Conspiracy


On the eve of withdrawal of state of emergency, the foreign diplomats stationed in Bangladesh have asked the government for special protection. On December 17, the people of Bangladesh has finally regained their fundamental rights nearly two years after it was postponed by a covert military coup. No doubt, the diplomats were happy, enjoying their life while the people of their host country were tied down and gagged. No doubt they liked the people to remain that way as they immediately asked for special protection because of withdrawal of state of emergency.
And the army chief recently claimed that despite requests being made to him by diplomats, he did not declare martial law. Wow! What a dangerous statement! For Gods sake Bangladesh is an independent sovereign democratic nation. And the diplomats, breaking all international code of conduct, meeting the Army general and persuading him to overthrow a constitutional government!!! Do they know the meaning of the word ‘conspiracy’? What the army chief did that time? Did he report it to his Supreme Commander? Should not he? Must not he? If he had not, what that act tantamount to?
Its about the time we understand the real meaning of spirit of our independence, the spirit of 1971, the spirit of 3 million lives and the value of 3 million lives. The spirit of 1971 does not only mean hanging leaders of Jamaat e islami (In selected years). The spirit of 1971 means upholding the sovereignty of the nation. The value of 1971 means to stand up, heads high, against being poodle of arrogant foreign diplomats and have the country run by the people and for the people.

— smell a rat : to have a suspicion of something wrong [ Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

There is an extremely foul stench of rat I smell in the activities of the RATS (Razzak, Amu, Tofael and Suranjit) faction of Bangladesh Awami League. If we look back in recent history, this group joined hands with the military regime which illegally occupied the governance in Bangladesh. They have been the major accomplices in ‘now notorious minus two’ plan of this regime. Their intention was clear. Go to power by an unfair means, through the back door of conspiracy. Their two other plan was to get rid of Sheikh Hasina in from Awami league leadership, thus exerting control over the party. And their third goal was to eliminate politics of Ziaur Rahman from the planet.

All their plans failed miserably. Unlike BNP’s turncoats, they however have been shrewd enough not to get ousted like Mannan Bhuiyan gong.

Now as there appears to be a U-turn in Bangladesh politics, this quartet started their second phase of conspiracy. Any politically savvy person will know that unity between political parties is vital for restoration of democracy. Anyone really wanting to get rid of the hidden martial law would do everything to prevent going back to the confrontational politics we’ve seen last 15 years.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the RATS do not know/understand it. But their activities of last few days raise serious concern about their real intention. The comments of all four of them, esp. those of Razzak and Amu from yesterday were exceedingly offensive, unsuitable for a senior politician, divisive and unhealthy.

It is a shame that how these, once respected politician, sold their souls and became petty and cheap foot soldiers of a military general. Awami League leadership esp. Sheikh Hasina must be very cautious of this ‘gang of four’. For the sake of democracy these four scoundrels must be confronted and stopped.

Two news item in yesterdays newspapers say it all.

Daily Prothom Alo broke the news to the nation day before yesterday. The news was that BNP leader, Khaleda Zia’s heir apparent Mr. Tarique Rahman resigned from his party post and has retired from politics. This news surprised many political observers and to them something did not sound right. Khaleda Zia herself mentioned that her son would not be able to be involved in ground political activities in Bangladesh while he undergoes treatment abroad and this treatment be as long as two-three years. But a formal resignation and faxing it to newspaper offices after midnight was rather unusual.

Anyway the uneasy political analysts did not have to wait too long. This news item published in the New Age mentions how an ailing and hurting Tarique Rahman was virtually held hostage at ZIA airport by members of military intelligence, DGFI. Here is how New Age described it,

…Tarique was made to sign a paper, which he was very unwilling to do, by members of the intelligence agencies at the Zia International Airport, according to sources in the airport. ‘They threatened Tarique Rahman that he would not be allowed to fly unless he signed the undertaking,’ said an airport source. ‘The word “undertaking” was, however, replaced with “statement” as he was unwilling to sign the paper,’ he added. According to the text of the paper written in incorrect Bangla and carrying Tarique’s ‘signature’, which was faxed from ‘SIG CEN DGFI’ through the number 8752921 at 12.34am on September 12 to New Age and some other newspapers too, he ‘relieved himself’ of the charge of senior joint secretary-general of BNP and retired from active politics…

This is a copy of the Undertaking statement (Undated and in plain paper) published in Daily Amader Shomoy. Amader Shomoy also published the news item without mentioning the name of DGFI.

From the above incidence, one should rest assured that General Moeen and his con men in DGFI are still very much active behind the scene. They are still breathing at the neck of Bangladesh.

And one also should wonder that while this government came with all the indignation of righteousness and despite the fact that they claim themselves bunch of honest, educated “do-gooders”; all they did in last two years are nothing but dirty politics.

People in Bangladesh won’t need to be reminded how ex-prime minister and leader of the most organized and one of the largest political parties in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina was arrested hours after she dared criticize DGFI for it’s illegitimate activities.

Generally the question will arise that on what ground DGFI has to poke its nose in partisan politics of the country. Who they are to take undertaking from politicians whether he/she will do politics or not?

Those days are coming when the DGFI and those few generals also have to sign another undertaking. This undertaking will be given to the nation that they would refrain from illegally poking their nose into jurisdictions which is not their mandate.

