Wholesale arrests triggering fear before polls: Dr Kamal


Staff Reporter :
Gano Forum President and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya Convener Dr Kamal Hossain said that the mass arrests triggering frighten atmosphere ahead of the 11th parliamentary election likely to be held in December.
He said, the recent unlawful wholesale arrests are creating horrible situation in the4 political environment while the next national election is going to be held within three months.
Dr. Kamal also said, there will be no political alliance with BNP if it does not part ways with the Jamaat-e-Islami.
He came up with the announcement at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in city on Tuesday.
Asked whether they will go for forging the national unity with BNP keeping Jamaat with it, Dr Kamal said, "I and our party won't do it, but I don't know what other parties will do."
"So far, as I know, Jamaat is no longer a political party as its registration (with the Election Commission) has been cancelled," he added.
Mentioning that he did not go with Jamaat in his entire life, Dr Kamal said he would not budge from his position at this last stage of his life.
Dr. Kamal raised question that who are they (plainclothes)? People may think they are kidnapers. Citizens will catch them and beat them. Uniform separate them from mass people. It is obligatory that when they will be on duty they will wear uniform. Voicing his deep concern over the 'wholesale' arrest of people by plainclothes police, Dr Kamal alleged that the government is not running the country as per the constitutional rule. "Power must be exercised following the rules and abiding by the Constitution. We're now worried, we're going beyond the constitutional rule."
He criticised the government for arresting and taking on remand those students who waged movements for quota reform and safe roads.
He also expressed concern over picking up students by plainclothes men without admitting their arrest by the law enforcers and disclosing after 3 to 4 days.
Dr. Kamal said they want there would be an election and a fair atmosphere for all political parties before the polls. But the opposite thing is being taken place, he said.
He mentioned that a good number of leaders and activists of main opposition (BNP) were arrested on Monday after its human chain programme in the capital.
He said such trend of arrest should not take place.
He said all of a sudden incident of arrest started, old cases are being revived and filed staging incidents by themselves (law enforcement agencies), he said.
He, however, 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.
Replying to a question that who will lead the alliance if there is a greater unity, Dr. Kamal said he believes in joint leadership, not an individual's leadership.
The Gono Forum chief said they have got permission for holding a public rally at Gulistan's Mohanagar Natya Mancha on September 22 as part of their efforts to forge the national unity.
About the shifting of the makeshift court to Old Dhaka Central Jail from Alia Madrasah ground to hold trial in Zia Charitable Trust graft case, he said 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."
Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, said holding the trial of an 'opposition leader' in jail is not the right action.
About the 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."
About BNP's demand for Khaleda's treatment in any specialised hospital, the Supreme Court senior lawyer said there is a long tradition of allowing sick prisoners receiving treatment in any hospital.
Mentioning that he has heard Khaleda Zia's health condition deteriorated, he said a sick person should not suffer this way. "The government shouldn't forget we live in a civilised society."  
Dr. Kamal said power is not permanent. Today those who are powerful, tomorrow they will be powerless. So, not show pride by power.