<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 146 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

March 19, 2004

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Point and Counterpoint in Politics


Some clips from just two editions (12 and 13 March 2004) of The Daily Star, quoted verbatim.

The Daily Star, 12 March 2004 -- Alleged BNP activists aided by police attacked Badruddoza Chowdhury and his supporters yesterday, injuring over 300 people and ruining his rally where the former president was due to launch his alternative political stream. The assailants barred Badruddoza and other leaders from coming to the Muktangan rally venue from Baridhara by car, injured them slightly in repeated raids in Baridhara and Mohakhali when they were heading towards the downtown and attacked his followers on the Dhaka-Mawa Highway.

But The Daily Star reported the same day -- Prime Minister's Political Secretary M Harris Chowdhury denied allegations of government's hand in putting bars to the rally, saying Badruddoza could stage it at Muktangan if he wished. Talking to BBC Radio yesterday, he termed reports of attacks on the former president's motorcade as 'misleading propaganda'. "How could people identify the former president's car and block it?" he asked, saying traffic movement in the capital was normal yesterday.

The Daily Star, 12 March 2004 -- The ruling party activists also occupied Muktangan in Purana Paltan and drove away people who tried to enter the public meeting place in a frenzy of anti-rally actions, a day after attackers hurled home-made bombs at his office on Wednesday night and smashed a podium being made for the rally.

But The Daily Star reported on 13 March 2004 -- On the apparent failure of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) to make sure Muktangan is free for Badruddoza to hold his rally, as it gave him permission, Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, also BNP city unit president, said: "It is not our responsibility." "The DCC doesn't take that responsibility and nor does it have the mechanism to do so. It is the responsibility of law enforcers," Khoka said. "No one needs permission for any programme there," Khoka said, adding the DCC gave Badruddoza permission as he had asked for it. "The DCC doesn't resist anyone to hold programme at Muktangan." On why the DCC did not then allow Badruddoza to hold a programme there on March 9, Khoka said in an apparently conflicting statement the former president did not seek permission.

The Daily Star, 12 March 2004 -- JCD President Shahabuddin Laltu refuted allegation of JCD involvement in the attacks. "The JCD is not in favour of attacks," he said, adding, "People have their rights, they are free to express themselves."

But The Daily Star reported on 13 March 2004 -- A top leader of ruling BNP's student chapter yesterday vowed to "punish" former president Badruddoza Chowdhury for launching an alternative political platform and branded him as a "traitor", a day after a mob pelted him with stones and bricks. "We have a party decision to resist Badruddoza and his supporters wherever we find them," Azizul Bari Helal, general secretary of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), told The Daily Star by phone yesterday evening.

Don't be too harsh on yourself if the above leaves you confused.



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