Newly formed students alliance Students United Against Terrorism ‘Santrash Birodhi Chhatra Oikya’ on Saturday held a road march on Dhaka University campus demanding punishment of those involved in the attack of Ducsu Vice President Nurul Haque Nur and his supporters on December 22.
They also demanded resignation of the university proctor Golam Rabbani for his failure to ensure security on the campus or to take any steps to punish the culprits.
Protesting the attack, activists of the alliance formed with 12 student fronts organised an hour-long road march that began around 4:30pm at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture.
The other demands are withdrawal of false case against Nur and others, ensuring congenial academic and democratic atmosphere on the campus and security of students. After the road march, they held a rally where leaders of the 12 separate student fronts including Bangladesh General Students Right Protection Council (BGSRPC) spoke.
While addressing the rally, Muhammad Rashed Khan, joint convener of BGSRPC, said the attack on December 22 was carried out by leaders and activists of Chhatra League (BCL) and Muktijuddho Moncho in an attempt to kill them.
“BCL DU Unit president Sonjit Chandra Das and Saddam Hussain led the attack. They have been attacking us since the beginning of quota reform movement. But it is an irony that we did not get justice in any of these incidents, resulting in continuation of their terrorist activities on the campus,” he alleged.
“We hope the university administration and law forces take legal action against the culprit as soon as possible otherwise we will go for tougher movement at all the educational institutions across the country,” he added.
Bangladesh Chhatra Federation President Faisal Mahmud, Bangladesh Chhatra Union President Mehdi Hasan Nobel, Sheikh Tasnim Afroz Emi of Sratantra Jote, and Atif Anik of Biplobi Chhatra Juba also addressed the programme among others.
BNP on Saturday nominated Engineer Ishraque Hossain and Tabith Awal as its mayoral candidates for the upcoming elections to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) respectively.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the names of the two candidates after the party’s nomination board interviewed aspirants at its chairperson’s Gulshan office.
He said their nomination board finalised Ishraque and Tabith as the party mayoral candidates for the two city polls considering the overall situation.
“We’re taking part in the elections as part of our movement. As a democratic party, we should be there in the election race through which we’ll be able to intensify our movement and go to people,” the BNP leader said.
He said their party does not believe the city polls will be held in a fair and credible manner.
The BNP nomination board interviewed Ishraque, Tabith and party leader Asaduzzaman Ripon as the trio submitted nomination forms to get the party ticket to contest the DSCC and DNCC polls.
On Saturday, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced Ishraque Hossain as the party’s candidate for the DSCC polls since no other party leaders bought the party’s nomination paper to contest the polls.
Earlier on Friday, three BNP leaders -- Asaduzzaman Ripon, Tabith Awal and Engineer Ishraque Hossain -- submitted their nomination papers to contest the upcoming city corporation elections.
Of them, Asaduzzaman Ripon and Tabith Awal have planned to contest the DNCC polls while Ishraque the DSCC election.
Tabith Awal, a BNP executive member and son of party vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo, also contested the DNCC election in 2015.
Asaduzzaman Ripon is BNP’s special secretary and former president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, while Ishraque Hossain is a member of BNP, and son of former mayor of undivided Dhaka city Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
The elections to the Dhaka South and North city corporations will be held on January next 30, according to a schedule announced by the Election Commission.
Party insiders said BNP has formed selection teams to finalise the councillor candidates for the two city elections.
The selection teams will interview the councillor aspirants at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office and chairperson’s Gulshan office on Sunday and then announce the names of final candidates.
Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday alleged that people cannot exercise their power as owners of the country since Bangladesh is not run as per its constitution.
“Even after 50 years of the country’s independence, we’ve to seek our constitutional power back. Our power have been usurped …we’re not allowed to exercise our power as they (govt) were not elected truly,” he said.
