DHAKA — Cyclone Roanu has battered the shoreline of southern Bangladesh on Saturday, leaving no less than 23 people dead in floods and rain-triggered landslides, police and officials say.
The cyclone damaged hundreds of houses in two impoverished southern districts, with many low-lying villages inundated by a storm surge that swelled up to two meters high.
Peripheral winds and heavy downpours brought on by the impending cyclone struck coastal areas early on Saturday morning, causing widespread devastation before the storm had even made landfall.
Authorities relocated more than 500,000 people into shelters as the cyclone made landfall just after midday (local time) on Saturday, packing winds as strong as 88 kilometres per hour.
“Seven people drowned at Banshkhali after the storm surge breached dykes at two places, inundating coastal villages,” Chittagong police inspector Shah Alam said.
Three people, including a mother and her daughter, drowned on Hatiya island after sea water flooded their village.
By early evening on Saturday, conditions appeared to be improving, paving the way for people to return to their homes, officials said.
“Up to 20 villages were flooded [in the area],” Hatiya police Chief Anisul Haq said.
“The flood water is now receding.”
A mother and her young child were killed after rains triggered a landslide which buried their hillside home at Sitakundu in Chittagong District, a police inspector said.
Others died on Bhola island and in Cox’s Bazar, Laxmipur and Patuakhali, officials said.
Disaster authorities shut down sea and river ports and ordered fishing trawlers and other boats not to go out on the water.
The Government’s meteorological department has warned of the risk of further landslides in the country’s south-eastern hill districts.
Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded
BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.
The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.
Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.
Transportation has also been halted.
Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.
Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.
The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.
Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.Follow @gorkhapost