Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed put his 1st political statement .Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, the son of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in his first overtly political comments since joining the party of his mother and founded by his grandfather, blamed the “post ’75 governments” for the poor image of Bangladeshinistry of Science & ICT, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and D.Net is going to arrange the launching ceremony of the contest for National Digital Innovation Award 2011 that will be held on January 30,2011 at 10.30 am in BRAC Centre INN, Mohakhali, Dhaka. Architect Yeafesh Osman , Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Science & ICT has kindly consented to be the chief guest. The program will be chaired by Mr. Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director, Access to Information(A2I) program, Prime Minister’s Office while Mr.Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Will be present as Special Guest on the occasion. 

Internationally reputed IT Specialist and Computer Scientist Sajeeb Wazed Joy on Saturday underscored the need for turning the concept of digital Bangladesh as a ‘Nation Brand” for the county to revive its image in the international arena. “The government is working for making Digital Bangladesh as a “Nation Brand” to create positive image of Bangladesh abroad,” he said while speaking at a seminar on Developing a Positive Image of Bangladesh’ the first ever digital innovative fair at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theater here. The budding politician, who became a primary member of the ruling Awami League last month, was speaking on Saturday at a seminar on ‘Developing A Positive Image of Bangladesh’, at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre, named after his grandfather, the country’s founding president who was assassinated in 1975.

Post-’75, it took Awami League 21 years to come to power again. Sajeeb said the governments in that time were only concerned with keeping a hold on power, but building a positive image of Bangladesh was a priority for the present Awami League-led government.

“To build a positive image of the nation we need three things: stability, continuity and commitment,” he told the seminar, which also marked the end of a three-day Digital Innovation Fair in Dhaka. “The present government with its slogan of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ is committed to take the advantages of digital technology to the door-steps of everyone,” Sajeeb added. Answering questions in the seminar, he said the government would ensure better and cheaper internet bandwidth by this year. Professor Syed Ferhat Anwar, of Dhaka University’s Institute of Business Administration, presented the keynote paper on ‘Branding Bangladesh’. “Bangladesh is attaining growth and has lots of potential to become a popular destination for investment and tourism.”  

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Commit to Nation to present a better dignified Nation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urge patience, cooperate of the people in realising her government’s Vision-2021 programme as she addressed the nation marking completion of two years of the Awami League-led grand alliance in office. 
“We may not reap immediately the benefits of the programme we undertook in the past years . . . as we had to start everything afresh because our preceding governments had left no development programmes for us to follow,” she said. She, however, said people will see the results of her government’s development programmes in course of time while she listed the sector-wise achievements in the past two years. “I urge the countrymen, have a little patience, cooperate with us, Insha Allah (Allah willing) we will definitely fulfill our commitments,” the premier said. Hasina said being a party of general people, Awami League intends to ensure optimum development of the country through the promotion of ordinary people and the past two years of development initiatives carried the testimonies to its commitments.

But she said a quarter that had amassed wealth looting people’s money and siphoned out a huge amount of money abroad was now trying to obstruct the progress of the country. “They earlier tried to foil the Bangabandhu murder trial and now they want to obstruct the war crimes trial. We seek countrymen’s support in this regard,” Hasina said. The premier said her government will continue to work to fulfill the electoral pledges discarding the obstacles as “we are working for the benefit of the people, not for personal gain.” She urged all irrespective of political affiliation to join hands leaving aside the petty differences and work for the country’s welfare. “We have already passed 40 years since the independence, the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for an exploitation-free society, the ‘Golden Bangla’ is yet to be realised,” Hasina said. She expected Bangladesh to be as the most peaceful and dignified nation in South Asia.

Since taking office, the premier said, “My colleagues and I are frantically trying to change the lot of the common people.” Requesting the countrymen to compare the first two-year tenure between the present government and the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, she said, “You will see how much success we achieved in the last two years.” Hasina said all democratic institutions of the country were destroyed during the seven-year rule of the four-party alliance government and the caretaker government. Bangladesh, she said, was known abroad as the country of terrorism, corruption and extremism and it was a very difficult task to keep the country functional by removing the maladies left by them and fighting global recession. “I can firmly say we are trying our best and we also achieved many successes and infused dynamism into economy,” she said. 

The PM said her government has taken a tough stance against terrorism and corruption and became successful in restoring peace in the life of the people. On price of essentials, the PM said, “When we formed the government, the prices of essentials including rice were skyrocketing. But we were able to bring them down significantly. “Due to our pragmatic steps, price of rice per kg was reduced to Tk 18 to 20 from Tk 45,” she said. Later, the price was increased to Tk 28 to ensure that the farmers get a fair price, she said. “We are investigating why the price of rice went up in the peak season and taking proper steps in this regard,” she added. The prime minister said her government is concerned as the prices of essentials increased to a great extent internationally influencing the local marketCalling upon the countrymen to raise agriculture production, she said, “Do not leave a single inch of land uncultivated, the government will assist you.”

The premier said her government has raised salary of the government officials and employees as well as the working class people, while the income of the people went up to one-and-a-half to two times. Hasina said Bangladesh has been established as a liberal, democratic and economically potential country. “Bangladesh achieved United Nations MDG Award for its significant progress in reducing child and mother mortality rate. And it is an achievement for the entire nation,” she said. The PM said international journals — The Economist and The Wall Street Journal — and different organisations highly praised the current activities of the government. “In the UN Human Development Report 2010, Bangladesh has been placed third out of 95 countries,” she said. 

When the previous AL government completed its five-year term in 2001, all sectors, including economy, agriculture, industry and power, were in a strong position, she said. “Inflation was 1.59 percent; the country became self-sufficient in food; literacy rate was increased to 65.5 percent, while power production went up to 4,300MW from 1,600MW during the past AL government,” she said, adding that her government had also undertaken many projects in these sectors. But after assuming office in 2001 through a rigged election, Hasina said, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government stopped their unfinished works out of vengeance. Besides, she said, they also cancelled a large number of approved projects, causing huge losses for the country. The premier in her speech gave special focus on the economic sector, which was significantly vibrant amidst global recession. She referred to some significant achievements in the financial sector under in the past two years.

One of the historical achievements was the highest ever reserves of foreign exchange that crossed $ 10 billion mark on November 11, 2009 for the first time in the country’s history. The reserves, which were only $ 5.41 billion in November 2008 before the AL formed government, rose by over 91 percent in one year and stood at $ 10.09 billion on December 21. “Bangladesh has become the third largest exporters on the global apparels market even after economic downturn in the major importing countries,” the premier said, adding that it happened because of the timely stimulus packages offered by the government to the country’s readymade garment sector.