Since 1/11/2007; the activities of the army chief and the leadership of DGFI have seriously undermined the integrity of these two institutions. Never in the past, had an army chief (without holding any administrative leadership role like CMLA etc.) abused his post so much for petty personal political gains. Same thing is true of DGFI, which has ventured way deep into a territory which is definitely not their jurisdiction. DGFI was a fine institution and this organization was built by hardworking members of Bangladesh armed forces. And the truth is that an overwhelming majority of the members of these forces do not support the current activities of DGFI. One army chief and some of his con men generals have used this organization for their personal gain and vendetta. If a democratic government is allowed to take over after a meaningful election, there is no doubt this fine institution will come under the wrath and may even be stripped off essential fund and authority. This will be a loss. Weakening of armed force definitely does not serve the national interest of Bangladesh.

 
Lt General H M Ershad was a shrewd and cunning person ready to anything to grab and then stay in power. Looks like we are having another Ershad in General Moeen U Ahmed.
He occupied the prime time Bangladesh news today with the following news items.

First
He extended his tenure as army Chief by one more year. Government statement states that it was done in national interest. The nation however does not know what national interest warranted this extension. General Moeen repeatedly stressed the point that the country is not under martial law and he only is helping the civilian administration as he would do any other government. And the country knows that they are in war with any country. And no natural disaster is going on now. So is there absolutely no pressing need to take the extraordinary step to divert from normal proceedings of the armed forces.

Second
He declared that there is no food crisis in the country. He however did not elaborate then why rice price is beyond people’s purchasing power. He probably miss-spoke the cantonment for the country. We know there is no food crisis in Cantonment. The army chief probably meant cantonment. Moreover on what capacity the army chief would speak about country’s food status? He could talk about security issues etc. (more…)

H.E. Mr. Anwar Chowdhury, the British high Commissioner to Banglades is widely believed to be one of the co-conspirators of the military coup that killed the democracy in Bangladesh in 1/11/07. In addition to his job as the British high commissioner to Bangladesh, he has also been playing the role of the chief international trumpeter of the military government in Bangladesh. Today’s news is that he has been transferred out of Bangladesh. Good riddance.

Lead news of different print media in Dhaka today was that of the ten years imprisonment of businessman Giausuddin Mamun. Like previous cases of conviction, todays news item also did not include the detail of the charges or judicial analysis of the judgement. The Daily Star reporting of today was typical such effort. Naturally it gave this news the top news treatment. Except stating  that the judge “…delivered the verdict just in a minute saying the allegations brought against Mamun and his wife have been proved”, the reporting did not bother to even mention the accusitions that culminated in this sentence. And typical of Daily Star-Prothom ALo, another reporting, full of unsubstatiated rhetorics  already published in DS several times, accompanied this report.

 This is really a sorry state of affair and condemnable journalistic ethics. Newspapers are having a field day on their innovative news creation, the judges are not bothering to explain the justification of their sentence, after closed door proceedings, the accused are being thrown in a jail cell for 10, 20, 30 years. Everything is going on smoothly except for the fact that their is a total denial of the right of the accused to defend themselves or make their case in front of the nation.

 

I recently got hold of the following document that was presented to defend former state minister Mr. Iqbal Hasan Mahmood, who was arrested along with his wife, student son and teenage daughter. I am publishing it here for my readers. This document was specifically prepared for  Mr. Mahmood. But certain facts mentioned here will shed light on several much talked about allegations against many politicians of previous government.

  

The Case of Iqbal Hassan Mahmood

View from a different perspective

The Difference

The media in the country is currently full of stories of corruption by politicians of every hue. The latter are being accused and found guilty of misuse of official position for personal gain, bribery, extortion, misappropriation of public funds in development projects, abuse of relief materials, being a habitual bank defaulter and becoming immensely rich through illegal means during the last five years.

However, the case of Iqbal Hassan Mahmood, former Minister of State in charge of the Power Division of GOB is different in more than one ways. Thus:

(more…)

Nation under a State of Emergency (SOE).

An election of the supreme governing body of the business community (FBCCI) takes place among great fanfare. Two main groups contest the election. One is lead by Vegetable oil tycoon Rouf Chowdhury and the other one is garments businessman Anisul Haq. One is “pro government” and the other is “More pro-Government”. Senior government officials as well as election commissioners visit the polling and pose for the camera in a smiling face.

Same week. Same country. Same city.

Another professional body election is scheduled to take place. This time it is the leading lawyers’ organization, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Government sends decree ordering SCBA to postpone the election. The reason? It is unlawful and breach of SOE regulations to hold any election under SOE.
Some unruly lawyers protest and vow to hold the election as scheduled defying the order of the civilian faced military government.
The military government cracks down. Alas! Not in Pakistani style. But in typical Dhakai DGFI style. The current SCBA president ( Who already is in DGFI payroll), two government reps including Attorney general and law advisor, and one of the two leading contenders, the pro AL lawyer’s presidential candidate ( and not so surprisingly missing the Pro BNP candidate) meet with the head of DGFI in the Gulshan office of DGFI. At the end of the meeting, several meek faces come out of the DGFI building and declare victory but also announce that the election is postponed until end of April. While general lawyers belonging to both the contesting group take these meek faces to serious task, the current SCBA president, Barrister Amirul Islam declares that lawyer’s association has nothing to do with national politics and its goal is only to focus on ensuring the well being of members of this profession.

This twin act election drama may shed light to an event of near future. The December 2008 national election. By the above standard, in that election

1. Only friends can do elections. Those who are not that friendly, will not be allowed to do election.
2. if some politician wants to do any ‘ketchal’ ( Insubordination) with all powerful DGFI, very quickly they will be seen coming out a Gulshan residence in a meek face and become the most faithful servant of DGFI.

And the ultimate moral of the story is that it is the military intelligence (DGFI) which is running the country, the catfish faced Fakhruddin is only a trumpeter.

Ok, the attack is on again.

