Gazipur, Oct 19 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday said the newly formed Jatiya Oikyafront has committed a mistake at the beginning of its journey by complaining to foreigners without reaching out to people.
He came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting the Dhaka-Tangail Highway at Chandra.
Quader’s comments came a day after Jatiya Oikyafront briefed foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka on their demands, goals and position on the next general election.
Diplomats from around 25 countries, including the USA, the UK, the EU, Canada, India, Pakistan, China, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Vietnam and Norway joined the briefing at a city hotel on Thursday.
Mentioning that an election mood is prevailing in the country and people want to cast their votes in a festive manner, Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said, “Those who are trying to take the election-bound people to a movement are living in a fool’s paradise.”
Asked about the denial of permission to the Oikyafront for holding its planned rally in Sylhet, he said permission has been put on hold on security grounds. “Oikyafonrt has not been barred from holding its rally.”
Quader said 90 percent work on the Chandra flyover has been completed and it will be opened to traffic within the next two months.
On October 13, BNP together with the Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, JSD and Nagorik Oikya launched the Jatiya Oikyafront to press for their seven-point demand, including holding the next polls under a non-party administration.
Dhaka, Oct 19 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Nazrul Islam Khan on Friday said they now do not consider Awami League as their rival as they have to face only law enforcers, not the ruling party, in politics.
“We don’t now consider Awami League as our rival. Police, Rab and BGB, not Awami League, stand in front of us when we want to bring out any procession and hold any rally. BNP has to face government’s different forces, not Awami League,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion arranged by Afsar Ahmed Siddiqui Smrity Foundation at the Jatiya Press Club.
Nazrul, a BNP standing committee member, said the government is making ‘black’ laws one after another to gag the media and people’s voice. “Those who struggle for democracy and raise voice for the restoration of democracy are being convicted in false cases.”
Besides, he said, the government is trying to suppress opposition leaders and activists by filing ‘fictitious’ cases and indulging in killing and enforced disappearance.
The BNP leader alleged that the ruling party has long been rigging votes in different elections by using the law enforcers as its shield.
He said people do not believe that the national election will be held in a fair and credible manner under a government which could not ensure fair balloting even in the union parishad (UP) polls.
Under the current context of the country, Nazrul said, BNP’s demands for installation of a non-party election-time government, reconstitution of the Election Commission, deployment of army and dissolution of parliament are very justified.
He urged the government to take steps for holding talks with political parties on people’s reasonable demands and thus find out a logical way to hold the next polls in an acceptable manner with the participation of all parties.
Referring to Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s comment that Oikyafront was formed with leaders who are zero in politics, the BNP leader it is Awami League which filled Kamal Hossain as a presidential candidate against Justice Abdus Sattar as the party had not better candidate than him. “Has he now become zero? ASM Abdur Rob hoisted the first flag of Bangladesh and he was there in Awami League government’s pervious cabinet. Is he also zero?”
Nazrul also questioned how BNP became zero in politics which formed government several times by defeating Awami League. “You (Muhith) became Ershad’s adviser and minister after doing the government job. Have you now become plus as you were made minister after joining Awami League,” the BNP leader quipped.
Dhaka, Oct 19 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday alleged that the government has enacted two ‘coercive’ laws--Digital Security Act and Broadcast Bill--to make media ‘inactive’ ahead of the national election.
“The government has formulated the Digital Security Act and Broadcast Bill ahead of the election…why did you formulate such laws? The main motive behind is to make media inactive by establishing the government’s fully control,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “The two suppressive laws have been made so that media can’t criticise the government before the election, and the televisions and newspapers only sing the songs of the government’s development.”
Bangladesh Youth Forum arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the Digital Security Act made journalists and people scared.
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 misdeeds in the media.
“The section 43 is more dangerous where law enforcers are given limitless power as they’ll be able to raid any office and house and seize computers and other equipment and arrest anyone without any warrant. It’s a direct interference in the press freedom,” the BNP leader observed.
