45 Bangladeshis detained in Malaysia



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, South-East Asia
45 Bangladeshis detained in Malaysia

45 Bangladeshis detained in Malaysia

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49 foreigners, including 45 Bangladeshis, were arrested from the premises of an under-construction building in Padang Besar, Perlis province, Malaysia.

They were detained by the Immigration Department on Friday (April 19) morning on charges of illegal stay.

Perlis Immigration Director Khairul Amin Talib said the detainees were overstaying and no valid documents were found with them.

A total of 45 Bangladeshi nationals including 1 woman were arrested. Apart from this, there are 3 Indonesian and 1 Indian citizen. Their age is between 19 to 54 years.

Talib said that the operation was carried out in the area under construction of Sekolah Sukan in Bukit Chabang area of the city. Those arrested have been sent to Kuala Perlis Prison for further investigation.

A total of 101 foreigners were searched during the operation. From which 49 people have been arrested.

He said that the charges against these foreigners will be investigated under Section 6(1)(c), Section 15(1)(c) and Section 56(1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1959/63. 

   

Chuknagar Massacre: A of 1971 Bangladesh Genocide



Pradip Kumar Dutta
File Photo: Collected.

File Photo: Collected.

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The pogrom initiated by Pakistanis began on March 25, 1971, with Operation Searchlight, marking the onset of widespread genocide.

Bangabandhu proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, and the country entered into a protracted War of Liberation, known as the Muktijuddho. Throughout the nine months of this war, the Pakistani army and their collaborators committed genocidal offenses on a daily and hourly basis.

During this time, countless people were forced to flee their homes and businesses to save their lives, properties, and dignity. Many ended up in refugee camps in India or became internally displaced, living with relatives in remote villages. Tragically, many were robbed, tortured, and tormented by Pakistani collaborators as they sought safety. Some were killed, while others died from hunger and exhaustion.

Chuknagar, a remote village bazar in Dumuria, Khulna district, became a crucial transit point for refugees heading to India. Located near the Indian border on the banks of the Bhodra River, it offered an escape route for people from southwestern Bangladesh (Khulna, Bagerhat, Jashore, Barishal, and Faridpur districts) who arrived by boat, on foot, and in bullock carts. After resting and eating in Chuknagar, they continued their journey. On the night of May 19, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 men, women, and children took refuge in schools, temples, mosques, and villagers' homes in and around Chuknagar. Many spent the night in paddy fields and open spaces, preparing a simple meal before resuming their journey.

By 10 am on May 20, three truckloads of Pakistani soldiers, accompanied by Bihari and Bengali collaborators, arrived at Chuknagar bazar. Armed with light machine guns and automatic rifles, they began firing in all directions at the refugees. The first victim, a local farmer named Chikan Ali Morol, was killed when he tried to protest. The soldiers continued their killing spree unimpeded, targeting anyone in their path. The carnage lasted for about five hours, with an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 refugees killed.

The massacre left bodies scattered across paddy fields, village yards, schools, mosques, temples, and the Bhodra River. Survivors had no chance to escape, as soldiers chased and shot them. Many boatloads of refugees were also attacked, and those who tried to swim to safety were killed by snipers. The water of the Bhodra River turned red with blood, and corpses floated in the river.

After the massacre, local people came out to help, but there was little they could do as almost everyone had been killed. Over the next few days, the locals buried some bodies in mass graves while others were dumped in the river. The Chuknagar refugee trail was mainly followed by the poorer sections of southwestern Bangladesh, whose relatives either died or could not return to Chuknagar after the war.

Slowly, this tragic massacre faded into oblivion, remembered only by a few patriotic Bangladeshis led by Prof. Shafiqul Islam of a local college. They tried to keep the memory alive and draw attention to the largest mass killing in the shortest time in human history. Their efforts eventually led to some recognition, but the world has largely ignored the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, which is the biggest Genocide after the Holocaust and other Genocides during WW2.

The atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces are documented in various sources, including newspapers, the Blood Telegrams, Senator Kennedy's report, Oxfam's "Testimony of Sixty," and the International Union of Jurists' inquiry.

However, the world has yet to officially recognise the genocide, contradicting the global pledge of "Never Again" to genocides.

Recognising and punishing the genocide is crucial to preventing future atrocities and ensuring justice for the victims.

