Dhaka, Dec 25 (UNB) - Members of law enforcement agencies arrested 182 people including BNP and Jamaat leaders and activists from different areas of Lalmonirhat, Barisal, Narail, Narayanganj, Khulna and Chandpur districts on Tuesday ahead of the 11th general election.
In Lalmonirhat, members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police arrested 79 BNP leaders and activists for interrogation while conducting yard meeting from a house in Hatibandha upazila at noon.
Omar Faruk, officer-in-charge of Hatibandha Police Station, said BGB members cordoned off the yard as they (BNP) were conducting meeting near the border area and informed the police. Police, however, arrested them for interrogation, the OC added.
In Barisal, police in special drives arrested 37 BNP men including city BNP vice-president Advocate Mohasin Montu from different areas of the district from Monday night to Tuesday morning.
Later, all of them were sent them jail sowing various cases after producing before the court, police said.
In Narail, police in regular drives arrested 27 people from different areas of the district for various cases on Monday and Tuesday. There are several cases with different police stations against them, police said.
In Narayanganj, police arrested Gono Forum district unit president Delwar Hossain on allegations of arson and vandalism on an election camp of Awami League candidate Selim Osman. In another drive, police arrested five BNP men on charges of sabotage from different parts of the city, police said.
In Khulna, police arrested 21 BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists from different upazilas at noon. Acting on a tip-off, police in separate drives arrested them on various charges including sabotage activities, said Tarek Biswas, officer-in-charge of Koyra Police Station.
In Chandpur, police arrested 12 BNP leaders and activists including Matlab South upazila unit president Ahasanul Haque, 55, and General Secretary Nurul Haque Jitu, 52, from Ladhua village in the upazila around 1:30 pm.
At a press conference, BNP candidate Dr Jalal Uddin for Chandpur-2 constituency alleged they cannot come out for election as police arrest their 12 leaders and activists without any charge.
Police arrested them as more than 100 BNP leaders and activists carried out an attack on Awami League process around 1:30 pm and torched a motorcycle of a Awami League leader, said Kabir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Matlab South Police Station.
Dhaka, Dec 25 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront on Tuesday demanded immediate resignation of Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and urged the President to replace him with a neutral person.
“This shameless, incompetent, and dysfunctional Election Commission has to be accountable to people for its failure to create an election atmosphere in the country. We demand the Chief Election Commissioner to quit immediately. Or else, no minimum level of election atmosphere will be created,” said Oikyafront spokesman Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the alliance leaders at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he said their alliance thinks the EC has to be freed from the leadership of a ‘spineless and biased’ person like Nurul Huda to ensure a free, fair and neutral election. “We demand the President to appoint a non-partisan and impartial person as the Chief Election Commissioner instantly.”
Hours after they walked out of a meeting with the CEC, the alliance came up the demand.
Jatiya Oikyafront leaders, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, walked out of a meeting with the Election Commission, led by Nurul Huda, as they found the Commission’s attitude ‘biased and impolite’ one.
About Oikyafront delegation’s meeting with the CEC, Fakhrul said their leaders got not only disappointed but also stunned as Nurul Huda ignored their logical allegations and talked like a ruling party leader showing his ‘biased and indecorous’ attitude.
“It seems to us incredible the illogical and irresponsible comments by the chief of a constitutional body like the Election Commission. It has clearly exposed that the CEC is nothing but a very loyal employee of the government. There’s no possibility to get neutral attitude from him, let alone a fair and impartial election,” he said.
He said the way opposition leaders and activists are being attacked in every constituency it cannot be called an election. “Even, women aren’t spared.”
Pointing at party standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, who was sitting beside him, Fakhrul said, a former minister and BNP standing committee member is bloodstained following an attack by the ruling party men. “This is the sample of the 2018 election.”
He urged the Election Commission to look into the incident and take action against those responsible for it.
Fakhrul said their alliance considers the December-30 election as a battle for democracy. “When we’ve scarified blood, we’ll give more, if necessary, to win the battle and free our leader Khaleda Zia.”
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, Nagorik Oikya leaders Shahidullah Kaiser, Jahedur Rahman and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury were, among others, present at the meeting.
Dhaka, Dec 25 (UNB) - Five leaders and activists of Gono Forum, a component of the Jatiya Oikyafront, were arrested from Siddique Bazar area of Bangshal in the city on Tuesday afternoon.
Contacted, Gono Forum senior leader Mostak Ahmed said police arrested them during an election procession in the afternoon.
However, officer-in-charge of Bangshal Police Station Saidur Rahman said police arrested five people who were wanted by police in a case filed with the police station.
“I don’t know whether they’re members of Gono Forum, We arrested them in connection with a case filed with the police station,” the OC added.
Dhaka, Dec 25 (UNB) - The Christian community celebrated the Christmas Day in the country, as elsewhere across the world, on Tuesday, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas, the biggest religious festival of the Christian community, is the celebration of rebirth, new beginning, forgiveness and peace, and renewing relationship with God and human beings.
Decoration of Christmas trees with colourful lights, special prayers, and distribution of gifts among children and exchange of pleasantries are the main features of the day's festivities.
Christmas carols and hymns were sung before and after the prayer sessions at the churches.
President Abdul Hamid exchanged greetings with members of the Christian community at Bangabhaban at noon, marking Christmas Day.
Cardinal of Bangladesh Patrick D'Rozario, ambassadors and representatives from different foreign missions, distinguished persons of the Christian community, religious leaders and professionals joined the reception.
A group of singers performed the Christmas carol at the reception.
Later, President Hamid cut a Christmas cake with members of the Christian community.
Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar and different private TV channels and radio stations aired special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Dhaka, Dec 25 (UNB) – Awami League on Tuesday again lodged a complaint with the Election Commission that BNP-Jamaat men continued attacking Awami League leaders and activists as well as police in addition to using black money to thwart the election.
An AL delegation, led by its national election conducting committee member Akteruzzaman, submitted the written complaint to EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.
“We’re demanding immediate arrest of all BNP-Jamaat cadres involved in terror attacks and violence, and bringing them to book for ensuring a congenial atmosphere for the election,” Akteruzzaman told reporters while reading out the written complaint.
The BNP-Jamaat ‘cadres’ continued their attacks on Awami League men in different parts of the country, he claimed and cited different incidents of attack and violence targeting AL offices and election campaign.
The ruling party also alleged that Jatiya Oikyafront and BNP-Jamaat are now using black money to buy votes which is a barrier to the arrangement of election in a fair manner.
Besides, leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat are now committing acts of sabotage to shift blame on AL and they also started attacking police and minority communities, said Akteruzzaman. “Oikyafront and BNP-Jamaat are actually hatching conspiracies to foil the election and make it questionable.”
The ruling party demanded that the Election Commission ensure free movement of journalists on the election day.
“We’ve asked the EC to make sure that journalists can move anywhere without any obstruction and that they can move with their vehicles and motorcycles with proper identity,” Akteruzzaman said.
In reply, the EC assured them of considering the issue with importance, he said.
Awami League also expressed concerns that miscreants might clone the phone numbers of government officials or election officials to issue wrong directives to field-level officials on the election day, said Barrister Biplab Barua, another member of the AL team.
The party demanded measures to stop such forgeries, he said.