Barishal, July 18 (UNB) – BNP on Thursday slammed the government for giving state honour to autocratic ruler HM Ershad who annihilated democracy in the 90s.
“We expressed shock over the death of Ershad as he was a president of a political party. But it’s fact that democracy was destroyed and many people and students were killed during his rule, and he was ousted through a mass upsurge,” said party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
“Awami League has now taken a stance as the opponent of people and democracy by making an alliance and compromise with them (Jatiya Party). He (Ershad) was given the state honour but the person who fought for democracy and remained captive by Pakistani Army in 1971 has been kept in jail,” he further said apparently referring to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Fakhrul came up with the comments while speaking at a public rally at Eidgah Maidan in the Barishal city arranged by BNP as part of its planned divisional programmes.
He called upon BNP leaders and activists to make a turnaround to get rid of the present situation by defeating the current regime with united efforts.
The BNP leader said Awami League has restored to ‘one-party’ Baksal role by using the state machinery snatching people’s all rights. “We must remain united and establish our rights and free our chairperson Khaleda Zia through a movement,” he told his party colleagues.
Fakhrul urged the government to try to realise people’s pulses and read the wall writings for engaging in talks with opposition parties to find out ways for resolving the political crisis through a peaceful and democratic way.
He thanked people of Barishal for making their party’s first divisional public rally a success with their spontaneous participation braving all adversities. “We initiated our fresh movement from Barishal from toady.”
The BNP leader called upon the government to immediately release Khaleda from jail.
He criticised the government for widening the areas of VAT and increasing the price of gas.
Fakhrul also said people are going through immense sufferings as prices of daily essentials, including onion and green chili, continue to rise.
He said though common people’s income are not increasing and farmers are not getting fair prices for their produces, the salaries and benefits of government officials and employees are continuously growing. “Because the government has been in power depending on them by snatching people’s all rights.”
The BNP secretary general also voiced deep concern over the sharp rise in killing, rape and other social crimes. “People are now getting killed even in the court.”
He alleged that the ruling party men are indulging in widespread corruption in the name of mega projects. “We would like to say Bangladesh will truly turn into a failed state if the current regime remains in power for a long time.”
Fakhrul also renewed his party’s demand for a fresh national election under a neutral government annulling the results of the 11th parliamentary polls.
BNP standing committee member Selima Rahman, vice-chairmen Hafizuddin Ahmed, advocate Zainul Abedin and joint secretary general Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, among others, addressed the rally.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB) – BNP standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Miah was taken to Singapore on Thursday for better treatment.
Miah’s wife and two sons took him to Singapore from United Hospital by a flight of Singapore Airlines around 1:25 pm, said a party press release.
The BNP leader will undergo a surgery in his backbone at the National University Hospital in Singapore.
Miah’s family members urged all to pray for his speedy recovery.
Earlier on July 3, the BNP leader was admitted to United Hospital as he fell sick at his Eskaton residence.
Miah has been suffering from various diseases, including heart, kidney, diabetics, and neurological ones.
The BNP leader remained inactive in politics for long due to his falling health.
Miah who served as the Minister of Housing and Public Works Khaleda Zia’s first cabinet during 1991–1996, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on November 20 in a case filed against him for not submitting his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
He was also arrested the same day and later freed on bail from the High Court.
His wife Shahida Rafique is a member of BNP chairperson’s advisory council.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB) – President of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury on Thursday demanded amendment to the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act for incorporating ‘imprisonment until death’ as a provision of punishment for the rapists of under 12-year-old children.
“Though our current Women and Children Repression Prevention Act is a very tough law, the rate of repression on women and children is growing alarmingly for lack of its execution,” he said.
Speaking at a human-chain programme, the BDB chief further said, “The government must consider making a provision of jail unto death for those who will be convicted for raping under 12-year-old children.”
B Chowdhury, also a former president, said the country’s image is badly getting dented across the world for the scary rise in the incidents of rape and repression on children and women.
