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2020: The year of the pandemic through the lens

  • bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-01-01 02:47:06 BdST

Time flies and people end up turning over the last page of the calendar. Every year delivers incidents that are to be remembered with fondness or regrets, but 2020 stood out with some unprecedented events amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of which Bangladesh would like to wish away. bdnews24.com tells the stories through the photos its photographers clicked of the “once-in-a-lifetime” crisis.

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Jan 1, 2020: Students from grade one to grade nine received the new textbooks on the first day of the year. More than 42 million students from all of the schools across Bangladesh had lay their hands on 353.9 million textbooks.

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Jan 5, 2020: A student of Dhaka University was raped at Airport Road near Kurmitola while on her way to a friend’s place. CID experts were gathering evidence from the place of occurrance which led the rapist to be sentenced to life imprisonment in trial.

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Jan 6, 2020: Students poured onto the Dhaka University campus to protest against the rape of a female co-student in Kurmitola the previous day.

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Jan 10, 2020: Countdown started for the celebration of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the day of his homecoming. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the countdown at the old airport in Tejgaon.

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Jan 13, 2020: CID of police arrested former leader of the Awami League Enamul Haque Enu and his brother Rupan Bhuiyan from Keraniganj. Both were absconding in the case that implicated them in the casino scam.

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Jan 20, 2020: Four convicts in the killing of 24 people at Laldighi ground in Chattogram, prior to a rally of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina three decades ago, being taken to jail from a Chattogram court. All four were sentenced to death.

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Jan 22 2020: Authorities started razing down the BGMEA building, an ‘eye sore’ to Hatirjheel. The then minister for housing and public works SM Rezaul Karim inaugurated the demolition job.

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Jan 24, 2020: Chalantika slum at Section-7 in Mirpur was burnt down severely again five months into the first fire incident.

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Jan 31, 2020: Bangladeshi students stranded in Wuhan following the coronavirus outbreak wait for returning home at Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan. Photo: bdnews24.com

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Feb 1, 2020: Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda casting his ballot in Dhaka North City Corporation election at IES High School centre in Uttara. He used his NID to vote as his finger prints did not match.

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Feb 3, 2020: Bangladeshi nationals returning from Wuhan, China are seen on the rooftop of the Ashkona Hajj Camp. Authorities kept them under observation in the camp in a bid to prevent the coronavirus infection from spreading.

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Feb 8, 2020: Hundreds of shanties in Banani T&T slum turned into ashes in a fire. At least 22 fire engines tamed the flames after two hours of frantic efforts.

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Feb 9, 2020: Bangladesh Under-19 team playing in a World Cup final for the first time. Fans in the stands cheered when India lost its first wicket in final match at Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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Feb 12, 2020: Members of the Bangladesh Under-19 team, which won the youth World Cup beating India in South Africa, are emerging from Shahjalal International Airport to a hero's welcome.

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Feb 24, 2020: Shamima Noor Papia, the expelled Jubo Mohila League leader who was arrested over her illegal business of arms, drugs and extortion, being taken to court.

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Feb 25, 2020: RAB recovered Tk 260 million from five chests in Momtaz Villa, situated at Lalmohan Saha Street in Old Dhaka, which belongs to former Gendaria Awami League leader Enamul Haque Enu and his brother Rupan Bhuiyan, both of whom were arrested over casino scam.

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Mar 3, 2020: BIWTA demolishes the oil depot owned and built by MP Aslamul Haque upon encroaching the bank of the river Buriganga.

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Mar 9, 2020: The then director of the Directorate of Health Services Abul Kalam Azad appeared at a press briefing the day after Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases. Phot: Asif Mahmud Ove

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Mar 14, 2020: More than a hundred people returned home from Italy in an Emirates flight after the coronavirus epidemic broke out there. The disgruntled returnees protested when they were taken to Ashkona Hajj Camp for quarantine.

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Mar 17, 2020: Fireworks lighting the sky at the inaugural ceremony of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Suhrawardy Udyan.

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Mar 24, 2020: People began to leave Dhaka after a lockdown was imposed in a bid to prevent the coronavirus infection from spreading. Rail stations, bus and launch terminals were overcrowded with frightened people rushing to their homes in villages and towns.

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Mar 25, 2020: After being imprisoned for 25 months, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was released by the Sheikh Hasina government on ‘humanitarian grounds’ when the coronavirus cases escalated.

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Mar 25, 2020: The army was called out in order to assist the civil administration in the fight against the coronavirus crisis. Army personnel were seen patrolling the GEC intersection in Chattogram.