Export sector, which also marked a phenomenal 41 percent rise in the first half of the current 2010-11 financial year, was given special attention in the past two years to cope with the recession fallout. The other significant progress was the increase in the per capita income that rose to $ 780, an encouraging advancements towards promoting country to the middle-income group from low-level status. Revenue income was also another area of major success, which surpassed the target by 22.6 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.The PM said country’s economic growth is six percent when the rest of the world faced financial crisis. She said her government wants to increase the per capita income to $ 2,000 by 2021. To achieve this goal, the government in the past two years created conducive atmosphere to promote both domestic and foreign investments and create employment. “The contribution of industrial sector to GDP should be increased to 40 percent by 2021,” she said. Hasina referred to the public-private partnership (PPP), a landmark initiative of her government, to foster large-scale investment involving government and private sectors. “The interest rate of bank loans has been reduced to 13 percent from 17 percent to encourage investment,” she said. 

She said the government allocated Tk 38,500 crore for Annual Development Programme (ADP) and streamlined the monitoring process for its proper implementation. Hasina said the government employees also got increased salary packages when the government announced the minimum wage for the garment workers. She said the government took various initiatives to ease the remittance process and stop money laundering. These steps include opening of money exchanges and bank branches overseas. “The migrant Bangladeshis now can send money to their beneficiaries at home within 24 hours,” Hasina said. Referring to the Expatriate Welfare Bank, the PM said the Bank would help people get jobs overseas without going through the pain of selling home, crop land and other assets. She said the passport and visa process have been improved in line with the international standard. Besides the successes in the core economic issues, the PM also cited some social-economic areas where her government gave special attention to meet the basic needs of citizens.

Major initiatives to this effect include four planned satellite towns around the capital city and one lakh apartments to meet the increasing accommodation problems of middle-income group in Dhaka. Hasina said the government would take similar programme in every district and upazila to offer people affordable housing. The PM said the government is working persistently towards achieving the target of Digital Bangladesh by 2021. “Already we have formulated ICT Policy 2009 and established 1,600 computer labs in educational institutions, 20 cyber centres in different universities, 152 community e-centres and information centres in 64 districts,” she said. Besides, she said 4,501 information service centres had been set up at union level. “A high-tech park will be set up in Kaliakoir and an ICT incubator will be built in Karwan Bazar to help expanding ICT industry,” the PM said.

Referring to the technology park being built in the capital city, Hasina said initiative had been taken to set up similar park at all the divisional headquarters. She said the government also included the ICT education in the national curriculum and distributed 1,500 laptop computers to different schools across the country. Hasina said effective measures had also been taken to produce cheaper laptop computers at home. The PM said all the unions would have fibre optic cable connection by 2013.

Focusing on her government’s plan to solve the country’s existing power crisis, the premier said it has undertaken immediate, medium and long-term programmes to meet the present electricity demand as construction of a new power plant takes three or four years. She said construction works of 33 power plants with a total capacity of 2,941 megawatts have already been started and tenders have been invited for setting up 24 more plants capable of generating 3,840MW. Apart from this, the PM said her government has also undertaken a programme to set up power plants to produce 12,000MW electricity during the next five years. Hasina said process is on to set up 2000MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant with the cooperation of Russia. Besides, steps have been taken to import electricity from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to meet the growing demand at home. Process has been completed for importing 500 MW electricity from India by 2012,” she added.

The PM said her government has so far distributed 1.05 crore energy-saving CFL bulbs among the people free of cost to save electricity and another 1.75 crore CFL bulbs would be distributed among the consumers. Hasina said the crisis in power sector deepened due to mismanagement and corruption of the past BNP-Jamaat government as it did not take any initiative to produce a single megawatt of electricity during its tenure. She said her previous government during 1996-2001 had increased the country’s power generation from 1,600MW to 4,300MW and took massive projects in the interest of the people. “But, the BNP-Jamaat government after coming to power through a rigged election in 2001 suspended all unfinished and approved projects just because of its political vengeance which caused immense harm to the nation,” she added. The premier said her government is trying its best to solve the power crisis to bring the country out of the crisis at the soonest.

She said the government has already started work to produce electricity from sources like liquid fuel, coal, duel fuel and renewable energy along with the setting up of gas-based power plants. On the development of new gas fields and extraction of gas, she said her government is implementing various programmes to increase the country’s gas production. Besides, steps have been taken to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) equivalent to the volume of 500 million cubic feet daily by 2012. Hasina said daily gas production in the country has increased to 2,035 million cubic feet last month while the production was 1,750 million cubic feet in 2009. Regarding the country’s law and order, the PM said the situation is better than anytime in the past as the government has taken stern actions against the terrorist and militant groups.

“The present government believes that better law and order is the prime and foremost condition for development. We have taken measures so that people can freely move and do their business safely and sleep without any anxiety,” she said. Extending her sincere thanks to the members of law enforcement agencies including police, RAB and intelligence services for their relentless services, the premier said people enjoyed festivity in real terms during last two Eids, Puja and Christmas. They went for shopping till midnight as the law and order was excellent, she noted. Referring to trial of incident of BDR carnage in Pilkhana in February 2009, the PM said new law has been enacted for this trial. Necessary measures were also taken to strengthen the Border Guards and equip it with modern artilleries.

The PM highlighted her government’s initiative to maintain law and order in industrial zones and said Industrial Police has been formed to check any violence in the industries. The process for formation of the Tourist Police, Marine Police, Security and Protection Battalion and Police Bureau of Counter Terrorism to encounter militants is now progressing. Hasina said her government has been making relentless efforts for implementing various programmes for welfare of the freedom fighters. As part it, she said, the honorarium of the freedom fighters has been raised to Taka 2,000 from Taka 900 and 30 percent government jobs has been kept reserved for their children and grand children. Expressing her government’s firm commitment to ensure free flow of information, the PM said the government has enacted Right to Information Act (RTA) and Information Commission to make sure citizens’ access to all information.

She said Bangladesh media is enjoying full freedom. Present government after taking power has given permission to 12 new television channels, 14 Community Radio and one FM radio. We, for the first time in the country, allowed private television channel when we came to power in 1996, the premier noted. Hasina reiterated her electoral pledge to strengthen local government system and said Upazila Parishad Act-1998 has been amended to set up local government at upazila level. Laws related to Pourasabha, City Corporation and Union Parishad have been amended to held election at local level, she said. The PM said 4,484 unions were allocated Taka 442 crore this year to carry out their development programme, she said. Pointing out the vulnerability of Bangladesh to climate change, the PM said international community ranked Bangladesh as the riskiest among the ten countries vulnerable to climate change.

“We have established our own fund to face the risk and so far undertaken 134 projects to face the adverse impact of climate change,” the PM said. The premier welcomed the decision of global climate conference to form a Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support the developing countries to address climate change and said the present government from its own fund so far allocated Taka 1,400 crore for climate change. She said projects were taken for capital dredging of the Gorai and Jamuna Rivers and re-excavation of the dying rivers to revive their channels. The PM said her government has made the parliament as the focal point of all democratic practice. A total of 130 laws were passed in 174 working days of the 9th Jatiya Sangsad in last two years, she said. All important decisions of the government and issues including national education policy, poverty reduction strategy paper, nuclear power plant, climate change, proposal for making Bangla as the official language of the UN were discussed in the parliament.

