Dhaka, Dec 24 (UNB) – The ruling Awami League on Monday urged the Election Commission to arrest BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami men, involved in attacking its activists, to ensure a peaceful polls atmosphere.
A 10-member delegation of AL’s Election Conducting Committee, led by M Akhtaruzzaman, submitted the demands in writing to the EC at the Nirbachon Bhaban in the city.
Akhtaruzzaman said five leaders and activists of the party had been killed and more than 250 others were injured in election violence. He claimed a number of houses of the Hindu minority had also been attacked.
He demanded arrest of the BNP and Jamaat men involved in those incidents. “Attacks and arson are criminal offences and violate the Electoral Code of Conduct,” he said.
On Sunday, the ruling party requested the administration to arrest BNP-Jamaat activists, who it claimed, were attacking AL’s processions, assaulting its supporters and setting fire to offices of other democratic parties and Awami League allies.
Akhtaruzzaman on Monday also criticised Jatiya Oikyafront for welcoming the deployment of armed forces, saying there was no reason for getting excited over army deployment as they would carry out their duties professionally.
Dhaka, Dec 24 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said army has been entrusted with a tough task to create an atmosphere for a free, fair, credible and inclusive election, and hoped that they will uphold their neutrality.
He, however, said some incidents of obstructions to and attacks on opposition candidates and their supporters today after the deployment of army are totally unexpected.
“Army was deployed from today. We hope they’ll play a neutral and effective role as they did in the past. Some incidents of obstructions to and attacks on opposition candidates and their supporters after the deployment of army are totally unexpected,” he said while addressing a press conference at Oikyafront’s Purana Paltan office.
Dr Kamal said the nation expects the role of army in creating a congenial atmosphere for holding a free, fair, neutral and participatory election. “The army has been entrusted with this tough task to create an atmosphere across the country.”
He alleged that there is a ‘blueprint’ to hold a lopsided election in the country. “This won’t be acceptable to people with good senses and those believe in democracy. This will be suicidal. If this happens, the country and the nation will face a great damage.”
The Oikyafront chief expressed the hope that the patriotic army will stand by the nation at this moment.
Replying to a question, Dr Kamal said the Election Commission (EC) should give the Oikyafront a scope to field its fresh candidates where candidatures of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ have been annulled. “The Election to those seats should be rescheduled.”
He reaffirmed that their alliance will be there in the election race till the last under any circumstance.
Speaking at the programme, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the government along with the Election Commission is turning the election into a farce. “People can’t even think of such an election atmosphere.”
He said they sought permission from the police for holding a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on December 27, but the Dhaka Metropolitan Police still did not give them permission.
Earlier, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna read out a written speech of the Oikyafront chief.
In the written speech, Dr Kamal said a ‘chaotic and anarchic’ situation has been prevailing in the country with little improvement since the announcement of the election schedule. “Rather, the incidents of violence are growing gradually.”
He said the Election Commission did not take any step to stop ‘one-sided’ attacks on the opposition candidates and their supporters to improve the election atmosphere.
The Oikyafront chief alleged that opposition candidates and their supporters are coming under attack in presence of police in many areas.
He alleged that the government is playing a ‘mysterious’ role in giving foreign election observers visa as part of its move to obstruct them from coming to Bangladesh.
Dr Kamal urged the EC to take steps immediately to remove the barriers created by the government to local and foreign election observers.
Narrating different incidents of attacks on Oikyafront candidates and their followers at different parts of the country, he claimed that over 7,000 leaders and activists of their alliance have been arrested since the announcement of the election schedule.
Under the circumstances, Dr Kamal urged all, including the youth and students, to take position in favour of truth and fairness from their respective positions, and cast votes in a festive mood on December 30 to make the ongoing movement for ‘restoration’ of democracy a success.
Dhaka, Dec 24 (UNB) - Jatiya Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said those who try to deprive people of their voting right are the enemies of independence and successors of Pakistan’s Yahya Khan.
“People waged the Liberation War with a dream of becoming the country’s owners and establishing their voting right. We’re now untied to cast our votes but those who’re trying to deprive us of the voting right are the enemies of independence and successors of Yahya Khan (of Pakistan),” he said.
Dr Kamal was addressing a programme arranged by Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad as the chief guest.
“Even after 47 years of the country’s independence, we’ve to go to election through waging a movement. What can be more shameful than this?” questioned Dr Kamal.
“Who’ve brought this shame for us? We were supposed to exercise our franchise with enthusiasm and joy. But, there’s no congenial atmosphere for voting. “
Those who try to obstruct people from exercising their voting right have no respect for independence, no respect for Bangabandhu, Tajuddin and the lakhs of martyrs, he added.
“We’ve earned independence sacrificing the blood of lakhs of martyrs. Martyrs entrusted with the responsibility of protecting our independence and the voting right of people. We’ve to elect our representatives through exercising our franchise to protect our independence,” Kamal said.
“We’re untied to use our voting right… we’ve to safeguard the trust of martyrs. No autocrat will be allowed to stay there in power,” he added.
The Oikyafront chief urged the voters to go to polling stations early in the morning on December 30 and stay there to check vote rigging and all other irregularities. “You all remain united so that no one can obstruct voters.”
Recalling the glorious role of Bangladesh Police in the country’s Liberation War, he called upon its members not to indulge in any unfair and unethical acts regarding the election.