Dr Kamal further said, “I would like to firmly say that the country’s current governance system is not operated as per the constitution. Our leaders had written in the constitution that people are owners [sources] of power. But we’re not allowed to enjoy it and the benefits of the independence.”
He came up with the remarks while speaking at the triennial council of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) at Mohanagar Natalya Mancha auditorium.
Dr Kamal, also the president of Gonoforum, said the ruling party is having fun by holding elections in its own style. “They’re holding elections after doing something or holding any event, and telling people that they’re elected and got the legitimacy. But people aren’t blind and they’ve their own conscience to judge. Can we accept some of the exercises that are being called elections?”
He alleged that the dynamism of people have been robbed of through various plots and ruining the governance system and democracy.
The Gonoforum chief said those who think they can buy people and keep the governance system under their grip with black money are living in fool’s paradise.
Regretting that the ruling party has been in power ‘resorting to falsehood and spreading lies’ over the general election and its results, he called upon the government to hold a fresh election recasting the Election Commission.
He said their alliance wants to restore people’s ownership of the country on the eve of the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Dr Kamal urged the alliance leaders and activists to go to every locality, village, union and upazila to rejuvenate people to take to the streets to restore their ownership of the country.
He also urged all to get united to materialise the dreams of the independence and the freedom fighters.
Speaking at the programme, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Awami League has established a ‘puppet’ government in the country destroying the spirit of the Liberation War. “Our country and its people are now getting defeated in various ways due to the puppet government which is taking the country towards subjugation.”
He said India’s NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act may harm Bangladesh, but the government is playing a silent role in this regard and saying it is an internal matter of India.
The BNP leader said their party does not believe in communalism. “We don’t want to send our people to another country. We also can’t accept if people from there (India) are sent illegally here calling them Bangladeshis.”
Stating that the country is going through a political crisis, he said there is no alternative to a mass upsurge of people to get rid of it.
He said people had waged the Liberation War in 1971 with a dream of establishing a democratic country, but Awami League has destroyed that dream by assuming office.
The BNP leader said they formed the Oikyafront with a high hope to restore democracy through the election. “We’ve failed, but we must do it by forging a greater unity of people.”
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddiqui, BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Ganosamhati Andolon’s chief coordinator Zonayed Saki and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, addressed the programme held with JSD president ASM Abdur Rob in the chair.
Raushon Ershad was made the Chief Patron of Jatiya Party (JaPa) on Saturday during its national council where GM Quader was elected chairman for the next three years.
Supreme Court advocate Sheikh Seraj, the chief election commissioner, announced the names at the ninth national council in the morning in the capital.
Later, Quader named Moshiur Rahman Ranga as the party's Secretary General.
"The central committees will be announced later," he said, adding that there was no division in the party.
"We all have to be united and work together to fulfill the dream of Hussain Mohammad Ershad," he added.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, speaking as a guest at the council, described former president and JaPa founder Ershad as a “gentleman” and “popular political leader”.
"Democracy is not strengthened without strong opposition party. JaPa is playing important role as a good opposition party in the country," he said.
Quader said JaPa does not believe in violence. “The party's activists have to be united to strengthen the ruling government,” the Awami League leader said.
The council commenced from 10am at the engineers Institute. Former secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Kazi Firoz Rashid, MP, and other senior leaders of the party were present at the council.
The ninth national council of Jatiya Party (JaPa) kicked off in the capital on Saturday morning.
It commenced just after 10am at the Engineers Institute.
Jatiya Party is going to create a new post, chief patron, for party founder HM Ershad’s widow Raushon Ershad. GM Quader will remain in the post of chairman.
As chief patron, Raushon, currently serving as the senior co-chairman of the party, will remain above the chairman. "She will be given the highest honour in the party, and at its meetings or general meetings,” Secretary General Moshiur Rahman Ranga told reporters.
Quoting the party chairman, Ranga said Raushon will hold the highest position in the party as long as she is alive.
However, the Jatiya Party chairman will enjoy the highest power in the party.