She said all parliamentary committees are working regularly, despite the opposition’s complete failure to play their role in the House. The opposition was present only 44 days out of 174 working days in last two years while Leader of the Opposition attended the House only five days though they are allowed to raise any issue in the parliament. The PM said the government has executed the National Human Rights Commission to ensure basic right of people. The Anti-Corruption Commission and Election Commission are also working freely. The judiciary is enjoying complete freedom and working to establish rule of law in the country, Hasina said.

Describing agriculture as the main driving force of economy, Hasina said her government has been implementing various programmes to make the country self-sufficient again in food. She said her government has reduced fertilizer price three times during the last two years, distributed agricultural cards, provided subsidy and agri-inputs to farmers and facilitate them to open bank account with an initial deposit of only Taka 10. She said her government would distribute Taka 12,000 crore agricultural loans among the farmers during this fiscal though it has disbursed a loan of Taka 11,117 crore in the last fiscal.

“With these initiatives, fair price of agriculture produce has been ensured,” she added. Hasina said her government has reinvigorated the country’s dying jute industry through genome sequencing of jute, once called as ‘golden fibre’ of Bangladesh. With the government’s initiatives, farmers are now selling per maund of jute at Taka 2,000 to 2,500, she added. Besides, she said her government has been distributing food free of cost among the poor and low-income people while a programme of selling rice through ration among the Class-IV government employees, police and village police force is going on.

Regarding ‘Monga’, she said her present government has been successful to eliminate the seasonal famine in the northern region of the country. She said her government has allocated Taka 331 crore in providing allowances for the distressed and elderly women as it has increased the number of beneficiaries as well as the amount of the allowances. Besides, she said Taka 1,176 crore has been spent in implementing the programme for creating jobs for the ultra poor people in the current fiscal. Apart from this, she said her government is implementing “Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar” (One homestead, one farm), Ashrayan (housing) projects for homeless people and providing collateral free loan to the unemployed youths.

Focusing on various programmes being implemented in health sector, she said her previous government had taken a step to set up 18,000 community clinics across the country to reach medical services to the doorsteps of people. But, she regretted that the BNP-Jamaat government suspended the project. “After assuming office this time, we have introduced 10,000 community clinics,” she added. Besides, she said the present government has recruited 13,500 healthcare providers, 4,500 doctors, 2,000 nurses and 6,500 health assistants. She said all upazila health complexes have been brought under internet service when maternity leave has been increased to six months.

The PM said her government is working to bring about qualitative changes in the education sector. The government has formulated a science-based and time-befitting education policy in consultation with all, she said and vowed to remove illiteracy from the country by 2014. She said distribution of 23 crore books among the primary and secondary school students has started and the books are also available on the website.

Holding terminal examinations for class V and class VII students have begun and the success rate in secondary and higher secondary exams in last two years was about 80 percent, she added. Hasina said her government has raised the number of stipends for school students to 30 lakh from 17 lakh and included 1,624 edu cational institutions in the monthly payment order (MPO). The present government has recruited about 52,000 assistant teachers and about 2,000 headmasters for primary schools, she added. The PM said work has started to construct 3,000 secondary schools, academic buildings in 71 colleges and 306 model schools. Eleven secondary schools and six colleges are being set up in Dhaka city, she said and added that one university would be established in every district of the country.

Hasina said the government has formulated a new law to enhance quality of education in private universities. For expansion of higher education, University of Professionals has been opened in Dhaka, Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur and Science and Technology University in Pabna, she said. Work has started for setting up six specialised universities, she said and added that initiatives have been taken to set up one technical school in every upazila.

The PM said madrasa education is being modernised and religious education has been made compulsory at the secondary level. Thirty model madrasas have been set up, vocational courses introduced in 100 madrasas and honours courses opened in 31 madrasas, she said and urged all to educate the new generation properly in religious education and modern teachings. The PM said her government brought about radical changes in country’s communications system in last two years. “We have already inaugurated Sultana Kamal Bridge, Shaheed Buddhijibi Bridge and Chittagong Shah Amanat Bridge,” she said and also referred to construction of Dhaka bypass road, Dapdapia Bridge and the bridges to be constructed over the Karotoa and Tista rivers.

Dhaka-Chittagong and Chittagong-Hathajari highways are being upgraded into four-lane roads. Joydebpur-Mymensing and some other highways would also be brought under the process, she said. The premier said the main construction work for the much-expected Padma Bridge will begin soon along with the construction of railway lines on both the sides. About measures to ease traffic jam in Dhaka city, she said the Bijoy Sarani and Tongi Ahsanullah Master flyover have been opened and the constriction of Kuril, Gulistan-Jatrabari and Banani-Jurain flyovers is going on. The PM said the construction of 26km elevated expressway will begin in Dhaka soon. Study on metro rail in Dhaka has also completed. She mentioned introduction of 100 new BRTC buses in Dhaka and said 430 more buses would be pressed into service soon. Referring to the opening of Aminbazar-Sadarghat waterway around Dhaka city, she said steps have been taken to introduce commuter trains on Dhaka-Narayanganj, Dhaka-Joydebpur and Dhaka-Mymensingh routes


Ministry of Science & ICT, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and D.Net is going to arrange the launching ceremony of the contest for National Digital Innovation Award 2011 that will be held on January 30,2011 at 10.30 am in BRAC Centre  INN, Mohakhali, Dhaka. Architect Yeafesh Osman , Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Science & ICT has kindly consented  to be the chief guest. The program will be chaired by Mr. Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director, Access to Information(A2I) program, Prime Minister’s  Office while Mr.Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Will be present as Special Guest on the occasion. The first-ever 3-day Digital Innovation Fair concluded today ushering in a new hope to reach the goal of having a digitalized nation much before the scheduled target of 2021. Scores of people, men, women, youths and juveniles covering wider section of the society including learners and professionals thronged Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novotheater, the venue of the fair that witnessed congregation of technology-lovers during the three-day display.

Organizers said over 3,00,000 visitors representing different shades of public opinion, especially higher level learners and professionals visited the fair that indicates that the common people are highly enthusiastic and optimistic over flourishing digital technology. All the 102 stall including 82 public and 20 private organizations were jam- packed with the enthusiastic and inquisitive visitors from 10 am to 8 pm and the stall-managements were, on occasions, faced hard time in replying their various interesting and intelligent queries. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith attended the closing ceremony as the chief guest while Principal Secretary, Prime Minister’s office and convener of Fair Organizing Committee Md. Abdul Karim Presided. 