The generals leading this latest version of BNP hijack attempt are

 1. DGFI Brigediers.

2. Mannan Bhuiyan ( behind the scene)

3. Saifur-Hafiz.

4. Brig Hannan Shah.

5. Goyeshwar Roy/ Nazrul Khan/Shahjahan

The vital moves made so far

1. Delwar, Rizvi,  80′s student leaders including Kh Babul, Asaduzzaman etc are under a a virtual seige.

2. The highcourt case dealing with this issue is being delayed ( By a so called free judiciary) so that DGFI/Govt gets enough time to execute the hijack plan.

3. Election commission is also in a waiting mode to let the hijack be completed first.

4. There has been a gag on the lawyers/ family visiting Khaleda Zia and the media from speaking about Khaleda’s illness that may require hospital visit.

5. Delaying Khaleda case ( By independent judiciary!!!) to prevent her from speaking in public before BNP take over is completed.

6. Releasing of Brig Gen Hannan Shah ( again, by indepedent judiciary !!!. Did any other senior politician else get bail so far in post 1/11 Bangladesh? )

7. Case against Saifur- Manan to keep them committed to their treachery.

The Goal,

1. Ensure a BNP that will be friendly to General Moeen U Ahmed before emergency is lifted and election schedule is announced.  Awami League is already under control of a friendly leadership.

2.  Ensure a predicted election result and a government that will uphold the spirit of 1/11 revolution.

3.  Save the ass of General Moeen and his Brigedier troop.

The Problem,

1. The BNP support base and the grass root.

2. The still untamed AL intelligentsia.

3. Khondokar Delwar Hossain.

4. Chances of a strong BNP performance if they are allowed to participate in Dec 2008 election.

The sign

One day before the previous coup attempt, Election Commissioner Suhul Hossain declared that the letter would go to the person who will be secretary two days later.  One day later DGFI designed a coup to appoint a new BNP secretary. ECs participation in the DGFI hatched conspiracy got exposed.

Just yesterday Maj Hafiz made another similar off guard remark. He predicted that He and Saifur would go with Delwar to the meeing with EC. This statement probably explains what is being planned. Delwar etc may be forced into a “unification” before the dialogue.

The Fear

Can delwar keep holding the fort under the immense pressure he, few of his colleague and his family is facing minute in minute out.  My confidence is also eroding.

Footnote,

In 1975, military killed Bangabandhu and broke in room by room, searched all members of his family including all his sons, daughter in laws, extended family members, killed them execution style. Still it required only four years for a full resurgence of Awami League. It may be easy for the army to design and form a party but hijacking a party against the will of the support base is never possible.

Update 1:

The mouthpiece of DGFI has published the framework of BNP hijack.

Here it is.

Bangladesh is under state of Emergency.


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Bangladesh Constitution 141A (1)
Proclamation of Emergency: If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security or economic life of Bangladesh, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression or internal disturbance, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.
 

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Chief of Bangladesh Army, General Moeen U Ahmed accompanies his wife to a six day trip to neighboring India. On arriving in New Delhi, he receives red carpet welcome. He stays at Taz palace hotel and attends a gala dinner hosted by Indian army chief. The following morning he receives gift of six horses from his Indian counter part. These six horses are supposed to be transported to Dhaka, mate, breed and are planned to be used for equestrian sports by the members of Bangladesh armed forces. Same night he attends another grand gala dinner hosted by Bangladesh high Commission and attended by Indian politicians. General Moeen and his wife then traveled to Ajmeer Sharif and offered prayer at the Majar Sharif.  They also did some sightseeing tour of famous Taz Mahal.  After spiritual treat at Ajmeer and visual treat at Taz Mahal, General and Mrs Moeen were flown to India’s famous Goa beach resort city. There they indulge themselves on the beautiful Arabian sea beach at Panaji, Goa. The General and his wife then flew to West Bengal, Kolkata. In West Bengal General Moeen’s major planned stops were meeting local politicians, visiting Jorashakor Thakur Bari (the home of poet Tagore), Shanti Niketan (an art-literature university established by Tagore), attending dinner hosted by Indian eastern command general and supervise the construction of metal cage along the India-Bangladesh railroad.  

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And all these days, Bangladesh, the country General Moeen is supposed to protect (From both external and internal calamities), remains under a state of emergency.  

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Bangladesh Constitution 141A (1)
Proclamation of Emergency: If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists in which the security or economic life of Bangladesh, or any part thereof, is threatened by war or external aggression or internal disturbance, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency.

This New Age Editorial  sums up the major concerns very well. Although I understand New Age’s concern and feeling of humiliation at this governments spineless giving in to all the Indian conditions before a train communication can start, I do not share the humiliation much. I feel the benefits are worth this tiny bit of humiliation. India’s BSF is killing Bangladeshi citizens day in day out. Nobody is too much bothered or humiliated about it. Have BDR shoot a BSF jawan or Indian citizen, you will see how the hell ( AKA Indian press) break lose on us.

 I, however, feel more humiliated at the arrogance and blatant disregard of the public by a bunch of military officials belonging to Bangladesh armed forces. Just go pick up the top leaders of the country, each enjoying the respect and recognition as the leader of almost 50%  of the population; throw them in the jail and keep them behind bar for an indefinite period without any charges! Total impunity, total lack of accountability, total recklessness!! How a bunch of paid professional soldiers, who are fed, clothed, accomodated, educated, armed, rested by the peoples’ money, can torture the leaders of the people so inhumanly? Who gives them the right or the courage or the guts to torture the son of one such leaderby hanging him from the celing?

