No unity with Jamaat as major partner of BNP: Dr. Kamal

No unity with Jamaat as major partner of BNP: Dr. Kamal

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Dhaka, Sept 11 – Gano Forum president and constitutional expert Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday said that there will be no unity having Jamaat-e-Islami, a major partner of the BNP, in the process.“I and our party won’t do forge any unity keeping Jamaat, but I don’t know what other parties will do,” he said while speaking at the press conference at Jatiya Press Club.
The elderly leader, however, said Jamaat is no longer political a party as its registration has been cancelled.”
Asked whether they would forge unity with BNP or BNP-led 20-party
alliance, he said time would say what would be happening.
Dr Kamal criticized the government for holding trail of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by shifting the makeshift court to Old Dhaka Central Jail from Alia Madrasah ground.
“The decision was not taken as per the Constitution. “I think, they (BNP) will challenge the decision, and the court will judge it. If I go to the court, I’ll say it’s not constitutional,” he said.
Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, said holding the trial of an ‘opposition leader’ in jail is not the right action.
On ruling party leaders’ remarks on holding the trial of Col Taher in jail, he said it was held during the military rule 41 years back.
“It’s not logical to shift the court to jail citing such an instance. I think, the constitution has been violated with it,” he observed.
Mentioning that he has heard Khaleda Zia’s health condition deteriorated, he said a sick person should not suffer this way when there is a long tradition of allowing sick prisoners receiving
treatment in any hospital.
“An ailing person should not be harassed and given pain. The government shouldn’t forget we live in a civilised society,” he said.
The Gano Forum chief voiced serious concern over the recent arrest spree of opposition leaders, activists and students alleging that a large of number of opposition activists were arrested by plainclothes men without a warrant is a misuse of the power vested in the government.
He termed arresting people by plainclothes persons unlawful and contrary to the constitution of the country saying that the recent unlawful arrests are creating fearful atmosphere ahead of the next general elections likely to be held later this year.
The eminent jurist criticised the government for arresting and taking on remand those students who waged movements for quota reform and safe roads.
Expressing his concern over picking up students by plainclothes men without admitting their arrest by the law enforcers and disclosing after 3 to 4 days, he said before arresting anybody, police has to show an arrest warrant, why the person is being arrested, where the person is taken and has to produce the arrested one before the court within 24 hours.
Dr Kamal, one of those who drafted Bangladesh’s constitution, asked the government to refrain from ‘unlawful’ arrest by plainclothes men otherwise he warned that if the plainclothes people continue their operations like this once the people may start catching them.
The existing law does not allow arrest by plainclothes police, saying such incidents of violating the law may happen once in a blue moon for a special reason but it went on regularly means disobeying the Constitution.
He also alleged that all of a sudden incident of arrest started, old cases are being revived and cases are being filed staging incidents.
“Power must be exercised following the rules and abiding by the Constitution. We’re now worried we’re going beyond the constitutional rule,” he reminded.
He urged that the government to remain alert so that people are not harassed unlawfully and the law enforcers do not abuse power.
Replying to a question, he said there is a progress in the initiative for forging a greater unity to ensure a free, fair and inclusive national election in the country.
The Gano Forum chief regretted that government did not give them permission to hold their public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan as part of their efforts to forge the national unity. But the government gave permission to hold the meeting at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in the city on September 22.
Referring to the arrest of several hundred BNP leaders and activists from their Monday’s human-chain programme, he said the government should refrain from such acts to ensure a normal situation in the country ahead of the elections.
Senior party leaders including executive president Advocate Subrata Chowdhury were present at the press conference. – Staff Reporter

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