Into the electoral fray from behind bars
Still in jail nine accused collect nomination
Nine people accused in different cases have collected nomination forms to contest the forthcoming 11th general election slated for December 30.
Of them, seven leaders have collected nomination papers from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) while the others from Jamaat-e-Islami as independent nomination aspirants.
BNP Joint Secretary General Aslam Chowdhury has been behind bars for the last two years on charges of sabotage, sedition and embezzlement. He has collected a nomination form from the BNP wishing to contest from the Chittagong-4 (Sitakunda) constituency. Late ABM Abul Kashem of the Awami League (AL) defeated him during the ninth general election from the Sitakunda constituency.
BNP’s Chittagong city unit President Dr Shahadat Hossain has also collected nomination form to contest from the Chittagong-9 (Kotwali) constituency. The BNP leader, accused in some 50 cases, was arrested on November 7.
His personal assistant Maruful Haque said a nomination form was collected on his behalf as he is now behind bars.
BNP’s Chittagong city Unit Secretary Abul Hashem collected nomination to contest from the Chittagong-9 constituency. Accused in some 40 cases of vandalism and sabotage, the BNP leader was arrested on October 22.
Liakat Ali, member of BNP’s Chittagong south district unit, has collected a nomination paper to contest from the Chittagong-16 (Banshkhali) constituency. Accused in 24 cases, he was arrested on October 30.
Kutub Uddin, President of BNP’s Rangunia upazila unit, collected a nomination paper to contest from the Chittagong 7 (Rangunia) constituency. He has been behind bars since September.
Shahidul Islam Chowdhury, leader of the Jatiyatabadi Sangskritik Dal, collected a nomination form from the Chittagong-1 (Mirsarai) constituency.
Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-ameer ANM Shamsul Islam Chowdhury and central Majlish-e-Shura member Shahjahan Chowdhury have collected nomination forms, to contest from the Chittagong-15 (Satkania-Lohagara) constituency and now they are in Chittagong Central Jail.
Abdus Sattar, BNP’s Chittagong city unit Vice President and counsel of the imprisoned leaders said, “The seven BNP leaders are accused in different cases. However, none of them has been convicted. Therefore, they have no legal bar to join the electoral fray.”
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader while reacting to a query on BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman conducting interviews of some aspirants through a video conference asked the Election Commission if a fugitive convict can take part in the election process.