Oikyafront demands Khaleda Zia’s unconditional release

Oikyafront demands Khaleda Zia’s unconditional release

Raising alarm at the growing incidents of rape in the country, Jatiya Oikyafront convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Wednesday urged people to wage a united movement to protect women’s rights and establish the rule of law.

“Unwanted incidents are taking place in the country one after another. The rape of women has turned epidemic. The deterioration in law and order is evident here,” he said while talking to reporters after a meeting of the alliance at his Motijheel chamber.

Dr Kamal, also Ganofourm president, further said, “We think the movement has to be strengthened and people have to take to the street actively so that their rights are protected and the rule of law is established. It’s now essential.”

Oikyafront leader ASM Abdur Rob said they will hold a mass gathering at Shahbagh intersection in the city at 4pm on April 30 in protest against the killing of Feni madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi, repression on women and growing rape incidents.

Dr Kamal, also the president of Gonoforum, said people want civility and the rule of law to be restored in the country. “At our meeting, we today (Wednesday) decided to take programmes to this end.”

He alleged that law enforcers are playing an inactive role in taking action against those breaching law and snatching people’s rights. “Police are very active in taking action against those standing in favour of human rights.”

ASM Abdur Rob said their alliance thinks a suffocating situation has been prevailing in the country where it has become difficult for people to survive. “Two-three rape incidents are happening daily on average while 160 children were raped in the last three months. The country never witnessed such incidents of repression on women and children in the past.”

He also said women and children are now insecure both at home and outside due to prevailing anarchic situation in the country. “It should be stopped immediately. We believe such heinous repression on women and children wouldn’t have taken place had police played an active and impartial role.”

Abdur Rob, also the president of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, urged the people of all walks of life to participate in Oikyafront’s mass gathering programme on April 30 to register their protest against the growing incidents of rape and repression on women and children.

He said the alliance leaders will go to different districts, including Rajshahi and Noakhali, to hold the public hearing on the December-30 national election.

Besides, Rob said Oikyafront will hold a civic rally in the city during the upcoming fasting-month Ramadan.

He said their alliance thinks the government is pushing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia towards death by keeping her in jail in cases filed only to harass her. “We, on behalf of Oikyafront, demand the unconditional release of Khaleda Zia.”

Besides, Rob said their alliance also demand the government to free several thousand BNP leaders and activists who have been kept in jail in ‘false and fictitious’ cases.

At their meeting, he said the alliance leaders expressed deep shock at the death of Zayan Chowdhury, grandson of Awami League Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, in a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Sunday.

They also conveyed their sympathy to the bereaved family members and wished early recovery of Zayan’s father who sustained serious injuries in the attack. “We also strongly condemned the terror attack in Sri Lanka.”

Replying to a question, Rob said Oikyafront is still strict to its decision on not taking oath by its MPs-elect.

BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddiqui, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gonoforum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, its leaders Professor Abu Sayeed, Reza Kibria and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, joined the meeting with Dr Kamal in the chair.