He also urged the President to make a commitment that he will not give clemency to those involved in rape.
BBD arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding the proper execution of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.
B Chowdhury urged the media to prominently highlight the photos and identities of rapists.
Besides, he said, steps will have to be taken for disposing of trials and appeals regarding rape case within the shortest possible time.
The BDB chief said restriction can be imposed on showing the rape scene on television, films on social media.
He also said rapists can be declared disqualified for any public and private jobs in a bid to root out the menace from society. “Especially, the entry of rapists to any school, college, madrasa and university should be restricted.”
B Chowdhury urged the law enforcers to remain aware further about the execution of law and prevention of the incidents of rape and repression on women and children. “The number of female members should be increased in the law enforcement agencies, and they should be properly trained and empowered.”
He also underscored the need for conducting vigorous camping against rape through the print, electronic and social media.
Dhaka, July 18 (UNB) – Jatiya Party on Thursday formally announced HM Ershad’s younger brother GM Quader as its chairman.
Party secretary general Moshiur Rahman Ranga came up with the announcement at a press conference at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office.
Before his death, Ranga said, Ershad through an organisational instruction had announced that GM Quader would be the party chairman in his absence. “So, we’ve decided that GM Quader is our party chairman from toady.”
He also urged journalists to mention GM Quader as the Jatiya Party chairman.
Though some party presidium members were present at the press conference, Ershad’s wife and party senior cochairman Raushon Ershad were not seen there.
Speaking at the press conference, GM Quader said there is no conflict or division within their party. “All of the Jatiya Party leaders and activists are united. We’ll make the party stronger further with united efforts by turning our grief over the death of Palli Bondhu into strength.”
Replying to a question, GM Quader said their party will nominate its candidate for the by-polls to Ershad’s seat through discussions at the party forum following their party constitution.
Besides, he said, their party will also take decision through discussions about electing the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
Quader said an organisational team of Jatiya Party will soon initiate their activities across the country to strengthen the party further.
He said they will also hold a meeting immediately in memory of their late chairman HM Ershad.
Party presidium members Kazi Firoz Rashid, Syed Abu Hossain Babla, Sunil Shuvo Roy, SM Faisal Chisti, M Azam Khan, ATU Taj Rahman, Maj (retd) Khaled Akhter, Shafiqul Islam Sentu and Advocate Rejaul Islam Bhuiyan were, among others, present.
Jatiya Party chairman and ex-president Hussain Muhammad Ershad who died on Sunday was laid to eternal rest on Tuesday at Polli Nibash in his hometown Rangpur where he was the most admirable political figure for over three decades.
In a dramatic move, the maverick former military strongman, known for frequently changing his decisions, Ershad reinstated his younger brother GM Quader as party chairman in his absence on April 6 and he did not change the decision before his death.
Earlier, Ershad had picked his brother to run the party in his absence on January 1 last and appointed Quader as the deputy leader of opposition three days later.
Amid strong resentment in the party on March 23, Ershad also removed Quader from the post of the deputy opposition leader, nominating his wife Raushon for the post.
Dhaka, July 17 (UNB) – Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday urged the country’s people, including his party leaders and activists, to stand beside flood-hit people with relief materials at different parts of the country.
He made the call at an emergency meeting of the party held at his Motijheel chamber.
Dr Kamal expressed deep shock at the loss of lives due to flood and conveyed sympathy to those who got affected with the natural disaster, said a party press release.
He condemned the government’s ‘indifference’ and ‘negligence’ towards the flood victims.
Meanwhile, a Gonoforum relief team, led by its presidium member AMSA Amin, went to Rangpur today (Wednesday) to distribute relief materials among the flood-affected people.
Talking to UNB, Gonoforum joint general secretary Maj (retd) Amin Ahmed Afsari said their meeting also decided to hold a seminar in August marking the 44th death anniversary of Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.