Vol. 5 Num 1137 Fri. August 10, 2007  
Front Page

AL allowed to observe Aug 15 on conditions

The caretaker government has set 11 conditions for Awami League (AL) to observe August 15 as the 32nd death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The conditions include abstaining from holding discussion, bringing out processions and using banners.

AL usually observes August 15 with elaborate programmes including discussions and large processions. But this year the party has to limit its programmes.

"The programmes must be observed complying with the conditions. Legal actions will be taken if they are breached," said a letter signed by assistant police commissioner Sahabuddin on behalf of the Dhaka Metropolitan police commissioner yesterday.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police issued the letter to AL acting General Secretary Mukul Bose.

Acting AL President Zillur Rahman told the journalists that they were permitted to observe August 15 with limitations. He mentioned that the government has not given them permission to hold any discussion marking Bangabandhu's death anniversary.

He was talking to journalists at his Gulshan residence after holding a meeting with party leaders.

Twenty leaders of Awami League and its front organisations at a time will be allowed to place wreaths at the Banani graveyard and portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum. Milad mahfil can also be arranged in both the places.

The party will be allowed to distribute foods among the destitute and flood victims. Anyone can place wreaths at the Banani Graveyard and portrait of Bangabandhu in a disciplined way.

The party activists will not be allowed to carry any banners or placards, use loudspeakers, paste posters and hold any discussions. They are also not permitted to go to the Banani Graveyard or the Bangabandhu museum in procession.

AL activists are not allowed to make any provocative speeches against the government or its activities, set fire to effigies of anyone or hold programmes blocking roads.

The organisers will be held responsible if the law and order situation of a particular area deteriorates due to the programme.

Awami League yesterday formed six committees to carry out relief operations to help the flood-affected people across the country.

The decision came at an informal meeting of AL leaders at the Gulshan residence of acting AL chief Zillur Rahman.

At the meeting the AL leaders demanded release of the detained party chief Sheikh Hasina before the 32nd death anniversary of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"Since indoor politics is banned under emergency rule, we informally discussed different issues including the observance of August 15 and flood situation in the country," Zillur Rahman told the journalists.

Emerging out of the meeting, AL Organising Secretary Mahmudur Rahman Manna told The Daily Star that party leaders have been making donations to help the flood-affected people. The relief operations would start tomorrow, he added.

Zillur said since the High Court granted bail to Sheikh Hasina in both the cases, she should be released before August 15.

He also demanded that the caretaker government must declare Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the father of the nation and observe August 15 as the national mourning day and a public holiday.

Tofail Ahmed said the government should distribute VGF cards among the flood victims and also provide agricultural loans and seeds to farmers.

Motia Chowdhury alleged that the flooding across the country intensified due to poor condition of the embankments, which were not properly maintained during the rule of BNP-Jamaat coalition government. She also said that the flood victims are suffering at different shelter homes due to paucity of medicine.

AL leaders Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Abdur Razzak, Latif Siddique, Akhtaruzzaman, Dr Abdur Razzak, KM Jahangir, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Sultan Mohammad Mansur Ahmed, Habibur Rahman Khan, Nazma Rahman, Rahmat Ali, Sahara Khatun, Abdul Mannan, BM Mozammel Haque, Habibur Rahman Siraj and Advocate Abdul Matin attended the meeting.