Chattogram Book Fair's venue has changed, area and publications have decreased



Seerat Manjur, Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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Amar Ekushe Book Fair started in Chattogram on Friday afternoon. Since 2021, the Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has been organizing this book fair at the city's gymnasium ground. Since then every time before the fair a book fair is organized on the ground subject to the permission of the district administration. Something different happened this year. The organizers did not get the gymnasium field despite bargaining. So the fair is held at the railway station CRB headroom. The Chattogram Book Fair is being held in a new field. Compared to the previous year, the area of the fairground has decreased along with the number of publications.

Instead of the 1 lakh 2 thousand 300 square feet field of the gymnasium, this time the fair is being held in the 43 thousand square feet field. At the same time, 92 publishing houses of Dhaka-Chattogram have participated in the fair, 16 publications less than last time. 15 more stalls have been allotted than the last time, even though the area of the field has decreased.

The book fair can be visited on Friday; the CRB has a big stage for the event just on the south side of the CRB where various events will be held around the fair every day. Just west of it is the kids zone for children where children's toys with different types of toys are kept. Special arrangements have been made on the top floor for the unveiling of new books. Selfie zone and Bangabandhu corner have been set up for the visitors coming to the fair. Besides, there are six separate food stalls in the fair.

Meanwhile, as the first day was a holiday, the number of visitors to the fair was high. A large part of them were busy taking pictures of stalls, books and nature.

The stall did not open even on the first day:

Even on the first day of the fair, several stalls of various publications can be seen working in the crowd. From these stalls, many come back to buy the books of their favorite authors. While the publishers blamed the delay in getting stalls from the organizers of the fair, several others reported their failure.

Aksharbritto Prakashani could not finish the work of the stall decorator even though the evening had passed. One of their representatives said, "We haven't been able to build a stall yet, it's our failure".

Due to the delay in getting the stalls from the organizers, other types of publications could not finish making the stalls. A representative named Imran Khan, who is in charge of setting up their stall, told Barta24.com, "We are late for those who conduct the fair. They explained the stall lottery two days before the start of the fair. It takes at least 4 days to prepare a stall. Now many readers come and go to the fair. We are also saddened not to be able to give them books. I hope the organizers will take care of this from the front.

What publishing experts are saying about field change?

After several years of book fairs in the gymnasium, this time it is being held at the CRB. Publishers fear that this may affect the fair and book sales. Many people expressed their anger about the change of field and said that they want a permanent field. However, the organizers hope that the fair will accumulate in CRB, which is one of the cultural areas of Chattogram.

Chowdhury Fahad, the proprietor of Chandrabindu Publications, which participated in the fair, told Barta24.com, "We have seen that after participating in the Dhaka Book Fair for a long time, no one needs to know where to go for the book fair in February." It is known to everyone that Book Fair means Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan. And in the case of Chattogram, the matter is being transferred every few years. It is sad for us. We cannot stay in a certain place in the city. For the past four years, the fair was being held in the gymnasium grounds, it became known to the people. But this time it was brought to CRB. It is also a crowded place. People come to visit in the afternoon. However, we are not sure that will be here in the future. Our demand is that a permanent ground should be made for the book fair.'

Rehena Chowdhury, Senior Vice-President of the Publication Council told Barta24.com, "We have been going around for a long time about this book fair. I am introducing readers to different places at different times. As the new place will be a little problem. It will also affect the readers or buyers. Moreover, it is a smaller field than a gymnasium. I hope this fair will be more popular through social media and media promotion.

Regarding the permanent ground of the fair, Deputy Commissioner Abul Basar Mohammad Fakhruzzaman said, "If the city corporation chooses a place under the envelope of the district administration. There we can arrange for all kinds of fairs including book fairs on a permanent basis.

Regarding the security of the fair, Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Krishna Pad Roy said, 'CRB needs some extra security here. If the organizers of the fair cooperate with us with some logistical support, then we can arrange that too.

The Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) told Barta24.com, "The City Corporation has no place of its own where people will gather." It is not like having a book fair there, even if you do, it will not be crowded. So this time we got a CRB place through the railway instead of getting a place in the gymnasium. So, thanks to Railways. Poets will write poems, readers-writers will chat about the natural beauty of CRB. A different atmosphere will be created here. We hope that the book fair will gather at CRB. We will try to hold a book fair here in the future as well.'

Organized by CCC, this book fair is being held with the cooperation of Chattogram Srijoshil Publishers Council, Chattogram Citizens Society, Bir Muktijoddha, Writers, Journalists, Educationists and Literary-Cultural Organizations. This year's book fair budget is Tk. 50 lakh. Again this time National Ekushe Sammanna Smarak Padak and Sahitya Award will be given for meritorious contribution in life.

