Bangladesh Blogger ‘Ananta Bijoy Das’ Hacked To Death

BloggerAnother secular blogger has been hacked to death in Bangladesh, the third deadly attack on a blogger since the beginning of the year.

Bangladeshi Police said Ananta Bijoy Das was attacked by a masked gang wielding machetes in the North-eastern city of Sylhet.

He is the third blogger to be killed in Bangladesh since February.

A friend of Mr Das revealed that he was on an alleged hit list of atheist bloggers held by Islamist rebels.

Mr Das wrote blogs for Mukto-Mona, a website once moderated by Avijit Roy, who was also hacked to death in February.

Mr Roy, a Bangladeshi-born U.S. writer, who had criticised religious intolerance, was killed in a machete attack during his visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in March, also in Dhaka.

Scores Dead In Bangladesh Ferry Collision

bangladeshUnconfirmed number of persons have been confirmed dead as a ferry carrying more that 150 passengers and crew capsized after colliding with a trawler on a river in central Bangladesh on Sunday.

Some sources have placed the number at 66 while another source placed it at 70.

A Police source, Harun-ur Rashid, said that rescuers managed to save some of the passengers, adding that the search is still on for more survivors.

More than half of the bodies retrieved so far from the river  were women and children, Harun said.

Police have seized the trawler and arrested the captain and his two crew, he said.

“The ferry was recovered … and there were 23 bodies inside,” Harun said.

Harun said that there might be more bodies trapped inside the ferry noting that the rescuers from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and Red Cross were still searching the river.

The ferry was heading to Paturia from Daulatdia in Rajbari, located on the opposite bank of the river, about 135 km (85 miles) west of the capital, Dhaka.

Shajahan Khan, the shipping minister, told reporters at the scene that an investigation had been launched.

The exact number of people aboard the boat is not known, as Bangladeshi ferries do not usually have formal passenger lists.

River Ferry Capsizes In Bangladesh

A ferry carrying about 200 passengers has capsizedferry 3 off Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka.

According to officials, Emergency workers and Army teams are at the scene in Munshiganj district where the accident happened on the River Padma, 30km (20 miles) from Dhaka.

Reports say, 50 people have been rescued from the vessel, the Pinak-6, others are still missing and are suspected to have died.

Accidents are common on Bangladesh’s river network and scores of people are killed every year, with overcrowding and poor boat quality often to blame.

Boats are the main form of travel in some rural parts of the country.

“We have heard that the ferry was overloaded with passengers and the river was rough,” Local Police Chief, Tofazzal Hossain, told reporters.

Another Eight Die In Bangladesh Factory Fire

Eight people were killed when a fire swept through a clothing factory in Bangladesh, police and an industry association official said on Thursday, as the death toll from the collapse of another factory building two weeks ago climbed above 900.

The fire, in an industrial district of Dhaka, comes amid global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh’s booming garment industry following the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, on the outskirts of the city, in the world’s deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984.

“It is not clear to us how the accident happened, but we are trying to find out the cause,” Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Reuters.

On Wednesday the Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands. Six were cleared to re-open on Thursday after inspectors issued safety certificates.

Salvage teams were still pulling bodies from the rubble of the Rana Plaza complex in Savar, around 20 miles northwest of Dhaka, and on Thursday a spokesman at the army control room coordinating the operation said the number of people confirmed to have been killed had reached 912.

Roughly 2,500 people were rescued from the building, including many injured, but there is no official estimate of the numbers still missing.

The government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-storey complex for using shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and not obtaining the necessary clearances.

Bangladesh’s garment industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the poor South Asian country’s exports, has seen a series of deadly accidents, including a fire in November that killed 112 people.

The latest fire, in an 11-storey building in the Mirpur industrial district, broke out at a factory belonging to the Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter.

“The factory was closed and all the workers had left the premises an hour earlier,” said fire service official Bhazan Sarker.

A fire service official and BGMEA president Islam said the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead. The others killed were friends and personal staff of the factory boss, officials said.

Tung Hai Group says on its website that it has more than 1,000 employees and its customers include major Western retailers including Britain’s Primark, and Inditex Group of Spain. It makes products including cardigans, jumpers and pyjamas.