DB arrests Qcoom owner

Ripon Mia, owner of Qcoom e-commerce platform, was today arrested by the Detective Branch (DB). She is accused of embezzling funds through online fraud.

Faruk Hossain (Dhaka Metropolitan Police) confirmed this development to The Daily Star.

He stated that the DB chief would provide more details today at a press conference at DMP's media center at 12pm.

Protect ancestral land of Khasi people

Thirteen prominent citizens, activists, and environmentalists have written a letter to Sylhet's divisional commissioner, requesting protection of the ancestral land and customary land of Khasi people who live in Daluchhara, Belkuma Khasiapunji (located in Kulaura upazila, Moulvibazar).

After receiving information that Kulaura Upazila administration and police, forest department, social forestry of Moulvibazar would "forcibly" plant trees on Daluchhara Khasia Punji's land today, they issued the following letter.

Signatories stated that the forest department's implementation of a flawed project like this in the name social forestry raises serious concerns and asked the administration to not undertake any project that would destroy natural forests.

Since ancient times, the Khasis have lived in their ancestral lands. Various international charters including the United Nations have recognized the indigenous culture of preserving ancestral lands. The Bangabandhu regime also ratified ILO Convention 107, in 1972, which recognised the ancestral land rights for the indigenous people.

The letter pointed out that the forest department had unilaterally identified the beneficiaries without consulting with the Khasis. It also ignored the social-forestry policy, creating many problems and complications between the Khasis as well as the beneficiaries.

The letter claimed that some miscreants had already destroyed the Khasi betel nut garden/jum/garden and attacked the Khasis. This issue was brought to the attention of the media by the Khasi leadership and the forest and environmental minister.

According to the letter, the Moulvibazar court also imposed a ban.

Sultana Kamal was the president of Bapa; Khushi Karabir, coordinator, Nijera Kori, and Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman were former chairman, National Human Rights Commission. Advocate Rana Dash Gupta was general secretary to Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council. Shamsul Huda was executive director ALRD. Sharmin Murshid was a former member of National River Conservation Commission. Father Joseph Gomes was regional coordinator for Adivasi Poribesh Rokkha Andoon. Abdul Karim was general secretary to Bapa Sylhet.

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