Bangladeshi police kill at least 4 civilians for protesting against Narendra Modi

News Network
March 26, 2021

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Dhaka, Mar 26: At least four people were killed in Bangladesh's Chittagong on Friday after police fired rubber bullets at protesters during a demonstration against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a police official said.

"We had to fire teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them as they entered a police station and carried out extensive vandalism," Rafiqul Islam, the police official told media, referring to protesters

Protests against PM Modi's visit also flared in the capital Dhaka, where dozens of people, including two journalists, were injured in clashes with police, witnesses said.

The development comes as Bangladesh marks 50 years of independence from Pakistan with celebrations focused on its economic achievements, which activist groups say have been overshadowed by rights abuses.

Police said four bodies of members of Hefazat-e-Islam, a hardline group, were brought to Chittagong Medical College Hospital after violence erupted at Hathazari, a rural town where the group's main leaders are based.

"We got four bodies here. They are all hit with bullets. Three of them are madrasa students and another a tailor," Alauddin Talukder, a police inspector at the hospital, said.

He said at least four other demonstrators were critically injured but did not say who opened fire.

Ruhul Amin, the government administrator of Hathazari town, said up to 1,500 supporters of Hefazat attacked a police station chanting anti-Modi slogans.

"They attacked us all of a sudden," he said, without confirming whether any protesters were killed.

Hathazari is home to one of Bangladesh's largest madrasas and is the headquarters of the Hefazat, which was formed in 2010 and is believed to be the country's largest Muslim outfit.

Hefazat spokesman Mir Idris accused police of "opening fire" at their "peaceful" supporters.

"There were some 5,000 protesters. They were all Hefazat supporters and they were mostly madrasa students. They were protesting Modi's visit and police actions against demonstrators in Dhaka," he said.

He was referring to other smaller clashes at the compound of the country's largest mosque in central Dhaka after Friday prayers when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at brick-throwing Islamist supporters.

Hefazat is known for its nationwide network and large-scale protests demanding blasphemy laws in Bangladesh. In 2013 police clashed with tens of thousands of Hefazat supporters in Dhaka, leaving nearly 50 people dead.

Hefazat aside, a diverse range of Bangladeshi groups -- including students, leftist and other Islamist outfits -- have been staging protests over the last few days against Modi's visit.

They accuse Modi of stoking religious tensions and inciting anti-Muslim violence in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, which left about 1,000 people dead. Modi was Gujarat's chief minister at the time.

On Thursday more than 40 people were injured, including four police officers, during a student demonstration. At least 33 people were detained for violence.

Clashes also occurred at the elite state-run Dhaka University Thursday evening, when pro-government student activists allegedly beat dozens of anti-Modi student protesters.

50th anniversary

The violence has overshadowed Bangladesh's celebrations for 50 years of independence from Pakistan.

The former East Pakistan emerged as a new nation in 1971 after a brutal war involving India marked by horrific abuses that Bangladesh says killed as many as three million and displaced many more.

For decades the nation was ravaged by famines, coups and natural disasters but in recent years under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina it has boomed economically with GDP per head more than quadrupling since 2000.

But under Hasina, 73, daughter of Bangladesh's murdered "founding father" Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and premier since 2009, the human rights situation has deteriorated sharply, activists say.

"The Bangladesh government should not be enabled to use this celebratory moment to lay the groundwork for another 50 years of rights violations, or to hide its abuses by presenting itself on the world stage at variance with how it acts against its own citizens," a joint statement by nine rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, said.

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News Network
April 3,2021

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Cairo, Apr 3: The mummified remains of 22 Egyptian pharaohs, including the most powerful ancient queen, are to be paraded through the streets of Cairo Saturday, in a procession to a new resting place.

Under the watchful eyes of security forces, the mummies will be moved seven kilometres (four miles) across the capital from the iconic Egyptian Museum, where most have resided undisturbed for over a century, to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.

Dubbed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade, the 18 kings and four queens will travel in order, oldest first, each aboard a separate float decorated in ancient Egyptian style.

The interior ministry said both pedestrians and vehicles would be barred from Tahrir Square, site of the current museum, and other sections of the parade route, ahead of the 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) start.

"The whole world will be watching," said Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, who will commentate as the event unfolds live on state television.

"This is an important 40 minutes in the life of the city of Cairo."

Seqenenre Tao II, "the Brave", who reigned over southern Egypt some 1,600 years before Christ, will be on the first chariot, while Ramses IX, who reigned in the 12th century BC, will be at the rear.

Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut, the most powerful female pharaoh, will also make the journey.

