Dhaka, Feb 26 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday blamed the government’s irresponsible role for the Chawkbazar fire as it did not take any step in compliance with a High Court order to make the Old Dhaka safe for people after the deadly Nimtoli fire incident in 2010.
“After the Nimtoli fire incident nine years ago, the High Court ordered the government to take steps to make the Old Dhaka safe for people and stop the recurrence of such an incident. However, we never saw the government to take any step. We only witnessed its silence. Why is this irresponsibility even after such a court order?” he said.
Dr Kamal, also the Gono Forum president, said had the government taken proper steps at the right time so many people would not have lost their lives in the Chawkbazar fire.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a civic condolence meeting arranged by his party at the Jatiya Press Club in memory of those killed in Chawkbazar fire on February 20 last.
Dr Kamal said the country’s 16 crore people want answers why such a fire incident took place and why so many innocent people had to lose their lives without committing any crime at Chawkbazar.
At least 69 people were killed and 39 others injured after a devastating fire broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through several nearby buildings at Chawkbazar on February 20.
On June 3, 2010, at least 124 people (117 on the spot, others later at hospitals) were killed in a devastating fire that originated in the Nimtoli area an electrical transformer explosion.
On June 10, 2010, the High Court asked the government probe committee issued a rule asking the authorities to explain as to why they should not be directed to ensure safe and planned development of Old Dhaka and prevent the unauthorised setting up or use of buildings as warehouses and factories and use of flammable or petroleum products.
Dr Kamal said it is the responsibility of the state and the government to ensure the security of people and their lives. “We want to know what steps you took over the last nine years as per the court order. Why didn’t you take any action over all those nine years? We want an answer.”
He said a sense of responsibility and morality and love for people are necessary to take the right decisions and plans to solve the country’s problems and ensure security of people.
“We’re now waiting to see what steps the government takes to make Old Dhaka safer and rebuild it in a planned way to prevent such deadly fire incidents. There’s no scope to take the issue lightly. The chemical factories should be relocated from the Old Dhaka,” the Gono Forum chief said.
He also urged the government to take action against those responsible for Chawkbazar fire.
Dr Kamal said he has long been observing that the current government does not want to comply with the court orders. “So, I want you (people) must play an active role as the owners of the country in forcing the government to obey the court orders.”
He said people must raise their voice and get organised to restore their ownership of the country and make the government accountable.
Speaking at the programme, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President ASM Abdur Rob said the Chawkbazar fire took place due to irresponsible attitude of the government. “It’s astonishing that the government took five days to observe a morning day in memory of so many people who have been killed in the fire.”
BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan said the government has failed to take a pragmatic plan and step to make Old Dhaka safer for people over the last 10 years.
He urged the government to take effective plans to relocate the chemical and plastic warehouses and factories from to another place from densely populated Old Dhaka without affecting the businessmen.
Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gono Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, former information minister Prof Abu Sayeed and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the programme.
At the beginning of the programme, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of the Chawkbazar fire victims.
Dhaka, Feb 26 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday alleged that the government is conspiring to push their seriously sick chairperson Khaleda Zia to death by ‘depriving’ her of medical treatment in jail.
“The medical board examined our leader (Khaleda) on Sunday after nearly three and a half months following a court order. They [board] got astonished that she was not given any treatment and there had been no health checkup, including blood and sugar test and any x-ray for a long time,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, the BNP leader further said, “The government is conspiring to push our leader to death by not giving her any treatment in an abandoned jail. Providing no treatment and presenting her before the court in a wheelchair are part of the conspiracy of the government.”
Fakhrul said Khaleda Zia in no way deserves such an attitude of the government.
He demanded the government ensure proper treatment to Khaleda by freeing her from jail without any delay.
The BNP leader also said the government will have to shoulder all the responsibilities if anything bad happens to their chairperson for not giving her treatment.
He also said their party is ready to bear all the additional expenditures for Khaleda’s treatment.
