NAT’L MOURNING DAY Bangladesh Awami League warns associated bodies against extortion

The ruling Awami League yesterday warned its different units and front organisations not to indulge in “extortion” for hosting any programme marking the National Mourning Day.

It suggested that the programmes be organised with its own funds.

AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam came up with the directives at a joint meeting between party leadership and leaders of the front organisations, held at party President Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office yesterday, meeting sources said.

They said Ashraf, just before concluding the meeting, warned that the party would be tough on specific allegations of extortion against anyone. He also asked all front organisations not to host any programme “to extort money”.

“You all have to remain careful so that the image of Bangabandhu is not

tarnished due to your extortion,” Ashraf was quoted as saying by a party central leader, who was present at the meeting.

The AL general secretary mainly blamed the “parasitic organisations” for extortion using the name of Bangabandhu, and urged all to take initiatives so that these organisations do not get to indulge in extortion, meeting sources said.

Ashraf made the directives as party leaders came up with different opinions at the last joint meeting of AL city unit and its associates bodies held on July 21. At the meeting, Ashim Kumar Ukil, AL deputy publicity affairs secretary, placed a proposal to stop party activists’ “extortion”. Joint General Secretary Mahabub-Ul-Alam Hanif also supported him.

But Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya at that meeting opposed a proposal to stop the “extortion”.

Maya, however, at an extended meeting of the Dhaka City AL recently asked all to stop the “extortion” in the name of observing the National Mourning Day.

After Ashraf’s speech, Hanif requested party leaders not to participate in any programme to be hosted by the “parasitic organisations”. Rather, he urged party high-ups to be present at the programmes hosted by AL front organisations.

At the meeting, leaders of all front organisations requested Ashraf to be present at their programmes and he agreed to it. The meeting finalised all programmes, starting on August 1 and concluding through a mourning procession on September 9, to mark the National Mourning Day.

Source: The Daily Star

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