On Monday, the cabinet approved in principle the draft Broadcast Bill 2018.Under the bill, if anyone broadcasts false or confusing information in a discussion programme or anything against the spirit and principles of the Liberation War or against the state policy, he or she will face a maximum jail term of three years or a fine of Tk 5 crore or both.
Earlier on October 8, President Abdul Hamid signed the Digital Security Bill turning it into a law.
Moudud said there is no atmosphere in the country for a credible election as the government is trying to gag media and keep opposition leaders and activists away from election by filing ‘fictitious’ cases against them.
He said the newly formed Jatiya Oikyafront caused heartburn to the government. “We’re observing that the government has got unnerved following the formation of our front. Their various remarks have exposed that ....they seriously fear the national unity and people.”
The BNP leader warned the government that they will ensure the defeat of the government through the Oikyafront by involving people with the platform.
He said no one of the current cabinet members will be able to win the next election if it is held in a fair and credible manner. “That’s why the government doesn’t want to hold any fair election.”
Criticising the government for denying Oikyafront permission for holding its rally in Sylhet on October 23, he said it has exposed how much the government's popularity has waned.
Moudud said though the ruling party can hold rallies anywhere and carried out road march, BNP is not allowed to arrange similar programmes. “Why do we need to take permission for holding our programmes when you need not to do it? Are we the second-class citizens of Bangladesh?”
He called upon BNP leaders and activists to get ready to overcome all the obstacles by the government. “We must take to the streets and wage a strong movement to force the government to reach an understanding.”
Rajshahi University (Rajshahi), Oct 18 (UNB) - Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men allegedly beat up four students at Rajshahi University on Thursday night for their alleged involvement with the politics of Islami Chhatra Shibir.
The victims are Liton, a masters’ student of Islamic Studies department, Muhaiminun, a second year student of the same department, Nasim Hasan, a second year student of Social Work department, and Shahrukh, a second year student of Arabic department.
Campus sources said BCL leaders and activists detained at least 14 students from in front of the university’s Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Hall and took them to room-233 of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall around 7:30pm.
After interrogating them, the BCL leaders released 10 of them.
They beat the four others before handing them over to police. The injured students were undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital under police custody.
RU unit BCL president Golam Kibria told journalists that they held the 14 students as they were trying to bring out a procession. “Following interrogation, we found four students’ involvement with Shibir politics and handed them over to police.”
However, the injured students told reporters that they were not involved with Shibir politics. BCL men took them to the hall while they were roaming on the campus, and beat them severely, they claimed.
RU Proctor Lutur Rahman said on information, he along with proctorial body members and law enforces went to the hall.
Md Shahadat Hossain Khan, officer-in-charge of Motihar Police Station said, the students were admitted to the RMCH and they would take legal action against them.
Dhaka, Oct 18 (UNB) – Bikolpo Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) is going to expand Jukta Front, taking National Awami Party (NAP) and National Democratic Party (NDP) which quit the 20-party alliance in the alliance.
The decision was taken at a meeting between BDB chief Badruddoza Chowdhury and the leaders of NAP and NDP.
The leaders of the two parties met B Chowdhury, also a former president, at his Baridhara residence around 4pm and held a closed-door meeting.
Earlier on Tuesday, NAP and NDP announced to sever ties with the 20-party alliance as they think BNP has deviated from its moral position by forging the Jatiya Oikyafront with the actors of the 1/11 political changeover and ‘minus-two formula’.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, NAP chairman Jebel Rahman Gani said they want to work together under the leadership of B Chowdhury for ensuring continuation of democracy and a fair election.
“We consider the ex-president as our guardian. We three parties will work together for ensuring a healthy democratic practice in the country,” he added.
NDP chairman Khandaker Golam Mortuza said they came to B Chowdhury for forging a greater unity of democratic and nationalist forces.
BDB joint secretary general Mahi B Chowdhury said the meeting decided to expand the Jukta Front involving NDP and NAP.
On October 13, Jukta Front’s two partners -- Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) and Nagorik Oikya -- formed Jatiya Oikyfront with BNP and Dr Kamal Hossain’s Oikya Prokriya.