Fakhrul alleged that Khaleda’s health condition deteriorated seriously for not giving her treatment for a long time.
“The diseases for which she was admitted to a hospital (BSMMU) in the past have now turned acute. Pain in her left shoulder has aggravated while new pain developed in her right shoulder. She now can’t move or walk without anybody’s help as pain in her left arm, left leg and left wrist also increased a lot. Even, she is not able to hold on anything with her hands due to severe pain and shaking,” he said.
The BNP secretary general said as their 73-year-old chairperson has been suffering from many critical diseases, anything bad can happen to her if she is not given treatment regularly through examining her health.
“No test of our leader’s heart, liver and kidney was conducted over the last three and a half months. It’s necessary to conduct these tests immediately,” he observed.
The BNP leader also alleged that Khaleda’s family members are given very short time to meet her after a long period while their party leaders and the BNP chief’s lawyers were not allowed to meet her over the last four months.
Dhaka, Feb 25 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain and some BNP leaders on Monday had a meeting with the envoys of three countries, including the USA, over ‘Bangladesh’s latest political and human rights situation’.
The one-and-a-half hour meeting that began around 11am was held at BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan’s Gulshan residence, BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan told UNB.
Apart from US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl Robert Miller, British High Commissioner Alison Blake, Australian High Commissioner Julia Niblett and UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo attended the meeting.
Dr Kamal Hossain, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Dr Moyeen Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury were present at the meeting.
However, there was no briefing from either side about the parley.
Wishing anonymity, a BNP leader who was present at the meeting said, Dr Kamal Hossain first briefed the envoys about the country’s overall situation.
Later, Mirza Fakhrul talked about the country’s human rights condition, ‘repression’ on their party leaders and activists, Chakbazar fire incident and some other issues relating to the last general election and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s imprisonment.
Later, Dr Kamal and the BNP leaders replied to various queries of the foreign envoys.
Dhaka, Feb 24 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday came down hard on Information Minister Hasan Mahmud for his comment on Chawkbazar fire involving the party, saying he should be made the chief of the National Security Intelligence (NSI).
“If such a bizarre person remains a minister, this government will simply sink in water bodies, not the Bay of Bengal. They (govt) are almost sunk and Hasan Mahmud is enough to sink it fully,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said the government made a mistake by making Hasan Mahmud the Information Minister. “When he is giving such information, he should be appointed as the head of the NSI.”
On Saturday, Mahmud at a programme in Chittagong slammed BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir for his comment on Chawkbazar fire and said BNP’s alleged link to the incident should be investigated.
A fire broke out a four-storey Haji Wahed Mansion at Chakbazar’s Churihatta on Wednesday night, killing 67 people and injuring many others.
Rizvi said ministers and leaders of the ruling alliance are making reckless remarks over the fire incident, demonstrating the government’s disorderly condition.
“Obaidul Quader said the government can’t avoid the responsibility for the incident. Former Industries Minister Dilip Barua also talked about it. If this is their condition, how the government is functioning,” he added.
Rizvi said the government should resign immediately shouldering the responsibility for the fire incident.
Dhaka, Feb 24 (UNB) – A writ was filed with the High Court seeking stay on the schedule of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) polls.
Barrister Ruhul Kuddus, a Supreme Court lawyer and also the counsel of the petitioner Fahmida Mazid, student affairs secretary of Dhaka University unit Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and a student of International Relations of the DU, filed the writ with the High Court bench concerned on behalf of his client.
Barrister Ruhul Kuddus said his client filed the writ petition as her name was not included in the voter list.
The petitioner also sought issuance of rule from the HC asking the government to explain as to why the announcement of the DUCSU polls schedule without including the name of the petitioner in the voter list should not be declared illegal.
The hearing on the writ petition is expected to be held at the HC bench comprising Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir.
On February 11,Chief Returning Officer Prof Mahfuzur Rahman announced the election schedule of Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) billed for March 11.