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ASK`s concern over `mass arrest`


Staff Reporter :
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) on Thursday expressed grave concern over "mass arrest" of leaders and activists of opposition parties centering political programmes.
Citing different print and electronic media reports, the rights body accused the law enforcers of arresting opposition leaders and activists indiscriminately on charges of planning subversive activities.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Dhaka district police produced 431 persons in the different lower courts on November 7. They were arrested on charges of sabotage attempt and a total of 310 were remanded for interrogation. "It is feared that they were subjected to mass arrest centering the rally of Jatiya Oikyafront," ASK said in a statement. "Such actions carried by the law enforcing agencies are contradictory to the Constitution of People's Republic of Bangladesh," it said.
The Constitution grants a citizen (a) Right to be informed of the ground for arrest/detention immediately (b) Right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his/her choice (c) Right to be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours of arrest and (d)  Right not to be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.
Whereas, Article 36 of the Constitution ensures freedom of movement of the citizens of the state.
ASK maintained that such behaviour of the law enforcing agencies will hinder growth of democracy and growth of rules of law.
ASK condemned and expressed concern over the spree of mass arrests and urged all concerned to refrain from taking such actions in  the interests of democracy and rule of law.
ASK expressed its anxiety at a time when BNP, the major political opposition, today alleged that over 2,200 leaders and activists of the party were detained in the last three days.
However, BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday alleged that over 2,200 leaders and activists of BNP were detained in the last three days after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's promise of "no more political arrests".
 "PM Hasina promised Jatiya Oikyafront that political leaders and activists would not be arrested anymore," he said.
But over 2,200 BNP leaders and activists were arrested countrywide centering Oikyafront's rally on Tuesday in the last 72 hours, Rizvi alleged in a press briefing in Dhaka.