Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday alleged that the government has approved a Tk 3,825.34 crore project to procure 1.5 lakh electronic voting machines (EVMs) to hold another ‘voter-less’ election and ‘plunder’ huge public money.
“The Prime Minister approved a project for buying 1.5 lakh EVMs at an Ecnec meeting. The government has relied on forgery machine EVMs abandoning people,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “The government has two objectives--holding a voter-less rigged election and embezzling huge amount of public money—behind the move to procure EVMs.”
On Tuesday, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) cleared a Tk 3,825.34 crore project to procure 1.5 lakh EVMs at its weekly meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Rizvi alleged that two government officials went abroad to procure the EVMs many days before the Ecnec’s approval of the project despite the strong objection by different political parties and socio-political organisations to the use of the machine in the national polls.
The BNP leader said the government has taken such a project as it needs an election, but not people’s votes. “Procuring EVMs is very essential for the government to return to power as voters are not necessary to take votes through the machines.”
He alleged law enforcers arrested many BNP leaders and activists and lawyers as they went to Detective Branch (DB) of police office to see arrested BNP Dhaka south city unit president Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel on Tuesday night.
The BNP leader claimed that police arrested their party’s 93 leaders and activists, including Sohel, on Tuesday from different parts of the country.
Rizvi also alleged that the government is creating various obstacles to ensuring treatment of their party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail.
“An experienced and senior therapist of Dhaka Medical College Hospital used to provide our leader physiotherapy regularly. But, the government now has appointed an inexperienced and pro-ruling party therapist to do the job dropping the experienced one. It’s a mysterious move of the government,” he said.
Rizvi alleged that the government is conspiring to put Khaleda’s life at stake gradually by snatching her human rights and leaving her in serious sufferings.
Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) – A court here on Wednesday placed BNP joint secretary general Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel on a 5-day remand in a case filed with Shahbagh police station over vandalism.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate K H M Toha passed the order after DB sub- inspector Abdul Karim produced him before the court seeking a 10-day remand. The court also rejected a bail petition filed by Sohel’s lawyer Sanaullah Miah.
Police arrested BNP joint secretary general Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel from the city’s Gulshan-2 area on Tuesday evening.
Sohel, also the president of Dhaka south city unit BNP, went into hiding after BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was sent to jail on February 8 in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
BNP sources said Sohel has been facing over 50 cases on acts of sabotage and other charges.
Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) - BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Wednesday said their party is taking necessary preparations to come up with street programmes to push for Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and holding a credible election.
“We need to forget about having Khaleda Zia released from jail through legal process …street movement is now the only way for having her freed,” he said.
Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader also said, “We’re taking preparations and necessary steps to announce fresh action programmes. Our politics in the coming days, restoration of voting rights, and democracy and independence of the judiciary are involved with those programmes.”
He called upon all the democracy-loving people to get united to make their movement a success through united efforts.
Diploma Engineers Association, a pro-BNP engineers’ platform, formed the human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and proper treatment of her.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said Khaleda should have been released within seven days of her jailing through a legal battle. “But, we couldn’t free her over the last seven months as the lower court is now under the control of the government.”
He said their lawyers worked hard and used all the legal options to ensure the BNP chief’s release. “Even after that, we couldn’t be successful due to the government’s influence on the lower court.”
Under the circumstances, the BNP leader focused on consolidating a greater national unity with other opposition political parties to force the government to ensure the next polls under a neutral administration.
“There’s no other alternative for people to forging the national unity. The freedom of the country’s 16 crore people now depends on a successful movement through the national unity,” he added.
Moudud said they will involve the people of all walks life with their movement through uniting them to force the government to restore democracy and voting rights through holding an acceptable election.
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) - Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Tuesday alleged that Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is patronising militancy to create anarchy in the county with a target to oust the government.
“Neither Islam nor any religious institution or any Qawmi madrasah is involved in producing any form of extremism, fake content or terrorism. Political evil forces, including Jamaat, are behind all these things,” he said.
The ruling party leader was addressing a dialogue titled "Extremism and fake content in social media: Challenges and way forward" organised by Move Foundation at a hotel in Baridhara diplomatic enclave.
He said attacks on the Buddha community in Cox’s Bazar and Hindus in Brahmanbaria were made instigating people through social media. “A quarter also tried to create anarchy spreading rumours and fake contents during the movements for quota reforms and safe roads,” he said.
Hanif also claimed that there was political support and cooperation behind these. “Not only Jamaat backed all these activities but also phone calls were made from London for destabilising the country,” he said in an oblique reference to BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
He said madrasah students are not involved in any extremist group or activity.
“Those who get political benefits after extremism strikes are involved in it. We must identify the beneficiaries of the incidents first and then we can understand who are involved in such activities.”
About the freedom of expression, the AL leader said anyone can express one’s opinions. “But we don’t want such type of freedom of speech which creates violence in the society. We don’t want such democracy where people are burned to death.”
Director of National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre Brigadier General Ziaul Ahsan presented the keynote at the programme while Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Prefontaine, former Chief Information Commissioner Prof Golam Rahman, Islami Oikya Jote leader Maulana Altaf Hossain, Major General (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, BNP leader Barrister Sarwar, Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta, among others, attended the dialogue.
Honorary chair of Move Foundation Dr Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury moderated the dialogue while its founder and president Saiful Haque delivered the welcome speech.
Dhaka, Sep 18 (UNB) - Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad on Tuesday claimed that if the upcoming general election is held in a free and fair manner then his party will come to the power after winning it.
Inaugurating a workshop at Expo Zone of International Convention City Bashundhara, the former president asked his party men to get united and form separate committees centring the voting stations to prevent any vote rigging attempts and irregularities.
He said that if his party had not ruled the country in the past, it would have been remained in the darkness, according to a press release.
“We made advancements, never did looting or embezzlements. In our time in power the incidents of killings, disappearances and terrorism never took place; we don’t have blood stain in our hands, so people of the country love us and want us back in power”, he said.
“After gaining power, BNP cancelled 5,088 cases on political consideration while Awami League also cancelled 6,000 cases but the cases filed against me were still running. Because everyone fears Jatiya Party, as the party has its strong existence among the countrymen”, Ershad said.
JP chairman’s advisor of information and technology, Shafiulla Al Munir, JP co-chairman GM Quader, secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawladar, presidium member and state minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD), Mashiur Rahaman Ranga, joint general secretary of ruling Awami League Jahangir Kabir Nanak were also present there among others.