Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) - BNP on Tuesday got permission to observe a two-hour toke hunger strike programme in the city on Wednesday demanding its Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and her proper treatment.
Talking to UNB, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) permitted them to observe the programme on the premise of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
As part of their countrywide programme, he said, they will observe token hunger strike from 10am to 12pm.
The BNP leader said their party’s all other district and metropolitan city units will also observe the programme on Wednesday to have their chairperson freed from jail.
On Monday, BNP formed human chains across the country, including in front the Jatiya Press Club in the capital, to press the same demand.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since a special court convicted her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – BNP on Tuesday alleged that though its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s health condition is gradually falling, the government is buying time in ensuring her treatment in a specialised hospital.
“The health condition of our leader (Khaleda) is gradually worsening. Her personal physicians said her left leg and left hand may get paralysed if she is not given treatment immediately,” said party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said though their party’s a high-profile delegation, led by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, met Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan two days back, no step is in sight to ensure her proper treatment.
“We think the government is buying time resorting to tricks over her treatment. We strongly demand the government take steps for our leader’s treatment in a specialised hospital,” the BNP leader said.
Rizvi said their party’s all district and city units will observe a two-hour--from 10am to 12noon-- token hunger strike programme on Wednesday demanding Khaleda’s release and her proper treatment.
The BNP leader alleged that their party’s over 300 leaders and activists, including 275 in Dhaka, were arrested by police on Monday from their human-chain programmes.
“The government in a planned way arrested our party men from our peaceful programmes, even after giving permission to hold those. We strongly condemn and protest such behaviour of the government,” he added.
Rizvi demanded the government immediately release their arrested party leaders and activists.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – Tuesday’s session of the JatiyaSangsad was adjourned hurriedly within an hour of its beginning due to power disruption in the SangsadBhaban.
The day’s business began at 5:10pm with Speaker DrShirinSharminChaudhury in the chair, but it was forced to adjourn the business after running the House for merely an hour with power support from a generator.
Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, who was in the chair at that time, suspended the remaining proceedings of the day at 6:15pm.
The parliament session will resume at 5pm on Wednesday.
Later, the Deputy Speaker told the media that the day’s business was adjourned due to power disruption.
He said Meghnaghat Power Plant supplies electricity to the SangsadBhaban and the power supply stopped due to technical problems in the power plant.
“We’ve adjourned the day’s business after running the session with power supply from its generator for an hour,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials at the Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) said the disruption took place due to the tripping of the Meghnaghat-Amin Bazar 400 kV transmission line following the forced shutdown of the Meghnaghat 450 MW Power Plant.
They said theSangsadBhaban receives electricity supply from Agargaon substation which gets power from Amin Bazar Grid Substation.
“But immediately after the shutdown of the MeghnaghatPower Plant, the Aminbazar-Meghnaghat transmission line tripped, leading to the power cut at the Agargaon substation. As a result, the power supply was disrupted at the SangsadBhaban”, DPDC executive director RamizUddin told UNB.
The DPDC has been responsible for power supply to the north-eastern and central parts of Dhaka city.
A senior official at the Power Development Board (PDB) said the MeghnaghatPower Plant was forced to shutdown at 4:45 pm following a lightening at the plant.
Efforts are on to resume the power generation at the private plant, he added.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Abdullah Al Noman on Tuesday said the formation of an election-time small cabinet by the current government to oversee the next polls will be illogical and their party will not accept it.
“According to the government, the next election will be held under them. We think people have no confidence in the current regime. So, the election can’t be held under it,” he said.
Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader further said, “It’s illogical to form a new unilateral small cabinet by the current government. We’ll not accept it.”
Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s proper treatment and her unconditional release from jail.
Earlier in the day, Awami League general secretary Obaidul Qauder said the polls-time government will be formed in the middle of October.
Talking to journalists at the Secretariat, Obaidul Quader said the size of the government will be like the one formed last time and there will be no technocrat in it.
Noman, a BNP vice chairman, said their party together with people will force the government to accept their demands, including formation of a non-political neutral election-time administration with a strong movement.
He warned that the government will not be able to suppress s vigorous and united street movement with repressive acts and using the administration like other ‘autocratic’ regimes.” Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Ershad also failed to survive and finally got defeated.”
Criticising the government for what he said not releasing their ailing chairperson Khaleda from jail, the BNP leader urged his party colleagues to get ready for freeing her by ensuring the fall of the regime through a strong movement.
“The case was filed against Khaleda Zia with a political motive. So, we’ll have to face it politically,” he observed.
Noman said though their chairperson is seriously ill, the government is not providing her with proper treatment. “We’re very concerned over her health condition. We call upon the government to ensure her treatment in a specialised hospital.”
The BNP leader said the government should free Khaleda immediately so that she can play a role in overcoming the political stalemate ahead of the national election.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – Gano Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday said his party will not join BNP in any greater national unity if Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami remains with it.
He came up with the announcement at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
Asked whether they will go for forging the national unity with BNP keeping Jamaat with it, Dr Kamal said, “I and our party won’t do it, but I don’t know what other parties will do.”
“So far, as I know, Jamaat is no longer political a party as its registration (with the Election Commission) has been cancelled,” he added.
Mentioning that he did not go with Jamaat in his entire life, Dr Kamal said he would not budge from his position at this last stage of his life.
He, however, said there is a progress in the initiative for forging a greater unity to ensure a free, fair and inclusive national election in the country.
Replying to a question who will lead the alliance if there is a greater unity, Kamal said he believes in joint leadership, not an individual’s leadership.
The Gono Forum chief said they have got permission for holding a public rally at Gulistan’s Mohanagar Natya Mancha on September 22 as part of their efforts to forge the national unity.
About the shifting of the makeshift court to Old Dhaka Central Jail from Alia Madrasah ground to hold trial in Zia Charitable Trust graft case, he said the decision was not taken as per the Constitution. “I think, they (BNP) will challenge the decision, and the court will judge it. If I go to the court, I’ll say it’s not constitutional.”
Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, said holding the trial of an ‘opposition leader’ in jail is not the right action.
About the ruling party leaders’ remarks on holding the trial of Col Taher in jail, he said it was held during the military rule 41 years back. “It’s not logical to shift the court to jail citing such an instance. I think, the constitution has been violated with it.”
About BNP’s demand for Khaleda’s treatment in any specialised hospital, the Supreme Court senior lawyer said there is a long tradition of allowing sick prisoners receiving treatment in any hospital.
Mentioning that he has heard Khaleda Zia’s health condition deteriorated, he said a sick person should not suffer this way. “The government shouldn’t forget we live in a civilised society.”
Voicing his deep concern over the ‘wholesale’ arrest of people by plainclothes police, Dr Kamal alleged that the government is not running the country as per the constitutional rule. “Power must be exercised following the rules and abiding by the Constitution. We’re now worried we’re going beyond the constitutional rule.”
He urged that the government to remain alert so that people are not harassed unlawfully and the law enforcers do not abuse power.
The Gano Forum president criticised the government for arresting and taking on remand those students who waged movements for quota reform and safe roads.
Referring to the arrest of several hundred BNP leaders and activists from their Monday’s human-chain programme, he said the government should refrain from such acts to ensure a normal situation in the country ahead of the general election.