 The following editorial discusses the questions raised the Army Chief’s India visit. Lets not be redundant. But I want to take this opportunity to remind the readers about what India did after the gruesome killings of 15th August and Jail killing of 3rd November.  They did nothing ( Not asking for a rebuke/invasion, what about a condemnation or concern at all the killings?). They simply remained silent about the unfolding of events and was eager to extend their cooperation to the successive new regimes, starting with that of Mustaque/Faruq gong. While they remained totally silent after 1/11 suspension of democracy,  recently India’s high commissioner to Bangladesh is acting like the ” Master Moshai” to all the Bangladeshis! Once a while I wonder whether India really wants a progressive, secular, economically strong and stable democracy on its east border or they want another rogue failing Islamic state with a strong branding as a hub of terrorism.  Who does not want to be the only good kid in the block?

meen_horse.jpg

New Age Editorial

Moeen’s extraordinary India visit and govt’s approval of security cage on border

The unelected government of Fakhruddin Ahmed has visibly swallowed the Indian proposal of constructing a ‘security cage’ on both sides of the border to resume direct passenger train service between Dhaka and Kolkata – a humiliating proposal that the previous government had refused to accept. The people of Bangladesh have always been in favour of maintaining close contact with the people of India, with whom they share common history and culture in many areas, and therefore welcome the perceived train services. The people of Bangladesh, however, rightly felt uncomfortable with the Indian idea of passing the trains through a ‘box-type’ cage to be constructed on the ‘no man’s land, which, the Indian negotiators believe, would deter illegal immigration, if there is any. Bangladesh had, therefore, rightly been refusing to entertain the humiliating proposal. Subsequently, the agreement of the direct train service, initiated in July 2001 and almost finalised in July 2007, did not materialise. Suddenly, Fakhruddin’s cabinet approved the Indian proposal on Monday! Notably, India has direct train services with its arch rival Pakistan, but the trains do not pass through any cages.
   What, however, is especially noteworthy is that the cabinet approval of the Indian proposal came the day General Moeen U Ahmed, chief of our armed forces, which propelled Fakhruddin to power, began his extraordinary visit to New Delhi, the capital of India. The visit appears extraordinary because the general, who is believed to have been the prime backer of the otherwise unpopular government of Fakhruddin Ahmed, is scheduled to hold talks with a couple of Indian cabinet members including foreign minister Pranab Mukharjee, and also the chief minister of the Indian state of West Bengal, Buddhadev Bhattacharya. This is alarming. In ordinary visits, our general is not supposed to have official talks with foreign politicians, particularly when the two countries involved have quite a good number of disputed issues to be resolved through political negotiations. That the visit is an extraordinary one is also reflected in the political enthusiasm of the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, who had reportedly visited prior to the general’s departure for Delhi, Khandaker Delwar Hossain, the secretary general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Zillur Rahman, the acting president of the Awami League. None of the parties involved clearly told our people as to what transpired in those meetings, creating a lot of concerns in the public mind as regards what issues would come up during general Moeen’s discussions with Indian policy makers. The concern has further deepened after our government’s approval of the Indian proposal to construct the controversial security cage on no man’s land immediately before the visit. Are the unelected incumbents passing any message to the Indian political establishment? We do not know.
   However, what we know is that the hegemonic powers, regional or global, usually like weak governments in the neighbourhood as the hegemon finds it easy to settle disputed issues with the weak to the former’s advantage. And the weakest government is the one which is not elected by the people, as is the case in Bangladesh today. The weak governments, if ambitious to cling to power without people’s mandate for long, usually seek cooperation of the hegemonic powers, and at times they succeed in it, albeit at the cost of national interests. We only hope that general Moeen’s extraordinary visit to Delhi would not cost us very dearly, and expect that he upon his return would apprise us all, at the least, of what issues he discussed with Indian leaders, and what are the possible implications of those discussions for our people.

Mr. Qayyum Khan was an elected local government representative in Dhaka constituency surrounding the military base in Dhaka. A few politicians have been arrested during the first hours after the military takeover on 11 January 2007. Mr. Qayyum Khan was one of them. Since then for the last 13 months, the authorities have kept Mr Khan in custody without even any charges made, forget about conviction. Although highcourt ruled his detention illegal and he was forced to be released on 10th January 2008, he was immediately arrested at Jail Gate. No specific charges were not made this time also. After being detained in Jail for 13 months without any trial and charges, Mr. Qayyum Khan finally came out last night. As a dead body.

hd.jpg qayyum_wife.jpg
[Photo: BDNews24.com/Amardesh]

Mr. Khan died under custody. I would say he was killed, directly or indirectly. Both print and electronic media are made to tell that he had a stroke in jail cell and died in hospital. Hospital sources are saying very clearly that by the time his body reached emergency department, Mr. Khan’s body started to show rigor mortis.
Same day, in a very well coordinated move, government arrested BNP ex lawmaker Mr. Alal from his home. As a reason for the arrest the press was told that he was planning to break the laws of emergency rule by meeting with some people in his home! And our grand post 1/11 independent judiciary immediately granted 2 day remand to let the DGFI beat the hell out of him for resisting Mannan Bhuiyan takeover of BNP. This coordinated move is meant to be a clear threat to Delwar and Rizvi, “if you don’t want Mannan, Goyeshwar Roy take over, you will first face Alal’s fate, then face Qayyum’s fate”.

alal.jpg
[Photo: BDNews24.com]
How can people not see the sheer outrageous crimes of the government? The forces are raiding peoples’ homes and arresting them with charges like “they were planning to break the emergency rules”. In this kind of blanket excuse, this government can pick up anybody. No one is safe.

