Fazlul Haque Milon requested the returning officer to arrange for the release of the arrested
BNP’s Gazipur City Corporation election candidate, Hasan Uddin Sarkar, spent several hours at a polling returning officer’s workplace. He was there with the BNP president of Gazipur district and Gazipur metropolitan election management committee convener, AKM Fazlul Haque Milon, and other associates to protest the arrest of BNP and 20-party alliance members.
The group visited the election official’s bureau on Thursday morning and engaged in a heavy debate regarding the arrest of eight important party officials by Dhaka and Gazipur district Detective Branches (DB) of police the night before.
The arrested include Kashimpur election management committee member secretary, Shahin, Konabari polling centre management committee convener, Dr Milon, and Kaultia area election management committee member, Shah Alam, among others.
Fazlul Haque Milon requested the returning officer to arrange for the release of the arrested, saying the party had organized a meeting in Konabari for Thursday, but with some of the party officials imprisoned, the situation would reflect badly on the party and hamper its election campaign.
The convener also said: “Given the circumstances, it would be perfectly reasonable for us to step down from the election. If forced, we will take to the streets with the public in protest and to demand the establishment of a proper democracy.
“We still have faith in the Election Commission (EC). If they tighten things down, the public will still come to vote in high spirits. However, if party members keep getting arrested from their very homes despite assurances of a free and fair election, the polls will be anything but fair,” he added.
Responding to these complaints, Returning Officer Rakib Uddin Mondal said he would ask law enforcement to cease arresting, harassing, or filing charges against politicians engaged in the election even if they have pending cases against them.
“I will write to the police and district administration to release the arrested who do not have warrants against them, and I will also relay the matter to the EC. If the police do not comply, the EC will see to the matter,” he added.