President of the Jatiya Sanajtantrik Dal ASM Abdur Rob said on Friday that Awami Leaguers would never be able to become democrats just as Razakars cannot become Freedom Fighters.
Addressing a discussion meeting on recent politics and the freeing Mahmudur Rahman Manna from Jail, the JSD leader said Manna wanted to help introduce healthy politics in the country and can never be a conspirator. Rob demanded Manna’s proper medical treatment and release. Try him after release if need be, Rob said.
The discussion meeting organised by the Nagorik Oikya at the National Press Club with Adv Fazlul Huq Sarkar in the chair was Nogorik Oikya Adviser SM Akram, JSD general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Prof. Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, editor, GreenWatch Dhaka, Engineer Inamul Huq, Nagorik Oikya leaders Abu Bakr Siddique and Shahidullah Kaiser among others.
The Speakers said that Manna was arrested because he had said that the city corporation elections would not be allowed to go without challenge. The phase is over as he has not been allowed to contest. Manna is suffering from multiple ailments and should be released without any further delay, the said.
ASM Abdu Rob said Nagorik Oikya workers had tried to get nomination paper for Manna filled in by taking his signature from jail for submission but were not permitted to do so. ASM deplored asking, where is democratic politics in the country. We only have politics of death, he said adding Manna was brought to court after unannounced arrest because of strong outcry from national leaders, but Salahuddin Ahmed has not come back to public view.
He said that the government came to power forcibly through a farcical election, and three months of strife ensued as the Bnp-led opposition alliance was not allowed to hold a rally planned on the first anniversary of that election. People died in petrol bomb attacks, crossfire and shots at knees. Those who were killed in petrol bomb attacks were average citizens while others who lost their lives in crossfire or suffered in shots at knees were all political workers, he said.
The JSD leader said the government has called city corporation elections in Dhaka and Chittagong at the indication of the IG of police to ‘win those at any cost’. Voicing alarm against vote rigging he said that irregularities in the city corporation elections would complete the rot that had started with the 05 January elections.
SM Akram said Manna had taken all preparations to contest city corporation election and did get tremendous response from the people and different political parties, but the government has prevented his from so doing. Nagorik Oikya is for healthy politics and a welfare state, he said calling for ensuring proper medical treatment of Manna.
Asif Nazrul said the city corporation elections, called with motives, had positive aspects. It was intended to find an exit point from the face to face fighting and over the problem of lack of legitimacy brought by the 05 January polls. The IG of police its time but the Bnp demand for date extension was summarily rejected. Police is continuing threat to arrest candidates fighting the election with cases on their heads.
Engineer Inamul Huq said Manna was a victim of conspiracy. Demanding his release Engr Inam urged all to find a way to establish people’s rights by steering clear of the crises which had not been seen before. Theoretically there is democracy, but the peope are in the grip of crisis everywhere, he said.
Abdul Malek Ratan said the country faced, Political, constitutional, and administrative crises but the government has called city corporation elections to win those. Manna wanted to contest the election in Dhaka but has been victim of a ‘telephone conspiracy case’. He reminded the government of the fate Gen Aub made by starting the ‘Agartala Conspiracy Case.’
Mostafa Kamal Majumder said the problems that gripped the country now cannot be overcome just through a credible election to form government, but by a thorough recast of the system establishing checks and balances of power from its present extreme concentration in the hands of the ececutive. – Staff Reporter