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1 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Police nab over 50 activists from different locations

BNP renews call for poll-time govt, Khaleda release

Party places 7 demands, 12 visions
BNP renews call for poll-time govt, Khaleda release
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir (inset) speaks at a large party rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital yesterday. Independent Photo

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) yesterday raised a seven-point charter of demands at mammoth public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan. The demands include unconditional release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and withdrawal of false cases filed against her, dissolution of Parliament, resignation of the government and formation of an election-time neutral administration through talks with all political parties. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir placed the demands in line with the five-point demands of Jatiya Okiya Prokriya (National Unity Process) led by Dr Kamal Hossain.

The other demands are: deployment of armed forces in each polling centre with magistracy power, no use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next poll, no restrictions on local and international observers, and the release of all imprisoned opposition leaders and activists.

The BNP also demanded that the procedures of all the political cases be suspended. It demanded withdrawal of all cases against the released students and journalists who were arrested in connection with the quota reform movement, the students’ movement for safe roads and the freedom of expression.

The party said no new cases should be filed until the declaration of the election result. It also said the government should not arrest anyone in old cases.

Fakhrul, who presided over the meeting, also announced the aims of the party. These include creating a welfare-oriented state by establishing the rule of law in a democratic manner to ensure neutrality of government institutions and no misuse of state power.

The BNP aims also include not giving any room to terrorism and preventing militant

groups from using Bangladesh’s land, recruitment of judges through a transparent process, modernisation of the armed forces, freeing the Anti-Corruption Commission from political influence, and ensuring the safety and security of people, ensuring their wealth and fundamental rights, and forging a national unity to end the politics of vengeance.

The BNP secretary general also announced a two-day mass contact programme as part of “a series of programmes to be announced later on to press home their demands”. As part of these programmes, The BNP would hold rallies in all districts on October 3 and in all cities on October 4.

It will also hand over memorandums to deputy commissioners and divisional commissioners across the country.

 The BNP organised the public meeting after getting permission from the police. The party received the permission in its third attempt and only after agreeing to 22 conditions imposed on it by law enforcers.

No leader from any ally of the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance or any party involved in the national unity process took part in the meeting.

 Khaleda Zia, who is now languishing behind bars, was made chief guest the public meeting. A chair was preserved in the middle of the front row of the podium in her honour. The public meeting began at 2pm.

Thousands of party leaders and activists thronged the Suhrawardy Udyan and its adjacent areas, including Matshya Bhaban, High Court and Shahbagh areas, since morning. The continuous movement of party leaders and activists created huge traffic congestion in nearby areas.

 In total, 46 leaders spoke at the meeting, which continued till 5:40pm. However, none of the leaders mentioned the name of either the 20-Party Alliance or Jamaat-e-Islami. However, in an oblique reference to Jamaat’s involvement in the ongoing movement, BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy said those that are involved in the movement for restoration for democracy in the country will always be their friends.

 On remarks made by the AL that its activists would soon take to the streets, the veteran BNP leader wryly observed that the ruling party has already grabbed every piece of land in the country, except Azimpur and Banani graveyards.

 Another standing committee member, Moudud Ahmed, strongly criticised the Digital Security Act. He said if voted to power in the next poll, the BNP would repeal the law within seven days.

 Fakhrul said Khaleda Zia is ready to accept any consequence for the sake of restoration of democracy in Bangladesh. He accused the government of destroying all the three state organs and killing opposition leaders and activists through enforced disappearance.

 The BNP leader alleged that a total of 4,319 party leaders and activists have been arrested in ‘false cases’ in September alone. The total number of accused is over 2.72 lakh till now.

 He rebuked the police administration for filing such ‘fabricated cases’ against BNP leaders and activists. He also said that the police have to be accountable to the people for filing such cases against innocent party activists.

“Ruling party leaders are afraid of the BNP, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman,” he added.

 He called upon the government to immediately accept the demands raised by the BNP. Otherwise, tougher action would be launched soon, he warned.

 Fakhrul also called upon all political parties, organisations and

individuals to forge a greater unity for the sake of democracy.

 Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, who addressed the meeting as chief speaker, said there will be no election without Khaleda Zia, who is currently serving five years in jail in a graft case.

 Referring to different remarks of ruling party leaders, Hossain said they are speaking nonsense in fear of the latent power of the BNP.

 He urged government employees to work neutrally and stand beside the people.

He, however, assured the ruling party that the BNP will not follow the politics of vengeance.

 The former minister called upon party leaders to get prepared for a greater movement. He said the party’s demands, including the release of Khaleda Zia, would not materialise if the government is not forced to accept those through a movement.

 Moudud Ahmed said the government has been hatching a conspiracy to foil the next election. The ruling party has realised that it cannot assume power through a fair election, he added.

 BNP leaders also claimed that police arrested more than 50 activists from deferent location specially the meeting spot area.

BNP leaders Jamirudidn Sircar, Jamiruddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas, Dr Abdul Moin Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Abdullah Al NOman, Maj. (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, Selima Rahman, Barkatullah Bulu, Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, Azam Zahid Hossain, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Shawkat Mahmud and Syed Moazzme Hossain Alal, among others, also spoke on the occasion.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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