The closing ceremony was also attended by PM’s Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, UNDP Country Director, Bangladesh Stefan Priesner, Cabinet Secretary M Abdul Aziz and National Project Director, Access to Information Program and Member- Secretary of Fair Organizing Committee Md. Nazrul Islam Khan. The presence of internationally reputed Computer Scientist and IT Expert and Prime Minister’s son Sajib Wajed Joy at the concluding seminar on “Developing A PositiveImage of Bangladesh” added special flavor and attraction to the fair. The organizerswere also under tremendous pressures to accommodate the listeners who gathered everyday to attend seminars on related subjects of the “Vision 2021″, Digital Bangladesh and the “Change of Charter”. The seminar held during the three-day fair were: “Taking Services to Citizens’ Doorsteps through Public Service Delivery Centers”, “e-Governance “Embracing the new Mobile Paradigm for Service Delivery”, ” Sustaining e-Service Delivery with Appropriate ICT HR in the Government”, “Implementing ICT Policy 2009 to Achieve Digital Bangladesh”, Integration of Government Agencies through Interoperability “, PPP Framework to Sustain e- Service Delivery” and “Developing A Positive Image of Bangladesh”.

Ruby Islam, a housewife from Mohammadpur, who was roaming in the fair venue carrying her 9- month old baby in her lap, told BSS that she got relived after hearing a news at the stall of LGRD ministry that she could register the birth of her kids through internet. “For registering birth of my child I have contacted one of my near relations who works in Dhaka City Corporation”, she said adding “despite his repeated commitment he could not give me the necessary birth registration form”. “Now I am happy that I could furnish birth registration of my child through internet”, an apparently happy Ruby said. “I have come to the fair to see the reflection of government’s commitment to build Digital Bangladesh”, said Jeflin Hasnat Bipul, an NGO activist working with Action-aid, Bangladesh. “After visiting this fair I become happy and confident that the government has advanced significantly to attain that objective” He suggested to hold such innovation fairs at divisional and district levels so that decentralization of official initiatives could be attained. Riaz, popular hero of country’s silver screen told BSS that he has come to the fair being driven by a wave of Digital technology that swept over the country. ‘I have become emotion- choked after observing the development of various government department and ministries,” he said adding that this steps should have been taken much earlier as the world is progressing vary fast in digital technology. Reaz said, “It was witnessed in our country that after any change-over in the government all programmes of the previous administration are changed. But the programme for development of digital technology is a very positive step towards national progress and prosperity and as such I shall make a fervent appeal so that no slightest interruption is made in this regard if there is any regime change in the country.”

Kaniz Daiani Koraishi, a school teacher of Azim Uddin High School in Kishoregonj , who came to Dhaka to meet her husband working in the department of fisheries, told BSS that she had come to the fair venue to see for herself how the ambitious Digital Bangladesh could be materialized.  “I have come to the capital with my children to meet my husband and it is always a troublesome for me to purchase rail tickets. I have become happy that henceforth I shall be able to collect not only railway tickets but also get all services like payment of utility bills sitting at my own home through internet.”, she said. She also suggested to make technology available at the door steps of remote rural people of the country.

Four second year students of accounting department of Dhaka College- Arannya, Jewell, Shohel and Davit told BSS that they are happy hearing the news that henceforth they could collect their admission forms, know the date of their examinations and results with specific mark-sheets etceteras through internet.‘But we have no means to have the opportunities for easy excess to internet services”, they said making an appeal to the government to make internet browsing free for students.

Law Maker Mohammad Shafiqul Islam Apu who visited BSS stall told that once we could attain full command on digital technology we could be bale to assimilate correct data and information which is very much essential to ensure accountability, transparency and good governance in the country.“When we told about Digital Bangladesh in our election manifesto, many thought it was mere lip services. But if they today visit this fair it would be very clear to them that Digital Bangladesh is no more a dream, it’s a reality”, he said.

State Minister for Science and Information & Communication Technology Architect Yeafesh Osman said that through this innovative fair, where all the government ministries and departments have participated, it was demonstrated that the whole nation is prepared for a digitalized nation.

“Necessary mental and psychological changes have already taken place among our people ri8ght from government high-ups to the grass-root peasantry to welcome Digital Bangladesh “, he said and expressed his hope that the target of a digitalized nation could be attained before the stipulated target of 2021.

Principal Secretary, Prime Ministers’ Office Md. Abdul Karim who is also Convenor of the Fair organizing committee said that the entire perspective of digital technology programe of the government assumed a different meaning with the declaration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of her vision to make Digital Bangladesh.. Through this fair people would get the opportunity to have an idea what kind of services they could get from the administration under digital technology.

Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director of Access to Information Programme said that the huge flow of visitors in the fair and their useful interactions with the stall organizers proved that the hope expressed by Prime Minister in her inaugural speech that the fair would unveil the services to be available at the door steps of the people, easily, speedily and low cost have been totally successful.The fair organized in cooperation with the UNDP-funded Access to Information (A2I) Programme under the Prime Minister’s Office and the Science and ICT Ministry witnessed highest number of visitors on the closing day today. Among others, Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate, visited the fair this afternoon and went round various stalls and talked to the people there.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair on March 4 with a hope that the citizens of the country would be able to meet every basic needs through digital technology. Digital fair’s edict: Make govt pro-people, provide transparent, quick services through digitalizing admin. The Digital Innovation Fair 2010 in Dhaka concluded envisioning an imperative for making government more pro-people providing transparent and quick services through digitalizing its administration. “Our activities will be faster and more transparent to the people through introducing e-services in the coming days,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith said addressing the concluding ceremony of the government’s Digital Innovation Fait at the Novo Theater. The three-day fair, first of its kind in the country, began March 4 with a view to popularizing the government’s vision of Digital Bangladesh in keeping with its election manifesto. The fair exhibited how the use of internet and other digital technologies can ease people’s lives. Its aim was to demonstrate ways of providing extensive government services to the citizen’s doorsteps, making them aware of the extensive e-services, encouraging and promoting the current best practices in public service delivery, sharing and replicating these practices across the government organizations.

The finance minister also said the government would not be a hidebound secrete thing to the people as the fair has come with all information as to what services will be delivered to the people’s doorsteps by the government.“The people know what services will be given and how it would be provided by the government. So, there are no secret things,” he told the function.Muhith said the government itself would be more aware about its transparency and corruption through ensuring access to information in the future.

“Digitalization means to create competition for innovations among the people, which started off through the fair,” he said.

Presided over by fair-preparation-council convener Abdul Karim, the concluding function was also addressed by adviser to the Prime Minister Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafesh Osman

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When Bangladesh is stepping to

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Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina is globally recognized most efficient, qualified and committed leader of Bangladesh. We have limitations, shortcomings but none can raise question about her integrity and love towards our people. She had to struggle for many years against military dictators to establish democracy in Bangladesh. It would have been impossible without her. She is called the daughter of democracy.
It’s her excellence that she always takes decision in favor of our people. The wicked forces attacked to kill her and to obstruct the road to democracy. Our government has some letdown but if we consider her dedication, she is a successful public leader as well as state leader. She works 16/17 hours everyday to confer us something even better. We are grateful to her. 

