‘The mugging was staged’

How employees of a Rajshahi mobile phone shop staged a Tk 33 lakh mugging Police unravel the mystery in nine hours‘The mugging was staged’ Three employees of a mobile phone shop who stole Tk 33 lakh held The mugging took place in broad daylight. A mobile phone sales representative was robbed in Rajshahi city's New Market area on Thursday morning, while he was on his way to deposit Tk 33 lakh to a bank. But something was not right about the story; at least that's what the law enforcers sensed. And nine hours into the incident, through their investigation, police found out that the mugging was actually staged. Three sales staff of Vivo Mobile Phone plotted the incident and stole the money, Boalia police of Rajshahi said in a press conference yesterday. Police arrested them from different spots of the city and recovered Tk 32 lakh from their possession. Noticing a heightened sale of smartphones amid the pandemic, they, driven by greed, decided to steal the money, said Nib…

Boro Harvest: Labour crisis worries farmers

Boro Harvest: Labour crisis worries farmers Anwar Ali The labour shortage created by the current shutdown is worrying farmers ahead of the Boro paddy harvest, despite different measures taken by the government to ensure maximum crop yield.Although the agricultural ministry is making special arrangements for transportation of labourers from different districts to the country's granaries, labour leaders are unwilling to leave home fearing coronavirus infection.Even the ministry's sanctioning of Tk 110 crore to help farmers buy harvester machines at a subsidy might do little to ease the crisis as small and marginalised rice producers, especially in the haor region, cannot afford such more here 

Dheki lives on to make pitha tasty

Remember “dheki chhata chal”? The rice finely threshed in a “dheki”, a heavy wooden pestle that was once popular among rural women in Bangladesh, has made a comeback to give the “puli pitha” (rice cakes) its unique taste for the inhabitants of a village in Rajshahi. This was possible thanks to one Kobuljan Begum. Read the full story here

Rajshahi: Home of mangoes in Bangladesh


It's mango time in Rajshahi

It's mango time in Rajshahi: THE DAILY STAR Sitting on a rickshaw-van, Abdul Jalil Mondol was watching his son, grandsons and labourers pluck mangoes from the trees at his orchard.Despite his humble attire comprising of a lungi, a white vest and a gamchha (cotton towel) hanging over his shoulder, he looked happy and content.
Wiping off the sweat from his forehead with the gamchha, he said, “I made this orchard in my youth. Now I earn the most from it.”
The day's harvest was almost done by 8:00am, when this correspondent reached the orchard at Dhadhas, about 18km from Rajshahi city. The orchard was near Baneswar Bazar, the second largest mango market of the northeastern region.
“Mango plucking begins at sunrise. Orchard owners try to complete the job by noon to take the fruits to the market,” said Jalil, adding that trading of the delicious fruit goes on all night and day in the market during the harvest season.
The labourers pluck mangoes with a “kota”, a locally made tool consist…

Poachers use poison traps to kill birds

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Poachers are hunting migratory birds with “poison traps” in the char lands of the Padma river in Rajshahi and selling those in the city.
A large number of migratory birds come to the chars during winter every year and a group of poachers catch these birds mixing grains with deadly pesticides, according to locals and experts.
They use this method to avoid being caught by people and the administration, the sources claimed.
During a visit to the chars late last month, this correspondent saw the carcass of a Ruddy Shelduck in a char of the river near Khanpur. The bird's internal organs appeared to be gouged out by some wild animal.
“The dead bird was left there, because it was of no use to the poachers. Wild cats might have eaten up some of its organs,” said boatman Mosharraf Hossain.
Another local boatman Noor Islam told this paper that he had seen some guest birds mostly Ruddy Shelducks, locally known as Chokha-chokhi, lying dead in the chars at M…

The mother of Rajshahi's shoemakers

Now in her eighties, Rokeya Begum of Kaluhati village in Rajshahi's Charghat upazila is well within her rights to reflect upon life. Having raised five sons and one daughter, as breadwinner and for the most part singlehandedly, she could be forgiven if such reminiscence gives rise to a self-satisfied smile.
What's less well known about Begum is how this one woman's efforts brought prosperity to her entire village. And it was a matter as simple as shoes...
“In Kaluhati, most men worked as share croppers or day labourers,” says neighbour Mizanur Rahman, remembering what the village 35 kilometres from Rajshahi City was like in the 1980s. “Most villagers had no land then. They lived in houses of clay and straw; the village had a reputation for harbouring thieves.”
“It's a past long forgotten,” he adds.
Today, almost every family in Kaluhati is solvent and self-reliant. Many families which once had next-to-nothing now live in brick homes with electricity. To accommodate vis…