While remembering the victims of the Chuknagar massacre, we urge the Bangladesh Government to be more proactive in seeking international recognition of the genocide. The Foreign Minister recently mentioned plans to create a special cell to coordinate these efforts. The sooner this cell starts working, the better. We have ample evidence to prove the genocide, and organisations of genocide scholars worldwide, including IAGS, Lemkin Institute, Genocide Watch, and ICSC, have recognised it and called for international recognition.

The involvement of Bangladesh's intelligentsia, civil society, diaspora, progressive political, and student parties is essential for achieving international recognition. The responsibility lies with all of us, especially our government.

The writer is a researcher and traveler.

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Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured

Police box set to fire in Kalshi, 1 injured

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Autorickshaw drivers clashed with the police at Kalshi in Mirpur of the capital in protest against the ban on battery-powered auto rickshaws. At one point, the protesters set fire to the traffic police box at Kalshi intersection. One person has been shot and traffic movement is blocked.

On Sunday (May 19) around 4:20 pm, the protesters set fire to the traffic police box located at Kalshi intersection.

Confirming the matter, Inspector (Investigation) of Pallabi Police Station Mokhlesur Rahman said that the agitators are carrying out violent agitation in Kalshi. They set fire to a police box located at Kalshi intersection. This is a traffic police box. We are on the spot, taking necessary action in this regard.

Earlier autorickshaw drivers stopped traffic on this road and set it on fire. Apart from this, there was a police chase incidents with the autorickshaw drivers on road number 4 of Banarasi Polli in Mirpur. Autorickshaw drivers also vandalized some cars there. At that time, the passengers in the bus panicked and got down from the bus.

Around 1:30 PM, autorickshaw drivers blocked the Kalshi road and stopped the traffic. At this time, sticks are seen in the hands of many people. They also tend to vandalize cars. They pulled the rope in the middle of the road and stopped the traffic. At one point, they forced the bus drivers to park their vehicles diagonally on the road. Thousands of passengers who use that road suffer because of this. People can be seen leaving on foot to go to their destination.

Eyewitnesses said that when the police left the bus on one side at Mirpur-10 Gole Chattar around 2.30 pm, the excited auto-rickshaw drivers started vandalizing the bus by throwing sticks and bricks. At that time, the passengers in the bus panicked and got down quickly. During the afternoon incident, the agitators vandalized a few buses besides BRTC and Alif Paribahan at Mirpur-10.

Meanwhile, Mirpur Zone DC Jasim Uddin said that no one involved in vandalism in public transport will be spared. He said that all those involved in vandalism will be brought under the law. The police showed a lot of patience. A few policemen were injured. Although the agitators were removed peacefully, they later vandalized again. Whether there is someone behind them will also be investigated.

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'Rohingya crisis can be solved if India-China participation increases'



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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Foreign Minister said that the role of India and China is important in Rohingya repatriation. Hasan Mahmud said that the Rohingya crisis can be solved if the participation of both countries (India-China) is increased.

He made these remarks as the chief guest at a discussion meeting titled 'Rohingya Crisis: Future Pathways' on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (OCAB), an organization of foreign media journalists working in Dhaka, at Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia Hall of the National Press Club on Sunday (May 19) afternoon.

The foreign minister said, if the international pressure can be continued, if the court verdict is in our favor, Myanmar will hopefully start repatriation. Besides, the judgment of the International Court is coming in our favor. We are dealing with countries that have an influence on Myanmar internationally. India and China are playing a very important role in the Rohingya issue.

He said that the current situation in Myanmar is that their army members are fleeing the country. We cannot push the Rohingyas in such a situation. More than 600,000 Rohingya are still in Myanmar, trying to reach developing countries like Bangladesh. Repatriation is not the only solution; repatriation is the real solution ensuring their fundamental rights.

He also said that speaking to the Foreign Minister of Myanmar in Uganda, it seems that they are also willing to start the process of taking back the Rohingyas to maintain good relations internationally. We are trying diplomatically to resolve the Rohingya issue. Ethnic conflict has always existed within Myanmar but it should not be used as an excuse to solve the problem.

The special guest of the program, Member of Parliament Shahriar Alam said that on August 25, 2017, Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina gave shelter to the Rohingyas for the sake of humanity. The government is trying its best to repatriate them, but it will take some time and patience. International efforts are failing but this failure will not be repeated.