প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা বলেছেন, ‘পবিত্র কোরআনে নারী ও পুরুষের সম্পত্তি ভাগাভাগির কথা যেভাবে বলা আছে, আমরা তা মেনেই নারীনীতি করেছি। বাংলাদেশ আজ জঙ্গি আর দুর্নীতির দেশ নয়। যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচার করে বাংলাদেশকে জঙ্গিবাদমুক্ত করব।গতকাল রোববার বিকেলে কক্সবাজার শহরের জেলে পার্ক ময়দানে (বিমানবন্দরের দক্ষিণ পাশে) জেলা আওয়ামী লীগ আয়োজিত এক বিশাল জনসভায় প্রধান অতিথির ভাষণে প্রধানমন্ত্রী এসব কথা বলেন। 

 প্রধানমন্ত্রী বলেন, মুফতি আমিনী একজন বুজর্গ মানুষ হয়েও নারীনীতির ভুল ব্যাখ্যা দিচ্ছেন। বিভ্রান্তি ছড়িয়ে জনগণকে ধোঁকা দেওয়ার চেষ্টা করছেন। তিনি নারীদের সম্পত্তিতে উত্তরাধিকার প্রতিষ্ঠায় বিরোধিতা করছেন। অথচ মরহুম হাফেজ্জি হুজুরের জামাতা হয়েও তাঁর প্রতিষ্ঠিত মাদ্রাসায় এতিম ছেলেদের জায়গা না দিয়ে তিনি নিজেই দখল করে নিয়েছেন। তিনি বলেন, ক্ষমতা দেওয়ার মালিক আল্লাহ। আর ক্ষমতা থেকে নামানোর মালিকও আল্লাহ। অথচ আমিনী বলেন, তিনি ক্ষমতা থেকে টেনে নামাবেন। তাহলে তিনি কি আল্লাহর চেয়েও শক্তিশালী হয়ে গেছেন

হরতাল প্রসঙ্গে শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, হরতালে গাড়ি ভাঙচুর করা হয়। পিকেটিং করা হয়। আর তাই কোরআন হাতে রাস্তায় নামলে কোরআর অবমাননা হয়। আমিনীরা ধর্মকে ব্যবহার করে দেশে সন্ত্রাস সৃষ্টি করতে চাইছেন। 

প্রধানমন্ত্রী বলেন, ‘দেশের মানুষকে বঞ্চিত করে গ্যাস দিতে রাজি হইনি বলে ২০০১ সালে আমাদের ক্ষমতায় যেতে দেওয়া হয়নি। আর খালেদা জিয়া গ্যাস চুক্তির মুচলেকা দিয়েছেন বলেই তাঁকে ক্ষমতায় বসানো হয়েছে। কিন্তু ক্ষমতায় থাকার পরও তিনি (খালেদা জিয়া) বিদেশিদের গ্যাস দিতে পারেননি। এখন ক্ষমতা হারিয়ে আবলতাবল বকছেন। নানা ষড়যন্ত্র করে দেশের উন্নয়ন বাধাগ্রস্ত করছেন।’ 

প্রধানমন্ত্রী বলেন, ‘বাংলাদেশের ইতিহাসে ১৯৯৬ থেকে ২০০১ সাল ছিল স্বর্ণযুগ। এই সময়ে ১০ টাকা কেজি দামে মানুষকে চাল খাইয়েছি। কিন্তু ২০০১ সালে বিএনপি-জামায়াত জোট সরকার ক্ষমতায় এসে চাল-ডাল-তেলসহ নিত্যপ্রয়োজনীয় জিনিসপত্রের দাম বাড়িয়ে দিয়েছে। দেশের সম্পদ লুট করে হাজার কোটি টাকা বিদেশে পাচার করেছে। বাংলাদেশকে দুর্নীতি, লুটপাট আর জঙ্গির দেশে পরিণত করেছে।’ 

জেলা আওয়ামী লীগের সভাপতি (ভারপ্রাপ্ত) এ কে আহমদ হোসেনের সভাপতিত্বে অনুষ্ঠিত সভায় আরও বক্তব্য দেন, প্রাথমিক ও গণশিক্ষামন্ত্রী আফছারুল আমীন, পরিবেশ ও বন প্রতিমন্ত্রী হাছান মাহমুদ, চট্টগ্রাম সিটি করপোরেশনের সাবেক মেয়র এ বি এম মহিউদ্দিন চৌধুরী, সাবেক মন্ত্রী মোশাররফ হোসেন, চট্টগ্রাম দক্ষিণ জেলা আওয়ামী লীগের সভাপতি ও সাংসদ আকতারুজ্জামান চৌধুরী, আওয়ামী লীগের কেন্দ্রীয় সাংগঠনিক সম্পাদক আহমদ হোসেন, কক্সবাজারের সাংসদ আবদুর রহমান বদি, এথিন রাখাইন প্রমুখ। 

শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, ‘আজ বাংলাদেশ জঙ্গি আর দুর্নীতির দেশ নয়। দক্ষিণ এশিয়ার দেশগুলোর মধ্যে বাংলাদেশ জঙ্গি ও দুর্নীতিমুক্ত দেশ হিসেবে প্রতিষ্ঠা পাচ্ছে। আমরা জনগণের উন্নয়নে কাজ করছি। কৃষিতে ভর্তুকি দিয়ে, চাষিদের ঋণসহায়তা দিয়ে দেশকে খাদ্যে স্বয়ংসম্পূর্ণ করা হচ্ছে।’ 

দ্রব্যমূল্য নিয়ন্ত্রণে রয়েছে দাবি করে প্রধানমন্ত্রী বলেন, মধ্যস্বত্বভোগী সিন্ডিকেট না থাকায় এখন চাষিরা ২৭ টাকার এক কেজি চালের দাম পাচ্ছেন ৪০ টাকা। ১৩০ টাকার মসুরের ডাল ১৭০ টাকা। এতে তাঁদের ভাগ্যের পরিবর্তন হচ্ছে। তিনি বলেন, গ্রামীণ জনপদের অসহায় গরিব মানুষের অভাব, দুঃখ-দুর্দশা লাঘব করতে আমরা সারা দেশে পর্যাপ্ত পরিমাণ ভিজিএফ ও ভিজিডি কর্মসূচি চালু রেখেছি।’ 

শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, ‘গত দুই বছরে আমরা এক হাজার ৪০০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন করেছি। আগামী দিনে উৎপাদন আরও বাড়ানো হবে। এ জন্য নতুন করে আরও বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্র স্থাপন করা হবে।’ 