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Mar 25, 2020: People were crossing the Babubazar Bridge as they were leaving Dhaka to escape the wrath of the coronavirus.

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Mar 26, 2020: A forlorn Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka after almost all international flight operations were suspended following an outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Mar 26, 2020: Locals protested when the Akij Group moved to build a temporary hospital in Tejgaon to provide free treatment to the coronavirus patients.

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Mar 26, 2020: On the first day of lockdown police punished a few people by making them do sit-ups for roaming around aimlessly in Sadarghat.

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Apr 1, 2020: The fear of coronavirus and the rules imposed to prevent it from spreading changed Dhaka, the city that houses 12.5 million people. The streets that are usually crammed with people and transports were left empty.

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Apr 5, 2020: Boeing 777 of British Airways flies into Dhaka after eleven years; it came to carry home 264 British nationals stranded in Bangladesh amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Apr 5, 2020: Road communications were halted across the country to stop the coronavirus pathogen from spreading. A police check-post is seen at Bijoy Sarani in Dhaka.

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Apr 7, 2020: Abdul Majid, an absconding convict of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman killing, was arrested and sent to jail.

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Apr 8, 2020: Public representatives sealed off almost all alleys in Lalbagh, Old Dhaka, after one person died from the coronavirus.

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Apr 9, 2020: The night of Shab-e-Barat was different this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Baitul Mukarram National Mosque was closed after only the Imam, muazzin, and a few mosque officials were allowed to offer the Isha prayers together.

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Apr 9, 2020: Azizul Islam, a security officer used to walk to his workplace as the public transports stopped operating due to the coronavirus crisis. He offered his Maghrib prayers at the pavement of Dhaka University while on his way.

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Apr 14, 2020: The Babubazar Bridge in Old Dhaka was closed to traffic amid the coronavirus crisis. The Army was patrolling the bridge to ensure that no one crossed it.

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Apr 15, 2020: Though the health protocol demanded people stay home as much as possible, the workers in the readymade garment sector had to take to the streets to demand back pay. The workers blocked the streets in different parts of the capital in protest.

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Apr 28, 2020: Garment factories that were shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic began to operate on a limited scale after a month.

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May 9, 2020: The busy Balaka Cine Complex wore a deserted look with its gate locked. All movie theatres were closed for seven months in a bid to prevent the coronavirus infection.

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May 9, 2020: The government relaxed the rules amid lockdown allowing the shops to be open prior to Eid-ul-Azha; but the shop owners in New Market did not open the shops fearing the contagion.

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May 20, 2020: Police swooped on the garment workers who took to the street in different parts of Dhaka to demand unpaid wages.

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May 20, 2020: Severe cyclonic storm Amphan made a landfall at the coastline of West Bengal in India and moved towards Kolkata ravaging the lands; it also entered Bangladesh.

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May 29, 2020: Rail tracks and train cars rusted in Kamlapur Railway Station which was closed down for two months during the lockdown. Those were polished up before the train operation resumed on a limited scale.

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Jun 1, 2020: Domestic flights resumed after they were halted for two months amid the coronavirus crisis. The aviation staff at Shahjalal International Airport, however, wore safety gears like gloves and masks to avoid getting infected.

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Jun 1, 2020: Public bus service resumed operations upon following certain protocols after remaining halted for two months amid the coronavirus crisis. Each bus had to carry passengers half to its capacity.

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Jun 10, 2020: Rajabazar, the ‘red zone’ in Dhaka, was the first to go under an area-based lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Jun 12, 2020: Bashundhara Shopping Mall in Dhaka reopened after remaining closed for two and a half months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jun 14, 2020: Police were the frontline fighters in the war against coronavirus and so, many of their members contracted coronavirus. The authorities made exercise mandatory for police personnel to boost their immunity.

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Jun 15, 2020: Body of Ershad Ali, who died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, was shrouded and put in a safety bag.

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Jun 16, 2020: Fatema Begum suffered a lot to get treatment during the coronavirus pandemic. A resident of Mirpur, Fatema, who showed symptoms for coronavirus infection, could not get hospitalised even after trying three hospitals. Finally, she was admitted to Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital.

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Jun 24, 2020: JKG Healthcare CEO Ariful Haque Chowdhury who was arrested for providing fake reports of coronavirus sample tests.

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Jun 24, 2020: People put their belongings on a pick-up truck and head to their village homes from Dhaka as they lost their earnings amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Jun 29, 2020: A row of recovered bodies from the sunken launch in Buriganga river near Shyambazar, Dhaka. At least 32 people died in the ferry disaster.

