BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday exchanged greetings with members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Durga Puja by visiting Dhakeshwari Central Puja mandap.
On Behalf of BNP, he went to the temple and greeted the devotees in the evening.
"I’ve come here, on behalf of the BNP, to exchange pleasantries with you on the occasion of Durga Puja. We know this time you’ve to perform the ritual of the puja amid many restrictions due to Covid-19. You’re also unable to celebrate the puja with much enthusiasm.”
The BNP leader said Goddess Durga appeared on earth to defeat the demons and stood up against injustice, to establish truth by dispelling untruth. “We also have to fight against that injustice and untruth to establish justice.”
Expressing solidarity with the Hindu community, he said the people of Bangladesh are non-communal and they used to live in peace maintaining religious harmony. “In Bangladesh, we the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians, have been living together for ages. We all are living in this country holding the Liberation War’s spirit of democracy.
As Fakhrul arrived at the Dhakeswari Central Puja Mandap, Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Udjapan Committee general secretary Kishore Ranjan Mandal along with other leaders received him.
Fakhrul stayed there for some time and talked to the devotees.
Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, began on Thursday with Maha Sashthi puja at temples across the country maintaining health guidelines set by the government to contain the corona spread.
A mood of festivities persists among the devotees irrespective of ages marking the festival as adequate security measures have already been taken in the puja pandals across the country.
The five-day of the festival starts with 'Bodhon' of the Goddess Durga marking Sashthi while the festival will come to an end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga in nearby rivers and water bodies across the country on Tuesday.
Jatiya Party Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu on Friday said development without good governance and justice is ‘pointless’.
“Rape and violence against women and children don’t match with the development. It’s not possible to eradicate rape menace from the country without ending the culture of impunity,” he told a discussion.
Bablu said, “Without good governance, development activities become useless. Similarly, development becomes meaningless if a nation can’t get out of the culture of impunity.”
He said now people have taken to the streets demanding the protection of women's dignity. “Nothing could be more shameful than this. People want to get rid of rape menace and violence against women.”
Jatiya Party arranged the programme at its chairman’s Banani office, marking the ‘Upazila Day’.
Bablu said only Jatiya Party, not Awami League and BNP, can eliminate the rape the menace, violence against women and other unfair acts from the country. “That’s why a government, led by Jatiya Party, now needs to free people from all misdeeds.”
He said people want good governance and the rule of law along with development. “Pallibandhu Hussain Muhammad Ershad had been able to ensure good governance with development.”
The Jatiya Party leader said the existence of BNP which indulged in grabbing, tender manipulation and destroyed the Upazila system introduced by HM Ershad is now at stake. “BNP must stand at the dock of history for the crime it had committed by abolishing the upazila system.”
He said the present Awami League government has made too much of visible development staying in power for a long time. “But it has completely failed to ensure peace, comfort and security of people.”
Bablu said both BNP and Awami League have failed to ensure the security of public life and protect the dignity of women and children. “That’s why people are now looking up at Jatiya Party for security, peace, comfort, development and good governance.”
He said their late party founder HM Ershad introduced the Upazila system to take the benefits of development to the doorsteps of people.
The Jatiya Party leader urged the government to restore and implement the Upazila system.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury on Friday alleged that the current government has established ‘one-party Baksal’ rule in the country under a different cover by ‘snatching’ people’s democratic rights.
"All the activities of this government are anti-democratic. As per our constitution, I've the right to speak up and enjoy the freedom of association. But I’m not allowed to do that,” he said.
Speaking at a sit-in programme, Zafrullah, also a freedom fighter, said, “There’s no democracy in the country now. Baksal has been established in the country with a different name. It can't go on."
Rajnoitik Daler Nibandhan Podhati Batiler Dabi Parishad arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding cancellation of all ‘black laws’, including section 90 added to the RPO, and the reconstitution of the Election Commission.
Dr Zafrullah said it is the government’s wrong policy to gag people’s voice and create obstacles to people’s right to expression.
“All the works you (PM) are doing is gradually proving to be wrong. For example, making death penalty as punishment for rape by amending the law is a wrong step. This provision of hanging couldn’t bring change anywhere in the world. It’s a medieval option of punishment,” he observed.
