Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) – Terming the Digital Security Act a dangerous ‘black law’, BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Sunday said their party, if voted to power, will revoke it within seven days of assuming office.
“Formulating the Digital Security Act is a serious onslaught on freedom of expression. It’s a serious black law. It sections 8, 21, 25, 28,29,31,32, and 43 are unconstitutional,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “We would like to clearly say we’ll annul the Digital Security Act by seven days if we return to power.”
He came up with the assurance while speaking at BNP’s public rally at Suhrawardy Udyan demanding the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and withdrawal of ‘false’ cases against its senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, called upon editors and journalists to be vocal against the Act. “It’s time for media brothers to wake up. Try to resist it with your united efforts, and force the regime to annul it.”
Referring to section 32 of the Act, he said journalists can be sentenced to 14 years' jail and fined Tk 25 lakh for publishing any government document on its corruption and misdeed in the media.
“The section 43 is more dangerous where law enforcers are given limitless power which was not even given to Rakkhi Bahi (during the 1975) as they’ll be able to raid any office and house and seize computers and other equipment and arrest anyone without any warrant. Can it be accepted?” the BNP leader said.
Moudud, also a former law minister, said the law was enacted so that the media cannot publish any report on government misdeeds ahead of the election.
“The government, I think, won’t be able to gag the media and people through the act. The newspapers, I do believe, won’t hesitate to run news about government misdeeds,” he added.
Kushtia, Sep 30 (UNB) - Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Sunday said the next general election will be held as per the constitution and no unconstitutional demand by any party over the election will be accepted.
“All political parties are invited to participate in the next general election but the demands that go against the constitutional won’t be accepted,” he said after a meeting with local party leaders at his house here.
About BNP’s demand for releasing its chairperson Khaleda Zia before the election, Hanif said Khaleda Zia has been jailed following a court verdict.
“BNP must understand that a convict can’t be freed without any court order. So, there’s no scope to realise any illegal demand ahead of the election by threatening to boycott the polls,” he said.
AL’s Kushtia unit general secretary Asgar Ali, joint general secretary Faruk Hossain and other local leaders were present.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday placed their a seven-point demand, including the release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and formation of a neutral election-time government before the announcement of the election schedule, from its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city.
It also announced a 12-point vision of the party from the rally to ensure good governance and build a welfare state based on fairness if the party is voted to power.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who presided over the rally, spelled out the demands and the visions of the party.
He also said they will hold rallies in all district towns across the country on October 3 and submit a memorandum to deputy commissioners and observe the same programme in all cities on October 4 and submit a memorandum to the divisional commissioners to force the government to meet their demands.
The BNP leader said their party will gradually announce more action programmes in the days to come and intensify their movement. “We’ll surely force the government to free Khaleda Zia, ensure the return of Tarique Rahman and the release of our all the arrested leaders and activists.”
The party’s other demands are withdrawal of all the ‘false’ cases filed against Khaleda, party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, and all other political prisoners, dissolution of the current parliament, resignation of the government, deployment of army at all the polling stations with magistracy power for ensuring fair balloting, assurance of not using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the election, appointment of local and international observers without imposing any restriction on them for ensuring transparency in the polls and reconstitution of the Election Commission.
Besides, the party demanded the government release all the opposition leaders and activists revoking their conviction, keep suspended all the cases filed against them from the announcement of the election schedule till the final announcement of the results, not to implicate any of them in new cases, and release all the arrested students who waged quota-reform and safe-road movements, journalists who waged movement for their rights and people who got arrested on charge of expressing their opinions on social media after withdrawing the cases filed against them.
In its 12-point vision, the party said it will take steps to ensure good governance, press freedom, neutrality of public institutions by establishing the rule of law and removing politicisation, balance in state power, independence of the judiciary and its power through appointing judges based on a transparent process, make the armed forces stronger through modernisation, strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission effective freeing it from political influence to check corruption, ensure the security of public life and property and their basic rights, build cordial relations with neighbouring counties by increasing trade and commerce, communication and investment, not to pamper any type of terrorist acts and allow any militant group to use Bangladesh’s territory, create jobs for all, provide the unemployed educated youth with allowance and create a national consensus to get rid of the politics of vengeance.
The rally formally began around 2pm with recitation from the holy Quran.
Though BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since February 8, the party made her the chief guest of the rally as a mark of respect to her. The chair of the chief guest was kept empty at the rally.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan and Nazrul Islam Khan, among others, spoke at the rally.
Most of the party senior leaders laid emphasis on forging the national unity and waging a strong movement to force the government to quit and holding a credible election under a neutral administration after having Khaleda released from jail.
They also urged their party leaders and activists to get ready for taking to the streets to force the government to concede to their all the demands.
The BNP leaders also urged the all government officials and employees, including law enforcers, to play a neutral role and stand beside people.
Thousands of party leaders and activists gathered at the venue in small processions since morning with slogans demanding Khaleda’s release.
Huge law enforcers were deployed in and around the venue to maintain law and order.
On Saturday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities permitted BNP to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan with 22 conditions.
BNP held its last rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on November 12, 2017 where Khaleda addressed it as the chief guest.
Dhaka, Sep 30 (UNB) - A court here on Sunday issued a show cause notice seeking explanation as to why the bail of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia won’t be declared illegal in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of Special Judge Court-5 issued the show cause notice asking the lawyers of BNP chairperson to respond it within October 7.
The court also cancelled the bail application of another accused in the case Monirul Islam and sent him to jail while the other accused Ziaul Islam Munna was already in jail.
Earlier, the lawyers of Khaleda filed a bail application and informed the court that a revision petition has been filed with the High Court challenging the trial proceedings of the case in absence of Khaleda.
The court also disapproved the no-confidence motion of two accused which were filed on September 24 and set October 7 to pass its order regarding the revision petition filed with HC.
Meanwhile, ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajol filed plea seeking bail cancellation of three accused including Khaleda and sought a date for pronouncing its verdict in the case.
The BNP chairperson is now at the Old Central Jail, serving five years' rigorous imprisonment as she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8 last.
On September 4, the makeshift court of Bakshibazar was shifted at the Old Dhaka Central Jail to hold the trial of Khaleda in jail.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
Sunamganj, Sept 30 (UNB) – Taking a swipe at Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said its outcome is zero and nothing can be expected out of it.
He said this while talking to reporters after a seminar held at Derai upazila’s Bangladesh Female Academy auditorium here.
Asked whether the government has taken any step to ensure BNP’s participation in the upcoming general election, he replied in the negative, adding, “Once BNP was a big party but now I’m doubtful whether it is (big party).”
Sought comments about the polls-time government and who will be included in it, Muhith said those who have representation in the Jatiya Sangsad will be part of the interim government, no one else.
He also said the procedure which was followed during the polls in 2014 will be followed this time, too.
“This country witnessed a free and fair election previously and the next one will be held fairly in due time,” Muhith added.
The seminar was held with trustee member of Bangladesh Female Academy and MP of Sylhet-3 Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury in the chair.