He also said that many foreign and local journalists have written negative things about Bhasanchar, which is not correct. Other countries including the United States are aware. We have to be patient no matter how many other issues come up this is important.

OCAB  President Nazrul Islam presided over the event. Dr. Delwar Hossain, Professor of International Relations of Dhaka University, Julhas Alam, member of OCAB's Executive Committee, Farid Hossain and others were also present. 

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Chuknagar Massacre: A part of 1971 Bangladesh genocide



Pradip Kumar Dutta
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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The pogrom initiated by Pakistanis began on March 25, 1971, with Operation Searchlight, marking the onset of widespread genocide. 

Bangabandhu proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, and the country entered into a protracted War of Liberation, known as the Muktijuddho. Throughout the nine months of this war, the Pakistani army and their collaborators committed genocidal offenses on a daily and hourly basis.

During this time, countless people were forced to flee their homes and businesses to save their lives, properties, and dignity. Many ended up in refugee camps in India or became internally displaced, living with relatives in remote villages. Tragically, many were robbed, tortured, and tormented by Pakistani collaborators as they sought safety. Some were killed, while others died from hunger and exhaustion.

Chuknagar, a remote village bazar in Dumuria, Khulna district, became a crucial transit point for refugees heading to India. Located near the Indian border on the banks of the Bhodra River, it offered an escape route for people from southwestern Bangladesh (Khulna, Bagerhat, Jashore, Barishal, and Faridpur districts) who arrived by boat, on foot, and in bullock carts. After resting and eating in Chuknagar, they continued their journey. On the night of May 19, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 men, women, and children took refuge in schools, temples, mosques, and villagers' homes in and around Chuknagar. Many spent the night in paddy fields and open spaces, preparing a simple meal before resuming their journey.

By 10 am on May 20, three truckloads of Pakistani soldiers, accompanied by Bihari and Bengali collaborators, arrived at Chuknagar bazar. Armed with light machine guns and automatic rifles, they began firing in all directions at the refugees. The first victim, a local farmer named Chikan Ali Morol, was killed when he tried to protest. The soldiers continued their killing spree unimpeded, targeting anyone in their path. The carnage lasted for about five hours, with an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 refugees killed.

The massacre left bodies scattered across paddy fields, village yards, schools, mosques, temples, and the Bhodra River. Survivors had no chance to escape, as soldiers chased and shot them. Many boatloads of refugees were also attacked, and those who tried to swim to safety were killed by snipers. The water of the Bhodra River turned red with blood, and corpses floated in the river.

After the massacre, local people came out to help, but there was little they could do as almost everyone had been killed. Over the next few days, the locals buried some bodies in mass graves while others were dumped in the river. The Chuknagar refugee trail was mainly followed by the poorer sections of southwestern Bangladesh, whose relatives either died or could not return to Chuknagar after the war.

Slowly, this tragic massacre faded into oblivion, remembered only by a few patriotic Bangladeshis led by Prof. Shafiqul Islam of a local college. They tried to keep the memory alive and draw attention to the largest mass killing in the shortest time in human history. Their efforts eventually led to some recognition, but the world has largely ignored the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide, which is the biggest Genocide after the Holocaust and other Genocides during WW2. 

The atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces are documented in various sources, including newspapers, the Blood Telegrams, Senator Kennedy's report, Oxfam's "Testimony of Sixty," and the International Union of Jurists' inquiry. 

However, the world has yet to officially recognise the genocide, contradicting the global pledge of "Never Again" to genocides. 

Recognising and punishing the genocide is crucial to preventing future atrocities and ensuring justice for the victims.

While remembering the victims of the Chuknagar massacre, we urge the Bangladesh Government to be more proactive in seeking international recognition of the genocide. The Foreign Minister recently mentioned plans to create a special cell to coordinate these efforts. The sooner this cell starts working, the better. We have ample evidence to prove the genocide, and organisations of genocide scholars worldwide, including IAGS, Lemkin Institute, Genocide Watch, and ICSC, have recognised it and called for international recognition.

The involvement of Bangladesh's intelligentsia, civil society, diaspora, progressive political, and student parties is essential for achieving international recognition. The responsibility lies with all of us, especially our government.

The writer is a researcher and traveler.

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