Demo in protest today
Claiming that its leader condemned convict Salauddin Quader Chowdhury has been denied justice, opposition BNP on Wednesday announced a countrywide demonstration program on Thursday to register its protest.
“We think Salauddin Quader Chowdhury didn’t get justice… we’ll stage demonstrations allover the country on Thursday protesting the government’s well-thought-out plan to annihilate the political rivals and destroy the country’s all institutions,” said BNP acting secretary general Mira Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The Dhaka City unit of BNP will observe the program at the city’s Suhrawardy Udyan, he added.
A day after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 condemned its leader Salauddin Quader to death, BNP came up with its formal reaction to the judgment through a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
The tribunal found Salauddin Quader guilty of war crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971 and awarded him the death penalty. This is the first verdict against any BNP leader on war crimes charges.
Reacting to the verdict, Fakhrul said, “We’re surprised as the International Crimes Tribunal gave death sentence to BNP standing committee member and parliament member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.”
He claimed that questions have already been raised by various quarters both at home and abroad about the formation of the tribunals and transparency of their trial process.
“BNP has long been saying about the transparent and impartial trial with international standard of the crimes against humanity committed during the country’s Liberation War. But it has already been proved that the government in the name of trial of war criminals are conspiring to eliminate its political rivals,” he said.
The BNP spokesman further claimed that in the wake of Skype scandal, the verdict against Salauddin Quader lost its acceptability to people as the similar copy of the judgment got published on the internet before its pronouncement.
Citing the internet sources, he said the Law Ministry started writing the verdict on May 23 this year when the tribunal was recording depositions. “In the world’s judicial history, it’s an unprecedented incident and devoid of justice.”
Fakhrul also alleged that the government did not allow two revered defence witnesses, including a judge, to appear before the tribunal.
He also claimed that a defence witness and many others through affidavits said Salauddin Quader had left Bangladesh on March 29, 1971 and stayed in Pakistan until October the same year. “But the tribunal didn’t take it into cognizance and all the nine charges for which Salauddin Quader was give death sentence were committed between 13 April and July, 1971.”
Mentioning the verdict was leaked out from the office of the acting Law Secretary, he said the state minister for law confessed to it on Tuesday at a press conference and assured of taking action against those responsible for that.
Fakhrul also said the tribunal registrar filed a General Diary with Shahbagh Police Station on Wednesday in this regard.
“Considering all these points, we do believe Salauddin Quader Chowdhury didn’t get justice, we also condemn and protest the governments plot to obliterate its political rivals,” the BNP leader added.
BNP standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar, Rafiqul Islam Miah and joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi were, among others, present.
After reading out his written statement, Fakhrul and all other leaders hurriedly left the press conference, saying, “No question no question”.
SQ Chy denied justice: BNP
Demo in protest today