Rabindra Utsav, Nazrul Utsav, Folk Utsav, Mirmi Utsav, Spring Utsav, Youth Festival, Ethnic Utsav, Children's Utsav, Writers' Gathering, Youth Utsav, Women's Utsav, Chatgaon Utsav, Liberation War Utsav, Professional Gathering, Poetry Recitation and Rhymes will be held during the 23 days of the fair. Festivals, short films and photo exhibitions, quiz competitions, painting and cultural competitions, felicitations, awards and literary awards.

The book fair will continue till March 2 from 3 pm to 9 pm every day and on holidays from 10 am to 9 pm.

   

India will export 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Pic: Collected

Pic: Collected

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India has allowed the export of 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh. Exporters can export this onion to Bangladesh till March 31. It is said that this activity will start very soon.

India's Directorate of Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday (February 23).

He said, 'We have allowed immediate export of 50 thousand tons of onions to Bangladesh. Traders have been allowed to export this amount till March 31 and work is underway to this end.'

He said, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a decision has been taken to allow exports to Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Hasan Mahmud, during his visit to India earlier this month, requested India to lift the ban on exports of some essential commodities, including onions, to Bangladesh to stabilize their prices in the local market ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Bangladesh foreign minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud during the meetings with his counterpart Dr. S. Jaishankar and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal requested to export those products to Bangladesh.

Earlier in December last year, India imposed a ban on onion exports to boost domestic supply and control price hikes of the commodity.

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37 members of 'Kishore gang' arrested in the capital



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
photo: Barta24

photo: Barta24

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RAB has arrested 37 members of 6 juvenile gang including 007, Baba, D Company, Jaura Group and team leaders in Banani, Mohakhali, Uttara and Tongi areas of the capital.

RAB said all these gang members work for different local big brothers.

Those arrested are- Russell (17), Arafat (17), Rabin (15), Al-Amin (24), Islam (29), Jewel (22), Rabiul (16), Murad (17), Mahabub (19), Saad (22), Rohan (22), Mana (28), Hriday (20), Obaid (18), Md. Jisan (19), Md. Akash (30), Md. Eman (20), Md. Ramadan (21), Md. Sajib (18), Md. Shakib (22), Md. Rajiv (19), Md. Amir Hossain (36), Shahjahan Saju alias Russell (45), Md. Gilad Mia (20), Md. Heart (19), a. Raihan (15), Md. Babu Mia (22), Md. Shahjahan (21), Md. Jalal Mia (28), Lameem Mia (15), Md. Rakib (16), Md. Hira Mia (17), Imrul Hasan (17), Md. Sakin Sarkar Rabbi (18), Md. Sujan Mia (19), Khairul (19), Rahat (19).

During this time, 500 grams of hemp, 24 mobile phones, 1 blade, 1 axe, 1 power bank, 5 rods, 16 knives, 3 iron chains, 1 hammer, 1 motorcycle making loud noise and cash of Tk. 24250 were recovered from them.

Commander of RAB-1 Lt. Col. Mostak Ahmed gave this information in a press conference organized at the head office of RAB-1 in Uttara of the capital.


He said, nowadays, youth gangs, gang culture, fighting of one group with another group has become a much talked about incident focusing on the spread of power among the rising boys. Gang members roam around in groups playing loud music, riding motorcycles at reckless speeds, harassing pedestrians and picking fights over petty issues to make their presence known in the area. They also do not hesitate to kill anyone who protests their chaos in order to dominate them. Following this, in several raids in Mohakhali, Banani, Airport, Tongi and Gazipur areas of the capital, youth gang group '007 group leader Al-Amin (24), Jaura group leader Mahabub (19), Baba group leader Saad (22), Voltage group- Mana ( 28), D Company team leader Pappu alias London Pappu. One of his two associates Akash and Amir Hossain, Boyra Jahangi, the team leader of Jahangir Group.

RAB-1 captain Mushtaq Ahmed said that each group has approximately 10 to 15 members. They have admitted to being involved in various crimes including fights, robbery, mugging etc. in exchange of money.

The arrested youths also told RAB during the interrogation that 17 of the arrested persons have several cases against them in different police stations including theft, robbery, extortion, drugs, weapons, rape and attempted murder.