বিশ্বের দীর্ঘতম সমুদ্রসৈকতের শহর কক্সবাজারকে পরিবেশবান্ধব পর্যটননগর হিসেবে গড়ে তোলার আশ্বাস দিয়ে শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, ‘কক্সবাজারের মানুষ আওয়ামী লীগকে ভোট না দিলেও আওয়ামী লীগ কক্সবাজারবাসীকে ভোলে না। কারণ আমরা মানুষের জন্য কাজ করি। আমরা কক্সবাজারের উন্নয়নে বিমানবন্দরকে আন্তর্জাতিক মানের করে তৈরি করব। চট্টগ্রাম থেকে কক্সবাজার পর্যন্ত ১২০ কিলোমিটারের রেলপথ সম্প্রসারণ করা হবে। ৪০০ কোটি টাকায় আধুনিক মানের একটি মেডিকেল কলেজ প্রতিষ্ঠা করা হচ্ছে।তিনি বলেন, সোনাদিয়ায় গভীর সমুদ্রবন্দর, আন্তর্জাতিক মানের একটি ক্রিকেট স্টেডিয়াম, নারীশিক্ষার প্রসারে কক্সবাজার সরকারি মহিলা কলেজে অনার্স কোর্স চালুসহ নানা অবকাঠামো তৈরি, তথ্যপ্রযুক্তিকে আরেক ধাপ এগিয়ে নিতে সাবমেরিন কেবলের ল্যান্ডিং স্টেশনে উচ্চক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন ব্যান্ডউইডথ সম্প্রসারণ কার্যক্রমের উদ্বোধন করা হয়েছেনারীদের চাকরির জন্য শহরে একটি নার্সিং ইনস্টিটিউট, মেরিন ড্রাইভ সড়কের উন্নয়ন, পানির সংকট নিরসনে ভূগর্ভস্থ ও প্রাকৃতিক জলাধার তৈরি ও সুষ্ঠু বর্জ্য ব্যবস্থাপনা নিশ্চিত করা হবে। 

তরুণ প্রজন্মকে সন্ত্রাস ও মাদকমুক্ত থেকে শিক্ষা-দীক্ষায় উন্নত হওয়ার আহ্বান জানিয়ে শেখ হাসিনা বলেন, ‘প্রতিটি গ্রামে আধুনিক প্রযুক্তিসম্পন্ন শিক্ষাপ্রতিষ্ঠান গড়ে তোলা হবে। মেয়েদের শিক্ষা অবৈতনিক করব। আগামী দিনে ডিগ্রি পর্যন্ত মেয়েদের লেখাপড়ার জন্য কোনো বাবা-মাকে পয়সা খরচ করতে হবে না।’ 

বিমানবাহিনীর ঘাঁটি উদ্বোধন: সকাল সাড়ে ১১টায় ঢাকা থেকে হেলিকপ্টারযোগে কক্সবাজারে পৌঁছান প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা। তিনি সমুদ্রসৈকতসংলগ্ন (বিমানবন্দরের পশ্চিমে) বাংলাদেশ বিমানবাহিনীর একটি ঘাঁটি উদ্বোধন করেন। এ সময় সংক্ষিপ্ত বক্তৃতায় প্রধানমন্ত্রী বলেন, বাংলাদেশের সমুদ্রসীমা রক্ষায় বিমানবাহিনীকে আন্তর্জাতিক ও আধুনিক মানের করে গড়ে তোলা হবে। আর এর অংশ হিসেবে এই ঘাঁটির উদ্বোধন করা হচ্ছে। 

দুপুর ১২টায় প্রধানমন্ত্রী শহরের ঝিলংজা এলাকায় গিয়ে কক্সবাজার মেডিকেল কলেজ, দোহাজারী-কক্সবাজার রেললাইন সম্প্র্রসারণ প্রকল্পের ভিত্তিপ্রস্তর স্থাপন করেন। এরপর কক্সবাজার সাবমেরিন কেবলের ল্যান্ডিং স্টেশনে গিয়ে ৪০জি সলিউশন ব্যবহারের ব্যান্ডউইডথ সম্প্রসারণ কার্যক্রমের উদ্বোধন করেন। তিনি বেলা তিনটায় সার্কিট হাউসের সম্মেলনকক্ষে স্থানীয় প্রশাসন, আইনজীবী ও রাজনৈতিক দলের নেতাদের সঙ্গে মতবিনিময় করে বিকেল সাড়ে চারটায় জনসভায় যোগ দেন। ২০ মিনিটের ভাষণ শেষ করে তিনি হেলিকপ্টারযোগে ঢাকার উদ্দেশে কক্সবাজার ত্যাগ করেন। 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urges Freedom Fighters:

Remain alert against anti-state conspiracies


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called upon the freedom fighters to remain alert against conspiracies being hatched by the war criminals and anti- liberation forces against the country.

"The trial of the war criminals would be held in the country foiling all sorts of conspiracies," a determined Sheikh Hasina said when the newly elected office bearers of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Command Council called on her at her office in Dhaka on Wednesday noon. 

President of the council Major General (retd) Helal Morshed Khan, Bir Bikram, led the delegation, said Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad after the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the anti- liberation defeated forces who could not accept our victory in 1971 so far have been hatching conspiracies against the independent Bangladesh.

She said their conspiracy to foil the trial process of the war criminals must go futile as the people of the country want trial of the criminals who perpetrated crimes against humanity during the country's Great War of Liberation in 1971. 

The process of trial of the war criminals has already been started and they would be tried on the soil of Bangladesh, she said and sought cooperation of the freedom fighters in this regard.

Mentioning various programmes undertaken by her government for the welfare of the freedom fighters and their families, Sheikh Hasina said the present Awami League government has been working relentlessly for the betterment of the freedom fighters.

The government is implementing various projects involving over Taka 200 crore for the welfare of the valiant sons of the soil who fought risking their life during the country's nine- month long War of Liberation.

In this context, she requested the well-off section of the freedom fighters to help their distressed and poor colleagues as it is not possible for the government alone to ensure their welfare.

Referring to random distortion of the history of War of Liberation, the Prime Minister said the successive rulers after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 deliberately distorted the history to stay in power. 

The new generation was deprived of the real history of War of Liberation in a planned way and now the younger generation had become very much enthusiastic to know the actual history of War of Liberation and as a result they massively cast their vote for Awami League during the last general elections, she added. 

The Prime Minister said the image of the country was tarnished abroad during the last four-party alliance government through militancy, terrorism and corruption and the present government due its relentless efforts could manage to restore it and this trend should continue.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman established the command council in 1973 and gave huge property including various institutions for the Muktijoddha Welfare Trust but actually deserving freedom fighters could not reap benefit form it.

She said after the brutal assassination of Father of the Nation on August 15, 1975, these institutions were made unprofitable as part of conspiracy that eventually deprived the freedom fighters to benefit from those establishments.
On the direct election of Muktijoddha Command Council for the first time in Bangladesh this year, Sheikh Hasina said she herself wanted direct election of the command council for electing the real leaders who could work for the welfare of the freedom fighters instead of own welfare.

The Prime Minister congratulated the newly elected leaders and urged them to work for the welfare of the freedom fighters so that no freedom fighters remain hungry and distressed. "I don't want to see that freedom fighters are suffering from lack of food and shelter," she said.

She also called upon the Affluent Freedom Fighters To Stand Beside The Insolvent Ones.