And then lets talk about the remand! Every time people tell me what great things this government did by separating te judiciary, I feel like throwing up. We are told, “What I don’t want from pre 1/11 are the destruction of all of our key democratic institutes by manipulation, the graft, the cadre based mastani, the destruction of the public administration, judiciary…”. How better is it from then? If government already knew Alal was planning something, why remand then? Do anybody want me to believe that the judge is working freely?
I saw TV footage of Qayyum Khan’s home. Another typical middle class Dhaka home in a middle class neighborhood. Very modest, the same kind where I grew up in. No million Taka interior decoration, no hanging Picasso painting, no duplex living room with water fountain-chandeliers, like those we see when some of our civil society leaders and current government advisors give thoughtful interviews to TV. When they were talking to Mr. Alal’s wife, it was again an ordinary Mohammadpur flat. Very modest middle class look. And we have all along been told these people stole whole of the country. Where are the charges? Where is the stolen money? Qayyum Khan spent 13 months in jail waiting to know what his was crime. And government could not even show corruption as a cause of Mr. Alal’s arrest. The reason in his case was so called imaginary violation of rules of State of emergency.
Although Mrs. Qayyum’s Khan’s wailing was very intense in TV, I am pretty sure; her wailing will never reach those who make a living out of human rights issues. There will not be any urgent action alert, no statement, no blog, no facebook group, no burning of conscience. If you are a detained university teacher’s wife, a minority leader, a journalist, you are a human. You will be heard , you will be spoken of. But these Qayyums, Alals, Tareqs are inhumans. Human rights watchdogs don’t talk about inhuman rights. Inhumans don’t have right.

Oh Yes. You tell me. This 1/11 has done two great things. It has separated the judiciary to make it independent and honest and it has cleaned the police under the leadership of the Dilip Kumar look alike IGP.

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BREAKING NEWS
Hannan Shah rearrested, sent back to jail
Thu, Feb 7th, 2008 7:45 pm BdST

Dhaka, Feb 7 (bdnews24.com) – The police Thursday arrested former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s adviser ASM Hannan Shah at the gate of Narayanganj jail, shortly after he was freed on bail.

Fatullah police arrested him on charges of violating emergency rules and took him to the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Golam Mahbub.

The court ordered him to jail.

Sub-inspector Bhuiyan Mahbub Hasan, who filed a case against him with Fatullah Police Station Thursday, told the court that Hannan Shah had held a rally with about 200 party workers near the jail gate soon after his release from prison.

The police alleged that the rally breached emergency rule.

“The rally spread panic among people and halted traffic on the road past Narayanganj jail,” the SI said.

In court, Hannan Shah denied joining any rally and said the case filed against him was false.

The BNP leader told the court: “I am a retired army officer and a former minister. I am a member of a political party. Up to eight plainclothes security officials took me to court by microbus shortly after I left the jail. I did not join any rally. I did not violate any emergency powers rule. If I had attended any rally, reporters would have known it.”

His lawyer Advocate Shakhawat Hossain Khan told bdnews24.com: “There was no rally and there was no traffic jam.”

Hannan Shah was earlier arrested on Nov 7 for his alleged links to violence near former president Ziaur Rahman’s grave in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on National Revolution and Solidarity Day.

On Jan 30, the High Court declared illegal his detention and granted him bail.

The current regims dirty politicking with BNP is scandalous. I wrote many months ago that the worst time of BNP was over. It is still true. The men who helped BNP come out of the worst time of its history, is Khondokar Delwar Hossain and Mr Rizvi Ahmed.

Indian cricket fans loving call cricketer Rahul Dravid as “The Wall”, apparently for his stubborn steady defiance of all kinds menacing bowling attacks. Khondokar Delwar Hossain is the ‘wall’ of present day Bangladesh politics. He has faced and is still facing an unbelievable level of torture, in the form of physical torture on his son, termination of his physician daughter’s job, almost nonstop telephone call, threats directed at him from various quarters.  Despite all these, Mr. Delwar remained defiant and held the fort in a steadfast manner. On the face of his boldness the whole hijacking plan of BNP by the turncoats like Mannan, Hafiz, Saifur, Mofazzal, ZA Khan, Jahir Swapon, Shakhawat Bokul etc faltered. I feel sorry for Goyeshwar Roy, Md Shahjahan etc. They tried but could not help resisting the temptations of the powerful military government long enough. They betrayed their party and their workers/supporters. And yet, they failed miserably in front of the wall. And now as the line is drawn, the betrayers have been identified, the job in BNP gets clearer. The Wall has done his job. If they take him out now, I am pretty sure one of the daughter-in-laws of Khaleda Zia will come and hold the mantle (You are darn right; I am indeed promoting dynastic steps here. If that is needed to keep the fledgling and badly bruised free politics of Bangladesh alive, so be it.

