Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad on Saturday threatened to take to the streets if Professors Tajmeri SA Islam, adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, is not released in a week.
Shawkat Mahmud, a senior journalist and acting convener of the Peshajibi Parishad, an association of working professionals aligning with the BNP, issued the threat at a human chain programme.
"Professionals are now staying in jail. They can't express their opinions and exercise their human rights. They have been sent to jail on false charges. Tajmeri SA Islam was arrested for spreading fear,” he said.
Shawkat Mahmud said professionals will not back off from raising their voice against injustice and misdeeds of the government.
“We want to see in a week whether Tajmeri SA Islam has been released. If he is not released, then our movement will start on the streets and this movement will turn into an anti-autocratic one to ensure fall of the current regime.”
Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding the release of it’s one of its members Tajmeri Islam, a retired Professor of Dhaka University who was arrested and sent to jail on Thursday last in a case filed in 2018.
Shawkat Mahmud, also a vice-chairman of BNP, said they will continue their movement without any compromise if their demand is not met.
He also warned the professionals not to be confused as he feared that the government will try to thwart their movement by creating divisions and misunderstandings among them.
The BNP leader called upon the professionals who want to ensure the fall of the Awami League government to take to the streets. “Or else you will be considered as collaborators (of govt).”
He alleged that the current ‘despotic’ government has started attacking university teachers and intellectuals before its looming fall and the final victory of people.
Shawkat said the government is trying to cling to power by hiring lobbyists in different countries. “But it won’t work this time due to the way the international organisations and global community have been raising their voice against the government. They (govt) won’t be able to suppress the country's people the way they are awakening.”
Uttara police arrested Prof Tajmeri on Thursday, in a case filed over obstructing police from performing duties during an anti-government demonstration of the party in the capital's Uttara on September 23, 2018.
Later, she was sent to Kashimpur Central Jail as a court rejected her bail petition.
Prof Tajmeri, a former dean of science faculty, chairperson of Chemistry department and provost of Ruqayyah Hall of Dhaka University, was involved with White Panel, pro-BNP teachers' association of the University.