 It was 5.23 pm on 21st august 2004 when Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina was wrapping up a rally protesting Sylhet blasts. A wave of grenade attacks on her left at least 16 people killed and left around 200 persons critically injured including top Awami League leaders Abdur Razzak, Amir Hossain Amu, Suranjit Sengupta, Ivy Rahman and Kazi Zafarullah. The party secretary on Women affairs Ivy Rahman died in the Hospital later in the day. The unknown assailants fired seven bullets at the bulletproof SUV that Hasina boarded immediately after the blast.

The unusually poor deployment of police at the rally and the absence of forces on nearby building rooftops are a remarkable deviation from the usual practice.

Motaher Hossain, general secretary of AL Krishak League said some people on the roof of Ramna hotel and adjacent building were throwing bombs. At least 13 grenades exploded one after another, and also who were present on the spot told a white Microbus carried of some injured person who were among the assailant and were wounded by their own bomb. Blame game started at the very moment Hasina spoke out loud about government’s conspiracy to kill the remaining member of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiber Rahman’s remaining family members, BNP leaders hold back and Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan commented that they have blamed the government out of emotion. But soon BNP leaders changed their tone and started to blame AL for attacking their own rally, they argued AL had done it to destabilize the country and discredit the government only to grab the power.

Fiction and conspiracy theories were put forward by various columnists in the media. Pro Awami columnists blamed the fundamentalist forces and the right wing coalition government for this attack while pro BNP columnists blamed AL and pointed finger towards the country’s biggest neighbor India.

However most columnists inclined towards Awami league and left parties and leaders and activists of these parties discovered a pattern in the bomb blasts. In most cases secular forces and those who believe in culture, tradition and democratic values had been the target. The same group was behind the attack on Hasina’s rally.

Those pro BNP columnists pick up the same incident and argued Hasina was not the target of those assailants, if she were their target then why none of those grenades fall on the truck and also wrote thousand pages about AL’s possible motive behind this?

Some suspected it as a plot by international Muslim extremist groups; some pointed towards the association of ISI (Inter Services Intelligence); while Jamaat leader Matiur Rahman Nizami believes it is the work of “well known enemies of Islam” who masterminded, through various covert organizations, to carry out such brutal murders. It became increasingly hard to dig out the truth from these fictions. With conspiracy theories you can use any piece of evidence to either prove or disprove your opinion and you can pick up any particular incident to strengthen your position. Truth has many faces but with conspiracy theory all you can achieve is a thousand shade of the truth and all these are equally probable and could be equally false.

In this present regime we have finally a charge sheet that clearly indicates Awami Leagues position is correct in this issue, RAB and other government intelligence agency finally concluded that Islamic militants are behind this attack and also a small fraction of BNP activists patronized this attack.

But is it the whole truth or only a facade? Lets look at the proceedings of the investigations.

To investigate 21st August 2004 bomb blast then BNP government first employed metropolitan police’s detective branch to investigate this incident, then this case was handed over to the criminal investigation department of Bangladesh Police. Five investigating officer under 3 officers in charge investigated this incident for over 4 years and they had submitted two charge sheet contradicting each other.

What is the progress in this case? When ever you ask this question to a law enforcement officer, a certain reply will be that “we are still investigating this matter. We had some lead but for the sake of this on going investigation we can not tell you anything.” Even after submitting charge sheet against 22 person in June 11, 2008 and acquitting all other person found guilty (on the first charge sheet presented by the CID), still the investigation has not been closed. So far we have 2 persons who claimed that they had actively participated in this failed assassination. On 26th June, 2005 Joj Miah from Noakhali confessed to police that for 5000 taka he carried out this attack under the order of Subrata Bain, a top terrorist. Subrata Bain and his group had close ties with some notorious AL leaders and they fled to India after alliance government took over the state in October 2001. He confessed to a magistrate that he had never seen any grenade before but Subrata Bain, Joy, Molla Masud ordered him to participate in this assassination. ASP of Police [CID] Abdur Rashid was the investigation officer then.

But the government were not satisfied with this finding so led by Munsi Atikur Rahman the investigation continued. The investigation found a paved path established by the coalition government. So far we have two investigation reports, one of them was by Justice Jaynul Abedin, chairman of the one man investigation committee formed by the government to investigate 21st august grenade attack on Awami leagues rally. Awami League has rejected this report claiming it lacks neutrality. And another one was submitted by the Supreme Court Bar Association. According to Moudud Ahmed, who was Law minister at that time, claimed that this inquiry committee is illegal.

Jaynul Abedin’s investigation report:

Justice Jaynul Abedin had submitted his 162 pages manuscript of coalition governments collective story on 2nd October 2004. He was the member and chairman of one man inquiry committee formed by the government to investigate the grenade attack on Awami League rally on 21st august. On the eve of this submission those authorities in concern had invited journalist to give some insight of the report. After scrutiny, critical and painstaking analysis, Jaynul Abedin did omit the possibility that coalition government and his ally, some extremist religious group and a part of Awami League was behind this heinous attack on Awami League activists.

But he did claim with certainty that a foreign intelligence agency actively participated in this event. They trained those assailants and equipped them with necessary ammunitions. He described this event on that informal press conference, “this incident is a naked attack on the independence and sovereignty of the country.”

Because Jaynul Abedin was a BNP activist in the past, Awami League questioned the neutrality of the investigation committee. Even though 123 people given their statement to this committee but that does not include Sheikh Hasina, who was the prime target of this massacre. Sheikh Hasina rejected the call for her statement.

In that one and half hour informal briefing on the report prior to its submission Jaynul concluded “the commission may not have received cooperation from all, which may have somewhat hindered the investigation, but the inquiry is in no way incomplete.”

Like any other investigation report submitted by any government formed investigation committee it also embraced the fate to remain unpublished till-to-date.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) inquiry committee report:

On 22nd august, 2004, immediately after the grenade attack, The Supreme Court Bar Association formed an inquiry committee. Barrister Kamal Hossain was elected as the chairman of that committee and the other members of this committee were Rokonuddin Mahmud, Abdul Malek, Amir-ul-Islam, M Zahir and Muhammad Ayenuddin. While Hasina wrapped up the rally, at that very moment a grenade went off loud and it was followed by at least 10 such explosions. Awami League leaders formed a human shield to cover Hasina from the splinter, they were injured in this process and soon after they escorted Hasina to her bullet proof SUV and Hasina left for Sudha Sadan, while on the move that SUV was attacked by bullets. Witnesses on their statement confirmed the SCBA inquiry committee that they had not seen any member of the law enforcing agency in action there.

After inspecting the place of occurrence on 27th august 2004 they went to Sudha Sadan, where Hasina assured the committee her full cooperation to find out the truth. Hasina’s security personal and her driver gave their statement to this committee and this committee also inspected the SUV.

