Friday, April 20, 2012

BNP briefs foreign diplomats

Opposition BNP Thursday briefed foreign diplomats in Dhaka on the reported disappearance of the party's organizing secretary and ex-MP M Elias Ali, reports UNB. The BNP leaders informed the diplomats of the evolving situation of the country particularly 'public insecurity' at a Gulshan restaurant this afternoon. After the briefing BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury told UNB over phone that they conveyed their party's concern to the diplomats over the disappearance of Ilias Ali as well as public sufferings from insecurity. He said during the meeting they presented statistics of abduction and secret killings occurred in the last three years. Replying to a question, Shamsher, former Foreign Secretary, said the diplomats would send their evaluation reports to their respective countries. Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives from 25 countries including USA, UK, China, France, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands Sweden, Turkey, EU and Singapore attended the briefing. BNP standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan and BNP chairperson's adviser Sabihuddin Ahmed were also present. Another report adds: BNP has asked the government to return the party's organizing secretary M Elias Ali without any delay or get ready to quit power. The warning came from a demonstration organized by Dhaka city BNP, held in front the party's central office at capital's Naya Paltan in the afternoon as part of its countrywide programme to protest disappearance of Elias Ali. Addressing the protest rally as the chief guest BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir asked the government to hand over the party's organising secretary and former MP from Sylhet Elias Ali 'right now' alive. "Otherwise", he warned, "Get set to quit state power, or else, people will topple you". Accusing the government of 'picking up' Elias, Fakhrul said the government has not only picked up Elias but also picked up the 'strength of democracy'. He urged the party leaders and workers to build up strong unity to defeat the 'fascist' government to force it return Elias to them. BNP standing committee member Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said people of whole Bangladesh think that certain intelligence agency has picked Elias up by the directive of the government. "The government picked up Elias and if not so why it is not taking any step to trace him by employing its intelligence agencies, including police and RAB", he reasoned. Mosharraf asked the government to return Elias to them without further delay or produce him in court as per law of the land. "Otherwise, it will be clear as day light that the government has picked up Elias and is hiding him somewhere", he said. The BNP leader warned that tougher movement will be announced after Sunday's countrywide hartal to expedite the fall of the government if Elias is not returned immediately. Barrister Moudud Ahmed said the issue of Elias' disappearance will have to be taken seriously in order to strengthening democracy. Presided over by city BNP convener Sadeque Hossain Khoka, the protest rally was also addressed by Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan and Amanullah Aman. After the rally a big procession was taken out from the central office and was foiled by police by firing tear gas shells. Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation, on Thursday voiced deep concern over 'missing' of BNP organising secretary Ilias Ali along with his driver early Wednesday. We urged the government to conduct proper investigation of all missing and secret killing incidents including Ilias Ali and his driver, ASK executive director Sultana Kamal said, according to a press release. The criminals would be brought into book and the authority concerned would take necessary steps in this regard to avoid recurrence of such incidents like disappearance and secret killings, she hoped.

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