In response to the question, who are the supporters of Kishore gang group, what is their profit?- The captain of RAB-1 said that you know the leaders of Kishore gang group have been arrested. They do this to dominate the area as a result of their adolescence. Some people use them as tools to dominate the area. Members of juvenile gangs fight over patrons. We have found that many people use these group members mainly as tools. By working for them, criminals get shelter.

Those who act as their supporters in various ways will also be brought under the law.


In response to another question, he said, "We investigated various information and data as per the instructions of the media and RAB headquarters. Many people have been arrested like this before. Earlier I got many names in the area of responsibility of RAB-1. They have been brought under the law. Now after receiving instructions about Kishore gangs I have worked for last 15 to 20 days. During this time the members of the new groups were arrested along with their leaders. We will investigate their activities, cases and their issues. Our campaign does not stop. Any new group will be arrested.

Members of Kishore gang groups are seen at various political rally meetings under the umbrella of ward and police station level leaders. When asked if any action will be taken against these donors, he said, "I want to make it clear that the criminals cannot have any group or address." They have no identity. It doesn't matter who they work for. If they commit any crime they are brought under the law.

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Those who hide goods should be given mass beating away: PM



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

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In response to a question about price control, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "Don't you think that those who are agitating for the ouster of government are also manipulating here?" Even before this, there was a shortage of onions. But later sacks of rotten onions were thrown into the water. What do you say to these people? They should be given mass beating. If the government does something, it will say that the government is doing it. If the public does something then no one can say anything.

She said this at a press conference held on Friday (February 23) morning at Ganabhaban to share her experience of participating in the security conference held in Munich, Germany.

The Prime Minister said that things will be hidden and rotted and the price of things will increase. Onion we are producing enough that we are producing it. In future we will not have to import from outside. But when it comes to imports, when the news is being imported, those who hide it quickly find it out. And because it has an effect on the market, it is a fact that the price adjusts in the market. Speaking openly, there is nothing to hide here.

In response to the question that famine may come in March, Sheikh Hasina said that there was a conspiracy, there is a conspiracy. Since I came to the country, I have not been able to come to power, nor have I spared even little Russell in the murder of seventy-five. Why? So that no one from this family can come to power. I survived because of my younger sister abroad. I came back and took responsibility. My dream is to fulfill the dream with which the Father of the Nation made the country independent. In that case, conspiracy is happening again and again. We established voting rights through the movement. I have brought back the democratic rights of the people which are benefiting the people. There was a big conspiracy to prevent the election from happening.

The Prime Minister said that the incidents of October 28, 2014 were not done suddenly, those were planned. Those who are in favor of disrupting the election, when they saw that the election cannot be disrupted in any way, people have spontaneity and then they conspired to increase the price of goods. When the government is separated from the people, the government will be overthrown by agitation. It is part of their plan. You know who it is. I don't want to name anyone. But there is this plot.

She said, but I can say one thing, don't you see it rained yesterday, there is a saying 'If the year is the end of Magh, the blessed king will give it' that it rained at the end of Magh, it rained at the beginning of Falgun too. Mango buds are getting fresh. Planting rice seedlings, irrigation will not be required if it rains. Even if there is a little flower problem, there will be no problem in production. Ever since Covid came but I have been saying we have to produce our own food. Not an inch of land should remain uncultivated. I'm not just saying it, I'm putting it into practice.

She also said, in my own village, we cleared the land of our family as well as the land of our neighbors and cultivated it. But we have started them. But I am encouraging. So we have taken initiative in this way. There is an attempt. Once in Bangladesh, if there was a shortage, they would say that there is no rice in their stomach, now they talk? Don’t say now say the price of eggs, the price of fish, the price of meat, or can't eat the belly of fish? Does it make a difference? You will admit that this change is coming in fifteen years. 15 years ago there was a lamentation for rice. 

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There will be no scarcity of any commodity in Ramadan: PM



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

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Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that there will be no shortage of any commodity in Ramadan.

She said this in response to a question at a press conference organized to share her experience of participating in the security conference held in Munich, Germany at Ganabhaban on Friday morning (February 23).

The Prime Minister said, many will talk about it (Ramadan commodity prices) but there will be no difficulty. Ramadan is for austerity. In Ramadan we eat a little less but our point is that Ramadan actually increases the demand a little. Even then there is provision to bring enough quantities of chickpeas, dates and sugar which are more important during Ramadan. I have already arranged that there will be no problem with this.

In response to another question on the Rohingya issue, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "We are repeatedly discussing the Rohingya issue." The situation in Myanmar is so bad that when I talk to the world leaders they all sympathize with the Rohingyas but nothing very effective is being done to bring them back.

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