The crocodile tears of some major media outlet are very funny. These same newspapers will do anything to see BNP vanish from this planet. They have never hidden this agenda. And now suddenly these evil wishers of BNP suddenly became the well wishers and very concerned about the unification of BNP. Some got angered at Khondokar Delwar Hossain for his non-cooperation in this ‘unification’ process. Isn’t it strange that these media outlets will become so concerned about BNP’s unification? Will anyone believe that this media do want a stronger BNP? Isn’t this media support of the so called unification clarifies what really is intended in the name of unification?  And to be fair and truthful, whatever these media, or the election commissioners or Amnesty’s Irene Khan say, in reality there is no fraction in BNP. There are a bunch of turncoat leaders who are engaged in a failed attempt to hijack the party on behalf of the military government. The party, its activists, the grassroots and the vast support base are united. Despite what chief Election Commissioner says about better current state of Awami League, I feel this is in no better shape. While Khondokar Delwar prevented the downfall like a wall, Motia Chowdhury fought a pitched battle but apparently could not prevent the hijack of the party by the pro military RATS fraction. The acting president Zillur Rahman occasionally fumbles something to the press and makes statements like “Allah will give justice to Hasina” etc but always shy away from demanding her immediate release. It is strange that while Sheikh Hasina herself calls for an early election, AL acting president, flanked by either Amu or Tofael or Rajjak, is busier showing his complete submission to the roadmap of the election commission. If you scan recent press reports in Bangladesh, you will see BNP, its leadership and student wings demanded release of Sheikh Hasina more frequently and vigorously than AL did.    But it is imperative to say that whatever efficiently the RATS have hijacked the party, their fate is very tightly tied with the group led by Mannan Bhuiyan. If Mannan gong fails to take over BNP (It now seems that they have failed), the future of RATS becomes very uncertain. An election with RATS dominated AL (With Hasina in jail) and a boycott by BNP will be worse than the projected Jan 22 election. 1/11 came into being only to prevent that sort of election.

In the end, it is the wall who, by blocking the hijack of his party, is in fact preventing the hijack of our democracy and next five years of our governance by a very powerful quarter comprised of military Generals, newspaper editors and Foreign diplomats.  The strength of the Wall is not only the man Delwar Hossain, but hundreds of thousands of passionate grassroots activists of Awami League and BNP.

The future is not as bleak as it may seem now.

They brought the dead body all the way to Dhaka because they would not allow Khaleda Zia and her son’s to travel to Dinajpur. The DGFI led government dared subject a dead body to this much hassle in a country where the religio-social culture is to treat a deceased with utmost respect and bury ASAP with least humiliation of the body. [And those scoundrels in Prothom Alo are making a case about use of government helicopter for Khaleda's mother!!!!] The family did not want Government helicopter, they did not want to bring the body to Dhaka either. It was DGFI plan to minimize a freedome time and prevent a meeting of Khaleda and her sons.

Then when the talk about remand came up, I expected a repeat of the treatment Sheikh Selim, the AL leader in detention received, when his mother died. Sheikh Selim was released for about 8 hours, whole of which he spent with his family, friends and political colleague at his home in Banani. All Awami League politicians including Sheikh Hasina were also there. There was no restriction on Mr. Selim from attending any ritual or anybody else from visiting him. For Mr. Selim it was a sad, unwanted but at least a tolerable good bye to his mother.

But this was not going to happen in case of Khaleda Zia and her sons. Although remand was granted for six hours, both Tareq and Coco was held in waiting in separate police stations and was allowed only one hour in their houses. Khaleda Zia could spend a little more than 2 hours. And all three could visit separately so that none could talk to each other.

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[Photo: New Age]

What major disaster could happen if they were allowed to be together during this time of this great personal loss? Would they hatch a conspiracy? How could they follow up that conspiracy from their solitary confinement in their respective prisons? Or they would have discussed legal defense strategies?
If the case against Tareq or Coco is so solid, if there were sooooooooooooo many witnesses of the extortions by Tareq or Coco, why this much fear of their defence strategies? Why torture? Our activists are very much bothered about torture against anybody but BNP leadership or Zia family. Regarding Tareq’s recent torture allegation, there was not a single word from our so-called human rights watchdogs. And the government would not say anything. Yes government and its mouthpieces spoke out. But only to prove that a picture attributed to torture on Tareq was false. So, it’s all right to torture Tareq but a fake picture will never be tolerated!!

And ‘ torture’ is the only word you would find to describe the way Khaleda family was treated yesterday in the name of humanitarian remand. This torture is another act atrocity of the current regime controlled by military chief Moeen u Ahmed and army intelligence. And believe me, no atrocity in Bangladesh (Tareq Zia is now paying for his cricket game under police protection) goes unpunished. I only have this to say to General Moeen, CA spineless Fakhruddin, home advisor Matin, DGFI brigadiers Amin and Bari and those lower rank corrupt DGFI officers. Brigedier C F Bari knows what is gonopituni when he was given a mild gonopituni by the students of university on the night of 20th August. But that 20th August Gonopituni will feel like ‘jamai ador’ when the next wave will come upon you dear General and Brigedier shahibs.

Today I’ll invite readers to read today’s blog post of legendary photographer and celebrated activist Shahidul Alam. This post articulated many worries I have been stuck with last few days. Here’s how Shahidul Bhai starts…..

The newly appointed education adviser has my sympathy. He had spoken the truth. With scandals emerging about departing advisers, and accusations flying about the gross incompetence of the ‘PhD’ government, he must have felt the need to demonstrate the character of the cabinet.

Having lost the Candy Man, we now have an adviser who is candid in his remarks. “Regardless of the verdict of the court, the teachers shall be freed, ” he had said. Great news for the teachers. Sad news for justice.

But the candor of the education advisor is unlikely to inspire confidence in the government. He might equally have said, “regardless of the verdict of the court, we shall find Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia guilty,” or any other convenient outcome for the many flimsy cases against politicians, business people, students or any other member of the public. The fact that the government finds the judicial system irrelevant, while confirming people’s fears, does do away with their flicker of hope for justice. This was a lamp that needed to stay lit.

The anniversary party could have done without the media gatecrashers. The weeks leading up to the 11th January 2008, have been particularly difficult for the government. In August, it had taken violent protest by the students for the military presence in campus to be removed, but it is the fallout of the government’s heavy-handed response that they now need to deal with. Having closed the 24 hour news channel CSB  and intimidated others with barely veiled threats, ..

more …

Visit Shahidul News for rest of the post and some heart wrenching photography.