Emblazoned with the name of their allotted sovereign, the gold-coloured carriages will be fitted with shock absorbers for the trip, to ensure none of the precious cargos are accidentally disturbed.

Discovered near Luxor from 1881 onwards, most of the mummies have lain in the Egyptian Museum since the early 1900s.

Fascinating new details of the pharaohs' lives are still emerging.

A recent high-tech study of Seqenenre Tao II, involving CT scans and 3D images of his hands and long-studied skull fractures, indicated that he was likely killed in a post-battle execution ceremony.

For their procession through Cairo's streets, the mummies will be in special containers filled with nitrogen, under conditions similar to their regular display cases.

The mummies will be showcased individually at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, in an environment redolent of underground tombs.

They will be signposted by a brief biography and, in some cases, copies of CT scans.

Upon arrival, they will occupy "slightly upgraded cases," said Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.

"The temperature and humidity control will be even better than it was in the old museum," added Ikram, a mummification specialist.

The mummies' re-housing "marks the end of much work to improve their conservation and exhibition," said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

"This raises emotions that go much further than the mere relocation of a collection -- we will see the history of Egyptian civilisation unfold before our eyes," she added.

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation was completed in 2010, and Hawass said he had planned to open it in 2012. But the process was delayed by the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 and subsequent turmoil.

The new museum opened its doors to limited exhibits from 2017 and will open fully on Sunday, before the mummies go on display to the general public from April 18.

In the coming months, the country is due to inaugurate another new showcase, the Grand Egyptian Museum, near the Giza pyramids.

It too will house pharaonic collections, including the celebrated treasure of Tutankhamun.

Discovered in 1922, the tomb of the young ruler, who took the throne briefly in the 14th century BC, contained treasures including gold and ivory.

A so-called "curse of the pharaoh" emerged in the wake of Tutankhamun's unearthing in 1922-23.

A key funder of the dig, Lord Carnarvon, died of blood poisoning months after the tomb was opened, while an early visitor likewise died abruptly in 1923.

With the planned parade coming only days after several disasters struck Egypt, some have inevitably speculated on social media about a new curse provoked by the latest move.

Recent days have seen a deadly rail collision and a building collapse in Cairo, while global headlines were dominated by the struggle to refloat the giant container ship MV Ever Given which blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week.

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News Network
April 3,2021

Madikeri, Apr 6: Six people, including four children, succumbed to burn injuries in Mugutagere village of Virajpet taluk, Kodagu early on Saturday morning after the house in which they were sleeping was set on fire.

According to initial reports, a person, E Bhoja (50), set the house on fire over some family dispute. 

He allegedly climbed the roof of the house under the influence of alcohol, poured petrol on the house and set it on fire.

"Three people died on the spot due to the burn injuries while three others died in the hospital," said Kodagu SP.

Senior police officers reached the incident site and launched an investigation.

The victims include Bhoja’s wife Baby and children Vishwas, Pararthana and Prakash.

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News Network
April 17,2021

New Delhi, Apr 17: The second wave of coronavirus can last up to 100 days and such waves will keep coming till 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated and herd immunity is achieved, according to an advisory prepared by an expert for Southeast Delhi Police.

Aimed at creating awareness among police personnel, the advisory by Dr. Neeraj Kaushik said the new mutated virus has potential to skip immunity and even vaccine. "This is the reason for re-infection and cases among vaccinated people."

This mutated virus is so infectious that if one member is affected, the whole family gets infected. It is preying on children too, Dr Kaushik said in the document.

He said that routine RT-PCR tests may not detect the mutated virus. However, loss of smell is a very strong indicator that a person is corona positive.

"The second wave of coronavirus can last up to 100 days. Such waves will keep coming until we attain 70 percent vaccination and herd community. So, do not lower your guard, especially mask," the advisory read.

It said surface transmission of virus is no more a threat now as per the recent trends. Hence, not much emphasis on surface disinfection is needed.

The doctor told police personnel that the chance of getting infected becomes very high "when you come in contact with the positive person for more than 15 minutes".

People with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease etc. must take extra precaution, he said.

Dr Kaushik advised police personnel to avoid over exercise and junk food.

"Go for nutritious foods including juice, coconut water. Dalia in meals," he said.

He also suggested the personnel change their "careless mindset and attitude and learn to wear masks professionally".

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) RP Meena said Kaushik has been working with the district police since the pandemic began.

He has conducted several various campaigns and prescribed medicines for our staff, Meena said, adding suggestions by him will help us understand and deal with the second wave.

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