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Fakhrul calls for peaceful movement to bring democracy back

  • Published at 09:21 pm October 24th, 2018
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at the Jatiya Oikya Front rally in Sylhet, on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Fakhrul also demanded that the government resign, Election Commission be restructured, and parliament dissolved before the election scheduled is announced

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has called for a peaceful movement to bring democracy back to the country. 

He made the call while speaking at the first grand rally of Jatiya Oikya Front, held at the Registrar's Office Field in Bandarbazar, Sylhet on Wednesday. 

He said: “The people of Sylhet have created history today, by joining the rally to bring democracy back.” 

“Through this movement, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has to be freed from jail, and the country’s democracy should be reinstated from the grasp of the government,” Fakhrul added. 

Fakhrul also demanded that the government resign, Election Commission be restructured, and parliament dissolved before the election scheduled is announced. 

He spoke out against the using of electronic voting machines (EVM), describing their use as “digital theft”. 

The BNP leader thanked those who attended the rally despite blockades and harassment. 

He also said: “Our main aim is to bring democracy back and ensure the well-being of the people of the country.” 

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President ASM Abdur Rab said: “This is a movement for our right to vote and our right to live in a democracy.” 

BNP Standing Committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said: “This government is scared of the people, and that’s why they want to come to power the way they did in 2014. Our seven-point demands will be met, and our chairperson freed, and then we will run in the election.” 

BNP Standing Committee member Moudud Ahmed said: “This is an autocratic government that wants to stay in power illegally. We will force them to sit for a dialogue through this alliance.” 

The Jatiya Oikya Front was formed on October 13. The Oikya Front consists of BNP, Gano Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob), and Nagorik Oikya, among others.

On October 7, the leaders of BNP, Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, and Juktofront, held a meeting at Mosharraf’s house in the city, and decided to wage a united movement to force the government to hold a credible election. 

Over the last month, BNP and the coalition comprised of Oikya Prokriya and Juktoront have voiced similar demands concerning the upcoming polls. 

Jatiya Oikya Prokriya was initiated by Juktofront and Gono Forum on September 15. Later, on September 22, BNP extended its support to the platform at a rally. 

On Friday night, the leaders of BNP, Juktofront, and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya finalized a draft framework of the new coalition, with demands to force the government to step down before the polls and organize a fair election. 

-DB detains BNP leader and activists-

The Detective Branch of Police has arrested BNP Chairperson’s Adviser Khandaker Abdul Muktadir from the Rose View Hotel in Sylhet, soon after the rally ended around 6:30pm. 

Sylhet District BNP Secretary General Ali Ahmad has confirmed the news. He also said BNP Secretary General Fakhrul will hold a press conference on the matter at Osmani International Airport. 

Ali claimed to have received multiple phone calls saying that police were arresting party activists when they were returning from the rally. 

Sylhet Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sanjoy Sarker has confirmed the arrest of Muktadir, but could not provide the reason for his arrest.