more than 100,000 since the beginning of November.
Brazil on Friday reported 514 more deaths from COVID-19, raising its total death toll to 171,974.
According to the Ministry of Health, tests detected 34,130 new cases, pushing the accumulated caseload to 6,238,350.
Brazil has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll, after the United States, and the third largest caseload, next to the United States and India.
India is the third-worst affected country with 135,715 deaths and 9,309,787 confirmed cases.
WHO chief emphasises on testing although vaccines are developed
Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said testing will still be a critical tool against COVID-19, even as vaccines are deployed against the disease.
The WHO chief also emphasized on how testing has been common among countries which have worked to control the virus, during his regular briefing on the crisis, reports UN news.
“As vaccines are rolled out, testing will continue to play a vital role”, he said.
“Initially, health workers, older people and other at-risk groups will be prioritised for vaccination. That will still leave the virus with a lot of room to move, and testing will remain a vital tool for controlling the pandemic.”
However, Tedros stressed that though vital, testing is only part of the strategy against COVID-19.
“Testing is the spotlight that shows where the virus is. Investments in testing must be matched by investments in isolation facilities, clinical care, protecting health workers, contact tracing, cluster investigation and supported quarantine”, he stated.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC), the premier Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) institution in the country.
The MoU was signed at a simple ceremony at the BIAC secretariat on Thursday.
During the signing ceremony Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, Chief Executive Officer of BIAC explained BIAC’s Institutional ADR services under its own Rules of Arbitration and Mediation to help resolve commercial disputes outside courts.
He said that ADR is an internationally practiced process of a win-win, compromising gain where disputes are resolved in a cost effective, confidential and neutral manner. Ali offered BIAC’s facilities to DCCI and its members to resolve disputes arising out between parties from within and outside of the Chamber.
DCCI President Shams Mahmud said that arbitration and mediation are effective tools of commercial dispute resolution and the members of DCCI will get the benefits of these tools through institutional support by BIAC, the only registered ADR institution in the country.
Mahmud stressed the need of promoting ADR mechanism among the business community and opined that ADR will help small and medium enterprises to a great extent in quick dispensation of disputes originated from business contracts.
Director, BIAC M A Akmall Hossain Azad and Acting Secretary General, DCCI Afsarul Arifeen signed the document on behalf of their respective organisations.
Under the MoU, for resolving any dispute arising out of trade, commerce and investment made in Bangladesh or by Bangladeshi individuals, entity or company outside Bangladesh with foreign individuals, entity or company as well as contractual and other related matters, DCCI will recommend BIAC as forum for arbitration and mediation.
Both the parties shall exchange technical assistance for conducting mediation and arbitration proceedings. Both DCCI and BIAC will also plan and implement joint programmes like seminar, webinar, workshop, training and consultation in order to promote BIAC as platform for institutional ADR.
Senior Vice President of DCCI, N K A Mobin FCA, FCS also spoke on the occasion and hoped that signing of the MoU between DCCI and BIAC will usher in a new era in the country’s business arena in resolving contractual disputes. BIAC General Manager Mahbuba Rahman Runa and Counsel Rubaiya Ehsan Karishma were also present during the ceremony.