Driver on his statement told the committee that he drove towards the east, then took a left turn and then he drove towards Sudha Sadan through zero point. But police officers deployed at the rally on 21st August on their statement said to inquiry committee, SUV carrying Sheikh Hasina away from that place drove westward, took a right turn, and then went to Sudha Sadan through zero point. On 16th, 17th, 18th September the committee watched the video tape recorded by ATN, Channel I and NTV. On ATN video tape they saw a young man purposefully looking towards the multi storied Dhaka City Bhaban. Apart from this, on Channel I and NTV footage some suspicious incidents were seen by the committee members.

The inquiry committee sent two letters to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, requesting her to extend cooperation for the inquiry and to direct the law enforcing agency to cooperate with them in interest of its work.

A letter was sent from the inquiry committee to IGP Shahudul Huq on 29 August 2004 requesting him to direct the police authorities to inform the inquiry committee of the number of persons who were deployed for maintaining the law and order in the public meeting on 21st August 2004 with the descriptions of their duties and locations. After 3 weeks another letter was sent to him, requesting for his interview. The inquiry committee requested state minister of home affairs, but all of them turned down their request further more the law minister Moudud Ahmed on several occasion said that this inquiry committee had no legal basis and any report of any such illegal committee should not be recognized.

But the government did inform the SCBA inquiry committee that they had done every thing that is possible for them and sent a copy of the statement made by the State Minister for Home Affairs in the Parliament. In that speech the State Minister mentioned that the police made all out efforts to identify the culprits immediately after the incident and within 24 hours a Judicial Inquiry Commission was constituted with a judge of the Supreme Court as the sole Member. He also mentioned that the Government also arranged for an “international” inquiry into the 21st August incident side by side with Bangladesh police investigation and in response to the Government invitation 3 (three) teams from Interpol visited Bangladesh and helped the inquiry. Besides this, the government had also taken cooperation of FBI of USA. The SCBA inquiry committee made repeated requests at the highest levels of the government for obtaining copies of reports of earlier bomb-blasts, the report of the ‘judicial inquiry’ into the 21 August, 2004 constituted by the Government, and other documents and information, but such requests have till-to-date were turned down.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) inquiry committee concluded it was a pre-planned attack, carried out on the basis of a carefully prepared plan, targeting Sheikh Hasina and other leaders and persons attending the rally. The firing of the bullets and grenades on the vehicle by which she was leaving the place of occurrence, confirms that she was the target. The committee urged government to publish all reports of investigation within one month or else public may lead to believe attempt on Sheikh Hasina’s life was to some extent was patronized by this government.

The alleged HUJI rage against Awami League:

Some columnists claimed in the media that the AL government, after assuming power in 1996 barred Islamic scholars from issuing fatwa’s through a High Court order. The government also came on strong against the right wing protesters and arrested hundreds across the country. This had angered HUJI.

Mufti Abdul Hannan, the operative commander of the banned Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami revealed on 19th November 2006.

“I masterminded all grenade attacks across the country excepting the August 21, 2004 gruesome attack on the AL rally, and three people financed the outfit for carrying out the attacks”

Hannan gave another detailed statement on 1st November 2007:

“Kajol was given the responsibility to collect funds and grenades for the attack. They decided that 12 persons would carry out the attack and Kajol and Abu Jandal would select the commanders of the operation. It was decided that Kajol and Jandal brief the attackers about their positions and Jandal would throw the first grenade after getting instruction from Sayeed. The others would throw their grenades at around the same time. Hannan said the attackers targeted the truck and left the spot individually after the operation.”

However question remains as why HUJI chose to attack Hasina after all those years and during the period when there was a row of political killings of Awami League leaders (Kibria, Ahsan Master etc.) were happening. HUJI members were used but who masterminded the attack?

The BNP connection:

In January 2008, former deputy minister for information of the BNP government Abdus Salam Pintu was arrested for his involvement with the grenade attacks on Awami League rally on August 21 in 2004. He was arrested on the basis of confessional statement made earlier by detained Mufti Hannan who claimed that the attack on the AL rally was planned at the official residence of the former Deputy Minister. Hannan said that Pintu was present at the meeting and later supplied the grenades.

He made startling disclosure to interrogators about the involvement of former State Minister of Home Lutfuzzaman Babar and ‘Hawa Bhaban’ in the grenade attacks. From The New Nation:

“The CID officer said they were certain after the arrest of Mufti Hannan and Pintu that the attack on the AL rally had been aided and abetted by Lutfuzzaman Babar and the Hawa Bhaban.

“To hide the truth, former investigation officer Ruhul Amin, a CID officer, had gone to Pintu’s house several times,” he said, and added, “former State Minister of Home Babar was involved in the entire process and Pintu would regularly inquire with him about the progress.”

Pintu’s counsel Advocate Sanaullah Mia, however, told : “He was implicated only because his cousin Maulana Tajul Islam, a militant leader and an accused in the grenade attack case, had visited his house when Pintu was a Minister,”

HUJI is the culprit but who used them and why?

On June 11, 2008 charges were finally made against 22 persons including top Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) leader Mufti Abdul Hannan and BNP leader and former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu. Newspaper reports say:

“CID Chief Additional Inspector General Jabed Patwari said HUJI top leaders planned and carried out the attacks to kill Hasina as a few arrested attackers said in their confessional statements that Hasina would harm Islam if she was alive and came to power again.

BNP leader Pintu is not involved with Huji but he has been charged since the attackers had held two meetings at his residence to take decision about the attack.”

But the question remains whether HUJI tried to kill Hasina on their own or it was a political assassination plot linked by BNP to take out the opposition. Like every other political massacre the 21st August grenade attack on Hasina has no clear motive whatsoever and after 4 years of investigation we are not certain whether those who were behind this ghastly attack have finally been exposed. Will we be able to know the truth?


Rasel Pervez, prominent blogger in Bangla blog sphere who is famous for his political analysis. Mr, Rasel Pervez completed his MS on Physics from the US and awaiting PHD. 

One Response to HUJI tried to kill Sheikh Hasina: Conspiracy Theory Or Truth?

Why always Sheikh Hasina an progressive force like Kazi Aref,Udichi,Ramna Batomul,Progressive Journalists of Khulna( Humayun Kabir,an Others),Poet Shasur Rahman ,Dr Humayun Azad and others were target of terrorists?Why no one of so called nationalist or self styled Islamic force came under attacks of terrorists? What does this mean? These terrorists act as agents of identified beneficiaries to make the politics clean of progressive patriotic democratic forces to serve the interest of the so called nationalists.Bangla Bhai wanted to talk with Journalists before execution to tell the truth but was not allowed.If he could talk he woul definitely have exposed many involve in making him big.In Bangladesh politics of killings will never be over until all killings are fairly an openly tried.
The trial of 21 August grenade attack must be held properlyto punish the real criminals, sponsors and mastermind.Such organised crime can not happen in the heart of the capital city in the broa day light without knowledge and active support of the party in power.People say Ziaur Rahman ha moral support to August 15,1975 mid night massacare .No one shoul be surprised if Babar, Hawa Bhaban and intelligence agencies were actively behind August 21 carnage on Hasina meeting.History will reveal som