Bangladeshi hanged for Saudi diplomat’s murder

The diplomat Khalaf Al-Ali worked at the Saudi embassy in Bangladesh when he was shot in 2012. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2019
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Bangladeshi hanged for Saudi diplomat’s murder

  • The man is believed to be the leader of the gang that tried to rob the Saudi diplomat
  • The Saudi diplomat was shot in front of his flat in Dhaka

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi man was hanged in a jail outside Dhaka over the murder of a Saudi diplomat in 2012, an official said Monday.
Khalaf Al-Ali, 45, who worked in the consular section of the Saudi Arabian embassy, was shot in the capital’s diplomatic zone in front of his rented apartment. He later died in hospital.
Police at that time said 30-year-old Saiful Islam, who was hanged on Sunday, led the gang who tried to rob the diplomat.
“He was executed in accordance with a court order,” prison official Shahjahan Ahmed told AFP.
The Supreme Court in August upheld Islam’s death sentence. He was originally sentenced to death in 2013 by a trial court which described him as the main perpetrator of the killing.
More than two million Bangladeshis are working in Saudi Arabia, which is a key ally of the South Asian country and a major donor.
Bangladesh regularly executes death row convicts despite criticism from human rights groups.
In recent years at least five top extremist leaders, who have been convicted of war crimes, and nearly a dozen militants were executed — all by hanging — in high security prisons.


Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

Updated 17 June 2019
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Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

  • Multi-disciplinary institute planned to identify reason behind disease
  • Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by viruses. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting

NEW DELHI: When Arun Ram took his four-year-old daughter Sandhya Kumari to hospital in late May, he thought she was suffering from fever brought on by a seasonal virus.

But within 12 hours of her admission his daughter had died.

The initially mild fever had run out of control, causing mental disorientation, seizures and delirium.

Kumari was among more than 100 children who fell victim to acute encephalitis syndrome in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

The state’s central districts of Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran are worst affected. Official estimates suggest a death toll of 130, with 15 children under the age of 10 dying on Sunday alone.

Locally, the syndrome is known as “chamki” fever.

“In my hospital, 291 patients have been admitted, 91 have been discharged and 83 have lost their lives up until Monday,” said Dr. Sunil Kumar Sahi, medical superintendent of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

“The cause of the death is not known,” he told Arab News.

“This is matter of research. We follow a medical protocol in treating such patients because all the children are suffering from inflammation of brain or encephalopathy.

“We are telling the people that they should not come out in the heat, and they should eat on time. If there is a fever, they should take a cold bath and take medicine.” 

Sanjay Kumar, Bihar government’s principal secretary, said that the disease had affected 222 blocks in 12 districts in central Bihar.

On Sunday, a five-year-old girl died in front of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while he was visiting the hospital.

“The situation is really grim in the area adjoining Muzaffarpur. The death toll has reached 127, but government data is still not giving a clear picture,” Raj Kumar, a local reporter, said.

The government has announced it will set up a 100-bed hospital to ease the growing concern in the region. 

A team of doctors has been deployed in central Bihar’s main hospitals to handle the growing number of cases.

“A multi-disciplinary institute will be set up here in the next year to identify the reason behind this disease,” the health minister said.