So where the buck stops? Initially some may have had an utopian belief that it was Fakhruddin Ahmed. Then someone kept thinking of Masud u Chowdhury, who led the 1/11 coup, as the concerned authority. And lately the name of Zahangir Alam, a Lt general and the Quarter Master General of Bangladesh Army is coming up as a major power broker. Despite all these speculations, Army chief, General Moeen U Ahmed has successfully managed to look like the man in control.
With the sacking of four apparently powerful advisors ( keeping Moinul apart, with two relatives in the cabinet, Geeti Ara shafiya Chy was not less powerful either) the question again came up, who makes these decisions. No doubt Fakhruddin is the puppet. He caries orders of his master. And if one looks at the steps this government is taking lately, one must see the slow materialization of the policies laid out by General Moeen in the speeches he made during early days of his rule.
So the next question is who is Moeen and does 1/11 means Moeen? Who Moeen represents? Is he the embodiment of the toiling masses of Bangladesh? Or is he simply the symbol of all powerful Bangladesh armed forces?
Common sense and a little bit knowledge of the personnel at the top leadership of Bangladesh army will lead us to believe that this “General Moeen-1/11 government-the school text book assertion of Ershad instead of Zia as the architect of SAARC” axis does not represent Bangladesh armed forces. Then, does he represent the toiling masses? Hell no. Yes, a mall part of the mass, some middles class bourgeois car owning Dhakaite and and a small group of suburb living ‘do nothing’ mediocre NRB professionals may support him . But in the big picture of Bangladesh reality, these group is minuscule.
Still 1/11 means Moeen, but this Moeen is neither the embodiment of Bangladesh Armed forces nor the dream representative of the toiling masses. This Moeen represents a very powerful quarter in Bangladesh. In fact this powerful quarter is the dreamer and facilitator of 1/11. In that context General Moeen is the embodiment of a combination of larger than life figures like Kamal Hossain, Rehman Sobhan, Mahfuz Anam, Motiur`Rahman, Debapriya Bhattachariyan, Faridur Reza Shagor or other civil society leaders AKA retired bureaucrates or Generals like Mr. Shahjahan, M A Hafiz, Gen retd Hasan mashud, Gen Shakhawat or other so called civil society leaders. These folks took a big risk by going against two major political leaders of the country and at this point to save the skin over their gluteal region, they must make Moeen the winner. So when you see or hear Moeen, make no mistake about it that it is either kamal Hossain or Monzur Elahi or Enam ahmed chowdhury or Saadat Hossain speaking. They are hiding under the facade of Moeen. Remember that these people, e.g. kamal Hossain knows quite well that they will never be able to pass the first hurdle of democracy i.e. win an elction. For them, 1/11 kind of conspiracy is the only way in. Moeen is the tool here.

   

 debapriya.jpgmonzur.jpgun_kamal_hossain_150_eng_3apr03.jpgmatiur-rahman.jpganam.jpg352_sena-prodhan.jpg

It is NOT Moeen stupid.

So all on sudden, at the very same hour, four very talkative advisors noticed pressing personal reasons that would make it impossible for them to continue the job of advisor. Isn’t it too coincidental to be true?
So the real truth is that they have been asked to go, possibly at gun point. Otherwise why would Moinul keep on giving long policy speech until late afternoon and why Dr (retd) Maj General ASM Motiur Rahman would deny resignation at 4 PM and agree to it at 5 PM?

Now we all know that these four have been kicked out. And we are also pretty sure that it was Army chief Gen Moeen U ahmed, who lashed the kick. But the question, can he save his leg after making the kick? The mad dog that he kicked, will definitely bite his legs. Lets see how deep the dog bite can be.

And, at the end, what is the moral of the story?

For Moinul, you got a advisor job. Be happy with your routine file work. Never ever try to talk policy and politics. You now know that that part is reserved for our full fledged General shahib.

For Geeti Ara, rememer that it is all right to occupy a country after holding the elected president at gun point. But never ever try to occupy a house by beating up an NRB professor.

For Tapan Chowdhury. A country is not a businesshouse, hey !! And never ever say government has nothing to do. They can do so much. They can lock up national leaders, they can keep remanding people for months after months and then frame up false cases. They can give birth to a big new chamcha class, they can butcher students and they can harrass/ jail Professors. They also can torture Cholesh Richhil to death.

And for MAj Gen retd ASM Motiur Rahman. Never forget the eternal importance of licking the boot of the general in power now. Who cares how many years junior he is to you. Lick the full fledged General Shahib’s boot morning and afternoon, you are good to go. ( Try to learn from boot lickers like Kamal Hossain, Mahfuz Anam et el)

The demolition of Rangs Bhaban was a symbolic equivalent of the 1/11 military government. Exactly as what was with Rangs Bhaban, i.e. spectacular demolition an imposing indestructible structure; this military government embarked on a similar larger scale project with whole of Bangladesh.

Rangs Bhaban demolition in 24 hours notice was termed as a symbolic victory over corruption. Look at this blog and read in the comment section how the early supporters of this military government drooled at this fiesta of destruction.

However, as warned by a few, the bulldozer revolution of 1/11 faltered all through its way. The military government came with promises of rooting out and cleansing the country of corruption. Well nearly one year later, corruption is as rampant as before and none of the so called corruption kings could be convicted in corruption charge. All the unbelievable number of jail years given to politicians are all income tax or firearms cases. Any of the members of the current government can easily be implicated in similar income tax or firearm crimes. Then the bulldozer revolution tried to beautify Dhaka by destroying slums, control the markets by sending soldiers to market places, and control politics by purchasing some collaborator politicians and editors. And fortunately for the people of Bangladesh, all these misadventures failed.

