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PM Sheikh Hasina Warns Against Foreign Interference in Bangladesh Polls

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Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asserted on Saturday that both local and international conspiracies are underway to undermine the upcoming national parliamentary election. She emphasized that the conspirators aim to prevent any election in the country and introduce a third party. Sheikh Hasina pledged a robust response to the conspiracy through the January 7 election, ensuring the fate of the people of Bangladesh remains untouched.

Speaking at an election rally in Tungipara upazila of Gopalganj, Sheikh Hasina, who is also the party’s candidate from Gopalganj-3 seat, stated that winning the next election would enable them to bring back and bring to justice individuals giving orders while residing in London.

She accused the opposition party, BNP, of not valuing the people and claimed that orders are being issued from abroad to harm the country’s citizens. Sheikh Hasina highlighted that only the Awami League possesses the qualifications to continue the country’s developmental trajectory, branding BNP as a party of murderers and Jamaat as a party of war criminals.

The Prime Minister affirmed their commitment to executing the verdict against fugitive killers of the father of the nation, vowing to bring back those who have fled abroad regardless of the obstacles. Sheikh Hasina accused BNP leaders of following orders from a murderer like Tareque and asserted that they would face punishment. She questioned the motives of those involved in such actions. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the rally venue in Gopalganj’s Tungipara around 11:20 am on Saturday and addressed the Awami League election rally at Tungipara Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Government College ground.

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UGC Closes All Universities Amid Quota Reform Protests

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has mandated the closure of all public and private universities in Bangladesh until further notice, citing concerns over student safety amidst the ongoing quota reform movement.

A press release, signed by UGC Secretary Dr. Ferdous Zaman, specified that academic activities at all public and private universities, as well as medical, textile, engineering colleges, and other affiliated institutions, will be suspended indefinitely.

The decision aligns with directives from the Education Ministry, as stated in the release.

Additionally, the UGC has ordered students to vacate their halls of residence.

This announcement follows violent clashes that resulted in at least six fatalities and numerous injuries among quota protesters, police, and Chhatra League members across the country.

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DMP Raids BNP HQ: 7 Arrested, Explosives Found

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In a midnight raid at the BNP headquarters in Nayapaltan, Dhaka, the Detective Branch (DB) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested at least seven activists from the BNP and its affiliated organizations, officials confirmed.

The DB chief, Harun Or Rashid, who led the operation, stated that the raid resulted in the recovery of around 100 crude bombs, 500 sticks, and five to six bottles of petrol. “We conducted this operation following the arson of a bus in front of Jatiya Press Club,” Harun Or Rashid informed journalists at a subsequent press briefing.

Rashid further alleged that certain groups were attempting to divert the ongoing quota reform movement for their own agendas. “We have identified those responsible and will proceed with their arrests soon,” he asserted.

Among those detained was Ronakul Islam Shrabon, a former president of Chhatra Dal.

Law enforcement officers arrived at the BNP office shortly after several explosions were reported nearby.

Reacting to the raid, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, in a virtual conference, accused the government of conducting the raid to misdirect the quota reform movement. Rizvi also alleged that the items “recovered” during the raid were planted by law enforcers.

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Holy Ashura Today

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Today marks the 10th of Muharram, known as the holy day of Ashura. This day, steeped in the tragic and heart-wrenching events of Karbala, holds immense religious significance for the global Muslim community. Every year, the Muslim world observes this day with solemnity and reverence through various religious activities and programs.

On the occasion of Ashura, President Md. Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have issued separate messages highlighting its significance.

In his message, President Md. Shahabuddin stated that the holy Ashura is a significant and mournful day for the entire Muslim Ummah. He paid deep respect to the martyrs of Karbala, including the beloved grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).

President Shahabuddin remarked that on the 10th of Muharram in the year 61 Hijri, Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), his family members, and close companions were martyred in the battle of Karbala by the treacherous forces of Yazid. This supreme sacrifice to uphold the noble ideals of Islam will forever remain luminous in history.

He further added that the eternal message of Ashura, remembered through the sorrowful events of Karbala, inspires us to stand firm against injustice and oppression and motivates us to pursue truth and beauty. He expressed his hope that the great teachings of Ashura would be reflected in everyone’s lives.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message on Ashura, said, “Holy Ashura is a deeply mournful, significant, and revered day for the Muslim Ummah worldwide. On the 10th of Muharram in the year 61 Hijri, the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) grandson, Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), and his family faced a tragic martyrdom at the hands of the conspiratorial and barbaric forces of Yazid on the banks of the Euphrates in Karbala.”

She extended her best wishes for the success of all Ashura observance programs organized at the national mosque Baitul Mukarram, by the Islamic Foundation, and among communities both in the country and abroad.

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