“I would like to remind the IGP and additional IGPs that obeying any unlawful order is a crime. You please send such a message to your force members, and ask them not to follow any unlawful order of the government high-ups. Don’t illegally attack common people,” Dr Kamal said.
He also urged the Armed Forces to protect people’s voting rights as the successors of martyrs of the Liberation War. “It’s your responsibility to protect the Constitution and people’s voting rights. Those who issue any order against the Constriction are criminals. Paying heed to their order is also a crime.”
Dr Kamal, also the president of Gano Forum, said the government considers itself as an ‘emperor and people are their subjects’. “The people of an independent country are citizens, not anybody’s subjects.”
Kamal warned that the government will not be able to suppress people with its repressive acts. “Bangalees can’t be scared. I’m throwing a challenge to encounter us face to face. Those who attack innocent people with goons are cowards. It’s not possible to kill the country’s 17-18 crore people.”
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddiqui, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum’s executive president Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and leaders of different professional bodies spoke at the programme.
Dhaka, Dec 23 (UNB) - BNP on Sunday urged Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda to give police necessary directives for allowing Jatiya Oikyafront to hold its planned rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on December 27.
"We’ve planned to hold a rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on December 27 as part of our election campaign and the RPO permits us to do so," BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said while talking to reporters after handing over a letter to the CEC at Nribachan Bhaban.
The BNP leader said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) did not permit Oikyafront to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan violating the Representation of the People Order (RPO)-1972.
"Police said they won’t give permission to arrange any rally after December 24, but we can campaign till December 28 as per the law. This is not logical. They violated the RPO," Nazrul added.
Under the circumstances, he said, they want the CEC to take steps in this regard so that Oikyafront can hold the rally on December 27.
Nazrul, also an Oikyafront leader, alleged that their candidates and their supporters are being attacked and harassed by police and Awami League activists at different parts of the country.
"Though police don’t belong to any party, they’re acting like the activists of a particular party. “The image of the entire police force is being tarnished for the biased role of some policemen," he observed.
Replying to a query, the BNP leader hoped that the Armed Forces will play an impartial role in discharging their election duties.
Nazrul said the Bangladeshi Armed Forces members have long been successfully maintaining peace in the UN peacekeeping missions and assisting many countries to hold credible elections.
"We hope they’ll maintain their good track record by performing the election duties neutrally in their own country," he added.
Dhaka, Dec 23 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday alleged that the candidatures of the contestants of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ are being annulled as the government wants to hold a ‘lopsided’ election.
“It seems the government wants to hold a unilateral election. They’re hatching various plots and cancelling the candidatures of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ candidates creating undue pressure on the court,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He came up with the allegation at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
The BNP leader alleged that the government is arresting opposition candidates and their supporters, and attacking them as part of its efforts to ‘hang onto power’. “We believe people with their united strength will defeat the undemocratic forces.”
Rizvi said though upazila chairmen and municipality mayors can contest the election resigning from their posts, the court is now saying they cannot be there in the race even after their resignation. “We still believe that the apex court will review its decision and take proper steps for an acceptable election.”
Reacting to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comment that those nominate war criminals can destroy the country, he said it is Awami League which made an anti-liberation element minister first by inducting Jamalpur’s Nurul Islam Rajakar into the cabinet.
“Your party is still swarmed with those anti-liberation war forces. The Prime Minister is again selling the Liberation War to deceive people…Awami League is silent over the anti-liberation elements belonging to it,” the BNP leader said.
He claimed that many Rajakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams men and those involved in crimes against humanity like mass killing, gang rape and arson attack during the Liberation War are now with Awami League. “These elements or their children and relatives are the big leaders of Awami League, and they’re participating in the election with its ticket.”
Giving the references of different books, Rizvi presented a list of 23 Awami League leaders’ names who themselves or their relatives collaborated with the Pakistani forces and had been involved in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.
Prominent of them are Advocate Qamrul Islam, his elder brother Hakim Azizul Islam, Faruk Khan, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Kazi Zafrullah, Advocate Moslem Uddin, HN Ashiqur Rahman and Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, he said. “Many of them got nomination from the party this time as well.”
Besides, the BNP leader said, AL Presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim’s brother-in-law Moosa bin Shamsher, junior minister Mirza Azam’s father Mirza Golam Kashem, ex-junior minister Maulana Nurul Islam, Abdul Barek Hawlader, father of Gopalganj’s Kotalipara upazila unit party general secretary Mujibar Rahman Hawlader and same upazila unit Mohila AL president Rafeza Begum, his brother Azizul Haque, Malek Daria, father of Gopalganj Muktijoddha Sangsad’s deputy commander Abul Kalam Daria, Kotalipara unit Sramik League president Amir Hossain’s father Mohan Miah, Gopalganj upazila AL joint general secretary Golam Kibria Daria’s father Munshi Rajjab Ali Daria, Kotalipara municipality mayor and AL leader HM Ahedul Islam’s father Bahadur Hajra and his brother-in-law Rejaul Hawlader, Gopalganj AL leader Delwar Hossain Sardar and his father Hashem Sardar and Jamalpur’s Bakshiganj upazila AL president Abul Kalam Azad’s father Abdul Quayum Munshi were collaborators of the Pakistani forces and involved in crimes against humanity.