Dhaka, Dec 15, 2018 (UNB): Local election observers have been advised to work impartially and shun media during the December 30 polls.
Speakers at the ‘Election observers training workshop’ also asked them to remain alert against vote rigging.
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, chief guest at Saturday’s programme at the Jatiya Press Club, asked the observers to maintain rules and regulations.
Election Monitoring Forum (EMF), which organised the workshop at the Jatiya Press Club, said the goal was to train all observers.
EMF Executive Director Prof Mohammad Abed Ali said it was not possible to visit all the polling stations. “Some stray incidents might occur but we cannot use them to make the national election questionable,” he said.
Observers from 25 EMF organisations and 26 NGOs from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan, Canada and Australia will observe the polls, Abed Ali said.
“So, we have to be careful and honest,” he said.
The EMF executive director told the local observers to avoid interacting with the media during polls. “We will set up monitoring cells to keep in touch with the media. If you see any irregularities, contact them,” he said.
Last month, the Election Commission advised the observers to shun the media on the polls day.
“They must stay at polling stations like statues, even if there are irregularities,” EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed had said.
Justice M Abdus Salam, president of SARC Human Right foundation; retired Supreme Court justice Shikder Mokbul Hoque, and EMF member Mohammad Iqbal, among others spoke at the workshop conducted by Rakib Al Mahmud.
Chattogram, Dec 15 (UNB) – Police arrested a BNP leader from an electioneering rally in Kapashgola area of Chawkbazar in the port city on Saturday.
The arrestee Sabuktogir Siddiqi Mokki is the vice-president of Chattogram city BNP and former councilor of ward no. 16 (Chawkbazar) of the city corporation.
Mokki’s younger brother Afzal Karim Siddiqi said that police arrested him around 12 pm when he was attending a rally of BNP candidate Doctor Shahadat Hossain.
Later, he was shown arrested in a sabotage case and was produced before the court, said his brother.
Nezam Uddin, officer-in-charge of Chawkbazar Police Station, said Mokki was accused in several sabotage cases and was absconding.
However, Chattogram city BNP publication secretary Idris Ali claimed that Mokki was on bail in all cases. “Police arrested him without any reason as he joined the election rally,” he added.
Feni, Dec 15 (UNB) - Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said Dr Kamal Hossain exposed his ‘real character’ by using ‘old Pakistani word ‘Khamosh’ [shut up] with a journalist.
“He [Dr Kamal] couldn’t hide his real character through using the old Pakistani work ‘Khamosh’. Though he talks about principles, his real nature has got exposed to people,” he said.
Obaidul Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, was talking to reporters after visiting Daganbhuiyan road expansion work in the morning.
Dr Kamal has proved with his arrogance that he is the proponent of spoiled politics, he said.
“BNP and Oikyafront have become desperate seeing the popularity of Boat. So, Dr Kamal turned more reckless than a reckless driver. Now the country is seeing the mass surge of Boat and the Sheaf of Paddy is nowhere,” he added.
Blaming Oikyafront for the deterioration in law and order in the country, Quader said they started their terrorist acts through the attack on police at Paltan and is now creating chaos themselves to draw media’s attention.
Local Awami League leaders and activists were present.
Dhaka, Dec 15 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday ‘sincerely regretted’ his sharp reaction to a reporter following his question over the Front’s position on Jamaat-e-Islami.
Giving an explanation over the reason behind stopping the journalist from asking such a question at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial, he said, “I’m sorry sincerely, if my remarks hurt or embarrassed anyone in any way.”
Narrating the incident, Dr Kamal said, “After paying tributes to the martyrs of the December 14. Standing on the altar of Memorial, I said we got the independence losing so many meritorious sons (of the soil). Suddenly, I was asked to say about Jamaat’s position in the Jatiya Oikyafront. Then, I humbly replied I don’t want to make any comment on the issue since the day is a matter of deep feeling of us.”
Dr Kamal said he expressed the same views when he was asked the question for the second time.
“But when I heard the ‘Jamaat’, ‘Jamaat’ words for the third time from the crowds then I felt very bad, and I tried to stop the questioner.”
He also reminded that he was also involved throughout his life in the struggle for ensuring press freedom and establishing the rights of journalists.
On Friday morning, Dr Kamal along with Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president ASM Abdur Rob, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP chairperson’s adviser Abdus Salam, Gano Forum leaders Jaglul Haider Afrik and Reza Kibria paid homage to the martyred intellectuals at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Memorial.
Later, talking to reporters, he said they are working for establishing a good society which will be free from exploitation making the independence meaningful.
Dr Kamal, however, lost his temper at one point when a journalist asked him about their position about Jamaat, and said, “How much money have you got for asking such questions?
Kamal also told the reporter to ‘shut up’ as he repeated the question.
Dhaka, Dec 14 (UNB) – BNP on Friday alleged that the ruling platy men attacked Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain’s motorcade in the city at the behest of the head of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The attack was made at the dictate of the head of the ruling government. Every person has the constitutional and legal rights to lead a safe life but they (government) are least bothered about it,” said BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He came up the remarks at a press briefing at the party’s Noya Paltan office on Friday.
The BNP leader said Dr Kamal Hossain is not only a noted jurist but also a revered person who formulated the constitution. ”But it’s a matter of regret that a person like him has been subjected to the attack of the ruling party cadre.”
Rizvi alleged that Awami League activists carried out attack on Dr Kamal Hossain and others even on the ‘Martyred Intellectual Day’ as they don’t hold the spirit of the liberation war.
He alleged that the ruling party activists are also attacking BNP candidates and their supporters everyday across the country.
Earlier in the morning, Dr Kamal Hossain’s motorcade came under attack allegedly by ruling party activists near the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial at Mirpur while returning after paying tributes to the martyred intellectuals, leaving at least 10 people injured.
However, Dr Kamal managed to escape the attack unhurt.
Later, at a press conference, Dr Kamal Hossain described the attack as a serious act of disrespect to martyred intellectuals.