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Jul 1, 2020: It was expected to be celebrated with much fanfare but Dhaka University was rather deserted on the day of 99th founding anniversary amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jul 5, 2020: Wyre Street in Wari was marked as the ‘red zone’ of Dhaka and went under a local lockdown.

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Jul 5, 2020: Moniruzzaman is among those who faced trouble in getting medical treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic. He suffers from cancer and comes to Dhaka regularly for treatment with his son from Netrakona. Doctors asked him to do a coronavirus test before receiving any treatment. He was waiting outside Mugda Medical College Hospital for the test.

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Jul 5, 2020: When pandemic forced a school sale! No academic activities due to the coronavirus pandemic led this school to lose all of its students and all earnings. But the spendings did not stop. Hence, the authorities of Fulkuri Kindergarten in Nobinagar Housing in Mohammedpur hung the notice to sell it after failing to meet the administrative cost. The school, however, evaded the sale as a donor paid the required money.

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Jul 9, 2020: Workers of Latif Bawani Jute Mill in Demra, Dhaka were returning to their village homes leaving their quarters. As many as 25,000 workers lost their jobs when the government shut down all the state-owned jute mills.

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Jul 11, 2020: A doctor on duty in the COVID-19 ward for women in Shahid Suhrawardy Medical College is examining the x-ray report of a patient.

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Jul 12, 2020: Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury, a cardiac surgeon at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, was arrested for her alleged involvement in providing fake COVID-19 test reports and embezzlement of funds in the JKG Healthcare scam. Her husband Ariful Chowdhury was arrested earlier.

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Jul 16, 2020: RAB arrested Regent Hospital Chairman Shahed Karim on charges of issuing fake COVID-19 test report. He also allegedly swindled numerous people out of their millions through his MLM business and other fraudulent activities. He was detained on Jul 15 at Satkhira frontier after a week of dodging the law. RAB flew him into Dhaka by a helicopter.

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Jul 16, 2020: A familiar sight of frivolous children around the school became rare amid the coronavirus pandemic. These children in Gabtali Government Primary School were engrossed in playing when they came to collect the biscuits available to them under the school feeding project.

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Jul 17, 2020: Flood hit the country mid-year in 2020. The floodwaters were flowing downhill at the street in Sunamganj while an adolescent was fishing in the water.

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Jul 24, 2020: Water and only water was everywhere. People in more than 50 villages in Sariakandi Upazila in Bogura suffered on being waterlogged due to the flash floods and overflowing of the river Jamuna for more than a month.

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Jul 25, 2020: Former Chhatra League leader Sharmin Jahan was taken to court following her arrest on charges of supplying fake masks to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

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Jul 27, 2020: A resident of Shaymoli, Emdadul Haque, like many others, wore PPE while heading to the sacrificial animal market in an effort to dodge the contagion.

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Jul 29, 2020: Cattle replaced them as the trains lacked enough number of passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The train carried 270 cattle for sacrifice during the Eid-ul-Azha from Islampur, Jamalpur to Kamlapur Railway Station in Dhaka.

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Jul 30, 2020: No health protocols were followed when people from the southern part of the country thronged Sadarghat on their way to the village homes to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha.

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Jul 30, 2020: Retired major Sinha Md Rashed Khan was killed by police at Shamlapur Police Checkpost in Cox’s Bazar, shocking the entire nation.

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Aug 2, 2020: Leather market saw a slump in business due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Muradpur, Chattogram, seasonal traders left the raw hide failing to sell those on the following day of Eid ul Azha.

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Aug 7, 2020: Mountaineer Reshma Nahar Ratna’s cycle lay on the street beside Chandrima Udyan as she lost her life in a hit-and-run.

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Aug 12, 2020: Former DGHS director general Abul Kalam Azad at the Anti-Corruption Commission office for questioning over the corruption charges in the purchase of low-quality masks, PPE and other health equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aug 18, 2020: SM Waliul Islam, deputy assistant engineer of the Housing and Public Works Department, passed out suddenly at Topkhana Road. But no one came to his aid fearing getting infected by the coronavirus. Traffic policemen 'Ariful' took the man to a hospital with the help of another person, but he had died before he could get treatment. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

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Aug 24, 2020: Some of the Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait had their appointment tenure (Aqama) expired, which was not extended amid the coronavirus crisis. These Bangladeshis returned home losing their jobs in the Gulf kingdom.

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Aug 29, 2020: Animal rights activists protested when Dhaka South City Corporation decided to relocate 30,000 stray dogs outside the capital. They used the paint and brush to portray their message of peaceful co-existence of humans and dogs.