Referring to media reports, the freedom fighter said the heinous crime like rape did not fall even after the introduction of death sentence as punishment for rapists. “Rather it’s increased. Now the situation is becoming so worse that children at schools and madrasas are increasingly getting raped. How did she (PM) make such a big mistake? “
Zafrullah said the government is arresting journalists and other people who raise their voice against it but those who have siphoned off lakhs of crores of taka are not punished. “Can it be democracy?”
He also criticised neighbouring India for what he said exploiting Bangladesh. "Today's newspaper report exposed how much India has been looting us as the country received $128 billion from Bangladesh (as remittance) in 2018. This country didn’t spend even $100 million during our Liberation War.”
A meeting on agriculture production and stock was held at the Ganobhaban on Thursday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The meeting reviewed the country’s food production during the flood situation, particularly in the coming Aman season.
It also discussed implementation of 21 incentive packages declared by the government to face the losses due to COVID-19.
The Prime Minister gave necessary directives to the concerned officials at the meeting.
Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque, Food Minister Shadhon Chandra Majumder, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus, PMO Secretary, Secretaries of Finance Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Ministry as well as the Bangladesh Bank Governor attended the meeting.
A faction of Gonoforum leaders, led by its former general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, on Wednesday warned of taking organisational action against party president Dr Kamal Hossain if he does not refrain from indulging in its ‘anti-constitutional’ activities.
“All the anti-constitutional activities within our party have been carried out with the direct help of our party president Dr Kamal Hossain. If we say it straightforward it’s been done with his consent,” said Gonoforum ex-executive president Subrata Chowdhury.
Speaking at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club, he said, "We would like to clearly say we’ll be forced to take organisational decision against respected Dr Kamal Hossain for the continuation of anti-political and anti-constitutional activities, patronage of an evil quarter, and the character assassination of national leaders through spreading lies, fabrications and imaginary interviews.”
Asked what the organisational decision they may take, Subrata said they may serve show-cause notices upon Dr Kamal and others if they continue to carry out their activities going against the party constitution.
"As per our constitution, if the party president or a member is involved in anti-constitutional activities, he or she can be expelled with the consent of two-thirds of the members of the Central Committee. Before that, we’ve to send a show-cause notice. This is the provision of our constitution,” he added.
Subrata said they had a plan to take a decision regarding Dr Kamal Hossain at the party council on December 26. “But he in connivance with Dr Reza Kibria is still doing anti-constitutional activities. “So, this process may have taken place earlier. We’ll take a decision on it seeing his role from tomorrow.”
Montu said Dr Kamal Hossain has been there in the post of party president for 27 years as there has been no democracy within the party. “Five to six general secretaries of the party have been changed by the time, but he’s still its president without any break. He used to talk about quitting the post, but he didn’t do it yet.”
He said a democratic party must have the practice of democracy and the party activities should be carried out in its office instead of at any person's chamber or home. “It’s unfortunate that we had to make the party decisions at (Kamal’s) chamber. The Central Committee didn’t meet in the last 18 months though there is an obligation to do it every three months. This isn't the practice of democracy.”
Montu said Dr Reza Kibria was made party member and its general secretary unconstitutionally as per Dr Kamal’s own decision.
On October 17, a central committee meeting of Gonoforum, led by Dr Kamal, decided to hold the party's central council on December 12.
The meeting also decided to expel eight leaders--Mostafa Mohsin Montu, Prof Abu Sayeed, Subrata Chowdhury, Zaglul Haider Afrik, Helaluddin, Latiful Bari Hamim, Khan Siddiqur Rahman and Abdul Hasib Chowdhury-- from the post of primary member of the party.
On September 26, Gonoforum, led by Montu, decided to hold its national council on December 26 next.
At an ‘extended meeting of the faction’s central committee’ also expelled party general secretary Dr Reza Kibria, presidium members AOM Shafique Ullah, advocate Mohsin Rashid and organising secretary Mostaque Ahmed for violating party discipline and constitution and indulging in activities that go against the party’s interests and organisational unity.
Dr Kamal Hossain founded Gonoforum in 1993 deserting Awami League.
Also read: Dr Kamal’s Gonoforum council on Dec 12