Rangs Bhaban ( although Governments’ collaborators initially tried to publicize that it was built on illegal land, court order confirms that it was not) was evacuated in 24 hours notice, hundreds of businesses got uprooted, and some RAJUK daily laborers broke the beautiful glass walls with big hammers.

Soon the bulldozer revolutionaries started grasping the magnitude of the job and their inability to finish the job they started. A company was allocated the demolition job ( Hint hint: Lt Geneal Hasan Masud). The nation was told that a demolition expert company would do that job with surgical precision.

Well several months later, we now hear that the job was taken by a company which had no idea of the enormity of the job. Only experience they had so far was demolition of two very old three story one unit flat building in Chittagong. And even that company did not keep the job to themselves. They charged the government 75 lac taka and subcontracted it to labor contractors for 25 lac taka, thus earning 50 lac taka by only being a collaborator.
And the result is very visible today.

driving-towards-rangs-bhaban-photo-dhaka.jpgrangs-bhaban.jpg

Look at the mess this government has put us into. This is what happens when the wrong people embark into a job which they do not know how to handle and which is not their job either.

Rangs Bhaban is precariously hanging in the air today. Partly collapsed, the rest of the huge structure may collapse any moment. Dead bodies are hanging from the rubbles. Per different newspaper reports, as many as 30 workers are still trapped under the towering rubbles. No rescue operation is being planned as the building is too difficult to approach.

In previous thread termed Rangs Rongo, many of the military government apologetics boasted that Rangs Bhaban was the symbol of this governments’ crusade against corruption. I agree with them. The current state of Rangs Bhaban is the symbol of this military government.

And most unfortunately, the victims of these misadventures are not us, nor our elite brethren in Bangladesh. The victims are the poor people in Bangladesh. The decision makers of Rangs demolition will roam around and chatter around happily, the conspirators, collaborators of 1/11 bulldozer revolution will keep enjoying the advisorial, editorial, ambassadorial perks, but the poor people of Bangladesh will keep hanging like that poor soul in the picture. Someone buried under Rangs rubbles, the rest of them buried under the soaring price of essential basic food items.

It’s a mess. A big big mess.

In Satyajit Ray movie Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen the ghost king (   ভুতের রাজা ) gave three ” বর” (Boon) to Gupi and Bahga. With these three boons Gupi and Bagha conquered the kingdom and his two daughters and did a lot of good things. Although the Ghost king only had three boons to give away, he ghost kings that has been running our Ghost kingdom apparently have a never ending supply of boons. And their boons usually are in one single form, i.e. ambassadorship to foreign kingdoms.


Three recent ambassador posting reminded me of the ghost king.  Some of these postings definitely raise concern about their appropriateness and justification. Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya was given the most vital post of the permanent rep at Geneva UN mission. This very important diplomatic job usually went to brightest of the foreign service officials. And this job needs diplomatic depth, experience and insight. And for sure this is definitely not a job where you need expertise in conspiracy. Dr Bhattacharya’s activities of last five years are laudable. But with change of government, his sudden silence, sudden collapse of his good candidate movement, his sudden blindness on what is going on in the election commission made people wonder about the real intentions of his last five years activities. Now his reward job tend to clear up many confusions.
Then comes two other top missions in Canada and Australia. This government has decided to award one Syed Fahim Munaem as ambassador to Canada. First it’s worth mention that with increasing number of Bangladeshi migrants in Canada and as a country with huge potential for a labor/manpower market as well as an importer of our RMG products, the Ottawa mission needed an experienced and dynamic diplomat. This Syed Fahim Munaem was a disaster as CA’s press secretary.  I can’t believe his abject failure is a reason for his reward. So there must be something else that won him the boon. And it does not need too much wisdom to guess that his managing skill as managing editor of the Daily Star helped pave 1/11 and the benefactors of 1/11 owe someone some payback. (more…)

[26 Nov Update: Verdict was not given yesterday. Six imprisoned teachers -- RU vice-chancellor Professor Dr Saidur Rahman Khan, Professor Abdus Sobhan of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Associate Professor Moloy Kumar Bhowmik of the Department of Management, Selim Reza Newton, Dulal Chandra Biswas and Abdullah al Mamun of the Department of Mass Communications — were brought to court in a prison van. They were taken to the courtroom downstairs instead of Judge Ruhul Amin’s scheduled courtroom upstairs, at 10.00 a.m. the court peshkar came and announced that the verdict would be given on Tuesday Dec 4, 2007. Interestingly, defence lawyers had not been informed of the change of plans as is courtroom norm. According to courtroom gossip, the honorable judge suddenly went off to Dhaka on Nov 22, reportedly for 4 days training. All concerned had assumed that scheduled verdict date of Nov 25 would be postponed. However, on Nov 24 it was learnt that the court would convene (as scheduled) on the 25th. On the 25th morning, prisoners were brought to court but the judge did not come. Some say he had not returned to Rajshahi, that he was on his way back from Dhaka. Others say he had returned, but had not come to the courthouse, he was at home. Court gossip says he was asked to go to Dhaka because someone way up, high-up had wanted to talk to him. Why the change in verdict dates? The other RU teachers case — Professor Sabbir Sattar Tapu, Professor Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan Sajal, teachers in the Department of Geology and Mining, both have been accused of setting fire to a vehicle belonging to the DGFI — is drawing to a close. The argument is scheduled for Nov 27, on that same date, the verdict date will be announced in court. Court hearing for Dhaka University professors Anwar Hossain and others is scheduled for Nov 28, charges to be framed on that day, charge-framing has been twice postponed this last one month. (more…)

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