BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday warned that the Jatiya Oikyafront will be forced to announce a greater action programme if the arrest of opposition leaders and activists is not stopped.
“We demand that the arrest (of opposition men) be stopped, the arrestees be released, and the false cases be withdrawn. Or else, the election won’t be acceptable to people,” he said.The BNP leader further said, “We hope the arrest will be stopped after Dr Kamal Hossain’s this press conference. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to come up with a greater programme to ensure a proper election atmosphere.”Jatiya Oikyafront arranged the press conference at the Jatiya Press Club about the arrest of opposition leaders and activists and the election atmosphere.
Oikyafront chief Dr Kamal Hossain also spoke at the press conference and demanded the government stop arresting opposition activists. Fakhrul said they have joined the 11th parliamentary elections with goals to restore democracy, free their chairperson Khaleda Zia and other arrested leaders and establish people’s rights.
“Even after the announcement of the election schedule, our several hundred leaders and activists have been arrested illegally in fictitious cases. Our candidates and former MPs have also been arrested. A level-playing field won’t be created if it continues,” he observed.
Dr Kamal Hossain also voiced concern over the wholesale arrest of opposition leaders and activists saying it is contrary to proper election atmosphere. He said over 700 opposition leaders and activists, including three candidates, were arrested after the announcement of the election schedule.
“The Chief Election Commissioner and the Prime Minister assured us that no one would be arrested. I demand that such arrest be stopped for ensuring a normal atmosphere and all the arrested, especially the candidates, be released.”
Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddiqui, Gano Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, executive president Subrata Chowdhury, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Oikya Prokriya’s Sulatan Mohammad Mansur Ahmed, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and Dr Reza Kibria were, among others, present.