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10 September, 2018 09:09:08 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 11 September, 2018 08:32:11 AM


Govt must release Khaleda for fair polls: BNP

Independent Online Desk
Govt must release Khaleda for fair polls: BNP

BNP on Monday said the government must release its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail to demonstrate its good intention of holding a fair and acceptable national election.

“We would likely to clearly say the election will never be acceptable to people if Khaleda Zia remains in jail,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Speaking at a human-chain programme, he said, “The government must release our leader (Khaleda) from jail. If they do it, we’ll understand they want an acceptable election.”

As part of its countrywide scheduled programmes, hundreds of BNP leaders and activists formed a human chain in front of press club from 10:15am to 12pm, demanding Khaleda Zia‘s release from jail.

Fakhrul said the days of the current government are numbered and the government must go as people are not with it.

“A strong unity is now very essential.

We’ll unite our party, people and all political parties to establish a pro-people government and restore democracy by removing the current monstrous government,” he said.

Mentioning that Khaleda Zia, before going to jail, called for a national unity, BNP leader urged all the democratic political parties to get united to force the government for holding a credible national election under a non-party administration to restore democracy.

Fakhrul renewed their party’s demand for installing an election-time neutral government, dissolving parliament before the announcement of the polls schedule, reconstituting the Election Commission and deploying army to hold the election in a credible manner.    

He strongly criticised the government for its continued ‘repressive acts’, saying it has turned into a ‘terrorist’ regime. “The entire nation has been held hostage by the government as it is arresting people without any reason and harassing them with threats and intimidation.”

The BNP leader alleged that their party leaders and activists were arrested in ‘ghostly cases’ in a planned way. “We’ve got information that the government has made over one lakh people accused in many ghostly cases. Around 12,000 people have already been arrested.”

He warned the government that it will not be able to hang onto power by resorting to killing, enforced disappearance, arrest in false cases and other repressive acts.

Speaking at the programme, BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the government is not releasing Khaleda to grab power again by holding another January-5, 2018-like election keeping the BNP chief out of the race.

He said people will not go to the polls without Khaleda’s release and the participation of BNP and the 20-party alliance.

Mosharraf said the country’s people are united, and they want the next election to be held under a non-party neutral government. “The entire world also wants to see a fair and inclusive election in Bangladesh.”

He alleged that though their chairperson is seriously ill, the government is not freeing her from jail. “The government will have to ensure proper treatment of Khaleda Zia by ensuring her unconditional release.”
Otherwise, the BNP leader said, their party will ensure the government’s fall by creating a national unity. “There’s no other alternative to waging a strong movement to get rid of misrule.”

BNP standing committee members, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, vice chairmen Abdullah Al Noman, Selima Rahman, Barkatullah Bulu, AZM Zahid Hossain and Shamsuzzaman Dudu, among others, addressed the programme.

Leaders and followers of the party formed the human chain around 10:15 am in front of the Jatiya Press Club, 45 minutes before the scheduled time, and it ended peacefully at 12 noon.

BNP leaders and activists chanted different slogans demanding the release of Khaleda Zia immediately.

Huge law enforcers were deployed around the Jatiya Press Club to fend off any trouble.

The party’s different district and city units also formed human chains across the country on the same ground.

Meanwhile, at a press conference, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that police arrested around 200 BNP leaders and activists from their human-chain programmes in the capital and other parts of the country.

BNP is also scheduled to observe a two-hour token hunger strike on Wednesday in all districts and metropolitan cities, including the capital, to press home the same demand.

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since a special court convicted her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8 last.unb




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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