May 17, 2021

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Hefazat leaders meet at the home minister’s house at night

Leaders of Hefazat-e-Islam have demanded the Home Minister not to harass or arrest anyone unreasonably. On Monday night, a delegation of the organization visited the house of Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan in Dhanmondi. A source said that some police officers were also present at the meeting.

According to meeting sources, the Hefazat leaders were standing outside the gate for some time before entering the home minister’s house at around 10 last night. At this time they talked among themselves. Later they entered the house. Among the leaders of Hifazat-e-Islam who took part in the meeting were Secretary General of the organization Maulana Nurul Islam Jihadi, Maulana Mahfuzul Haque, Maulana Ataullah Hafezi and others. Among them is Maulana Mahfuzul Haque, brother of Hefazat joint secretary general Mamunul Haque, who was arrested last Sunday.

According to meeting sources, in the talks with the Home Minister, the cases filed by the law enforcement agencies against the central leaders including Mamunul Haque and the arrests were discussed. Hefazat leaders have told the home minister they are not against the government. They did not have any movement against the government. They also said that the leaders and activists of Hifazat are being arrested with a case against them. Besides, they requested the Home Minister to open the madrasa.

After the meeting, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Prothom Alo on his mobile phone at around 12:30 last night that Hifazat leaders had come to meet him. He told them that the police were not harassing innocent people. Only those involved in vandalism are being arrested. All that is being done is in accordance with the law. And the decision to open or close the madrasa is not a matter for the Home Ministry alone.

Despite being a role model in natural disaster management, Bangladesh is still lagging behind in terms of urban disasters. If we do not restore order in the cities through sustainable development plans now, great misery awaits us. However, progress can be made in urban disaster management if there is coordination between government and non-government organizations.

This was stated by the speakers at a virtual roundtable meeting titled ‘Coordination of Local Government and Inter-Agency in Urban Disaster Management’ on Sunday. The meeting was organized by Save the Children Bangladesh and Prothom Alo in collaboration with the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECO).

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman said at the roundtable that there is no forecast for urban disasters, which cause more damage and loss of life. You have to get speed to bring it under control. Bangladesh has not yet become fully integrated in urban disaster management. It did not make much progress, especially in dealing with earthquakes. To increase coordination among government agencies, the National Disaster Management Committee meets twice a year and before and after a disaster is predicted.

The state minister said the government has allocated Tk 2,273 crore to increase the capacity of the disaster ministry and its concerned agencies. Although there are National Emergency Operations Centers in different countries of the world, it was not in Bangladesh. Construction work of National Emergency Operations Center is being started on 100 katha land in Tejgaon of the capital.

State Minister for Relief Enamur Rahman further said that initiatives have been taken to increase all types of volunteers including Scouts, Girls Guides, BNCC, Red Crescent. At present 42 lakh volunteers are working in the country.

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