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Sept 3, 2020: Wahida Khanam, the UNO of Ghoraghat who was injured in an attack late at night in her residence, received treatment in the National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital.

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Sept 4, 200: At least 29 people died in a blast at Baitus Salat mosque at Pashchimtalla in Narayanganj after the Isha prayers at night. A leakage in the gas pipe led to the explosion.

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Sept 11, 2020: Jiniya, a street child living near TSC in Dhaka University, made headlines when she went missing. She was lured away and taken to Narayanganj. The law enforcement rescued her after a few days.

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Sept 18, 2020: Disciples of Shah Ahmad Shafi, supreme leader of the Hifazat-e Islam, following the vehicle carrying his dead body from Azgar Ali Hospital to Zamia Arabia Imdadul Ulum Faridabad Madrasa in Gendaria.

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Sept 22, 2020: Expatriate workers, who feared losing their job in Saudi Arabia after failing to secure an air ticket, protested in front of Hotel Sonargaon in Karwan Bazar.

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Sept 30, 2020: Jahalom served jail for three years on charges of loan fraud despite him not commiting the crime. He flashed the victory sign when the High Court ordered the defendants to pay him Tk 1.5 million in compensation.

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Oct 3, 2020: Dhaka University has been shut down for a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic. The residential halls have been closed too. Those students finishing their post-graduation and preparing to enter the job market were shifting to private dormitories or other places.

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Oct 5, 2020: Fazlur Rahman was in tears after losing his rickshaw-his last resort to make ends meet amid the crisis. The authorities confiscated his battery-run rickshaw during a drive in Jigatala. He had borrowed Tk 80,000 and bought the rickshaw 15 days after he had lost his job in a shop amid the pandemic. Many people came forward to assist him once his plight was reported in the media.

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Oct 8, 2020: People erupted in protest at Shahbagh after a series of sexual assaults, including the gang rape of a housewife in Sylhet MC College and a woman stripped naked and tortured in Noakhali, took place throughout Bangladesh.

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Oct 9, 2020: New Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami spoke to the media for the first time at Bharat Bhaban in Gulshan after he presented his credentials to the president.

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Oct 13, 2020: Local MP Mujibur Rahman Nixon held a press briefing where he accused the district administration of bias after he faced charges of threatening public servants during the Charvadrason Upazila Parishad by-polls.

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Oct 16, 2020: Cinemas reopened after a long closure amid the coronavirus pandemic. The halls, however, had almost no audience on the first day of the restart.

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Oct 22, 2020: A long queue of people buying potatoes from the TCB after struggling to buy the kitchen staple when its prices skyrocketed all of a sudden.

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Oct 26, 2020: RAB arrested Erfan Selim, son of MP Haji Mohammed Selim, in a raid on their home at Sowari Ghat in Old Dhaka after a case was filed over the assault of a naval officer by a group of attackers travelling in his father’s car. The elite police unit seized illegal arms, bullets, walki-talki, handcuffs and foreign liquor from the house.

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Oct 29, 2020: A group of people lynched and burned a man to death in Burimari Bazar in Lalmonirhat accusing him of dishonouring the Quran.

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Nov 1, 2020: Muslims torched the houses of the Hindus in Muradnagar Upazila, Cumilla alleging that they had insulted Islam.

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Nov 6, 2020: Bangladesh's first seminary for transgender people, named Dawatul Quran Third Gender Madrasa, opened in Dhaka's Kamrangirchar.

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Nov 10, 2020: Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested 10 people over the murder of Assistant Commissioner of Barishal Police Anisul Karim, at Mind Aid mental health hospital in Dhaka’s Adabor.

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Nov 12. 2020: At least nine buses were torched at different parts of the city during the voting of Dhaka-18 by-poll. A few cases were filed over the incidents naming the BNP leaders and activists.

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Nov 19, 2020: Mojnu Mia was sentenced for a life in prison for raping a Dhaka University student.

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Nov 21, 2020: RAB in a raid recovered firearms, drugs and cash from the house of Monir Hossain, a gold trader locally known as 'Golden Monir', in Dhaka's Merul Badda.

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Dec 4, 2020: Vandals defaced a sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman under the cover of night in Kushtia amid growing opposition from Hifazat-e Islam to the statues of the Father of the Nation.

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Dec 4, 2020: Bangladesh began to relocate the Rohingya from Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char. Seven ships carrying 1,642 Rohingya people from Ukhiya set off to the island of Bhasan Char in Noakhali.

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Dec 9, 2020: Span No. 2F, the last of the 41 spans of the Padma Bridge, was installed on piers 12 and 13 at Mawa end and the bridge burst into full view with its installation.