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Bangladesh - November 13, 2023

Oppositions in fear of arrest

How a participatory poll will happen?

Saleh Ahmed Hussain: After the BNP, the fear of arrest has spread among the companions of the simultaneous movement of the party. After the arrest of Syed Ehsanul Huda, the coordinator of the 12-party alliance in plain clothes, from Segunbagicha of the capital on Saturday, the level of panic increased. Besides, it is also claimed that the leaders of the parties are being pressured and enticed from various quarters to participate in the upcoming elections.
Companions of the joint movement say that the government has taken up a plan to arrest the leaders of parties and alliances outside the BNP who are active and in important positions on the streets. It is now clear that they will be arrested before the election schedule is announced. Because, after announcing the schedule, the government cannot make arrests like this even if it wants to. In fact, the government’s intention is to spread a kind of panic among the political parties who are in the movement. So that the movement of the field cannot accumulate.
Shahdat Hossain Salim, secretary general of Bangladesh LDP, a partner of the 12-party alliance told, “No matter how many attacks and arrests the government makes, nothing comes of it.” More arrests are likely ahead. But we will continue the movement.
The leaders of Dhomraksha Manch, one of the partners of the combined movement, say that there is an attempt to create panic by spreading the news that Mahmudur Rahman Manna, president of NagrikOikya, Saiful Haque, president of Biplabli Workers Party and Jonaid Saki, chief coordinator of Mass Solidarity Movement, may be arrested at any moment. But the decision of the coalition is that no one should go into hiding with the fear of arrest. At any rate the movement will continue.
Saiful Haque, president of the Democratic Workers Party, a partner party of the Demokratia Manch told, “Ehsanul Huda, the leader of the 12-party alliance, was arrested and taken away in plain clothes yesterday. We condemned him yesterday. This can be a series of arrests of those who are active on the streets in various groups and alliances. However, whatever the government does, we will continue our agitation for our demands.
36 registered and unregistered parties are conducting simultaneous movement with BNP. The leaders of the parties say that the top leaders of two parties have been arrested in the last two days among the parties which are in simultaneous movement with BNP. The rest are being threatened. Some are being asked to withdraw from the movement. And those who have a good social and political position are being pressured to participate in the elections.
Both parts of the People’s Rights Council are holding a simultaneous movement with BNP to demand the resignation of the government. Nurul Haque Noor, President of (part) said, “The government is very repressive. They want to hold a rigged election by keeping the opposition in jail. There, the Election Commission is accompanying that one-sided election.
He also said, “The government wants to hold a rigged election with some leaders of BNP and other small parties.” To show foreigners that the election is participatory and fair. Since the People’s Rights Council has an acceptance in the country and abroad, there is pressure on us to participate in the elections. However, our word is clear – we will not participate in the elections under the party government. I will not be able to deceive the people.
Noor said, “Initially, we saw that there was no crackdown on parties other than BNP. But Syed Ehsanul Huda, coordinator of the 12-party alliance, was arrested yesterday. Janata Adhikar Party Chairman Tariqul has been arrested.
A top leader of a party who is a member of the simultaneous movement of BNP, who did not want to be named, said that there is a pressure on the government from the West, including the United States, to hold fair, impartial and acceptable elections. If they don’t have a fair election, various kinds of swords will come down on them, including economic sanctions, the government understands that. That is why the government wants to show a fair and impartial election with some leaders of their party and other parties if BNP does not come to the election. That’s why we are being threatened in polite language – “If we don’t go to the election, the agitators will stay in Keraniganj jail in Dhaka”.
Farooq Hossain, a member of the Reza Kibria section of the People’s Rights Council told, “The pressure is there.” But we have clearly said that we will not take part in the election. However, I will continue the movement as much as I can.

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