• Thursday, Mar 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Tarique conducts interviews despite claims of no internet access

  • Published at 06:14 am November 20th, 2018
BNP's Parliamentary Board members taking interview of a party nomination seeker at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office in Dhaka on Sunday, November 18, 2018 Focus Bangla

On Monday, the Election Commission said it has no problem with Tarique doing so

Though BNP, on Monday night, alleged that there was no internet access – in-and-around their Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office – its acting chairman, Tarique Rahman, joined the party nomination board to interview nomination-aspirants on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference at the party's Naya Paltan headquarters on Monday night, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi claimed that all the internet-based services have been shut down at their chairperson's office—to prevent Tarique from conducting nomination-aspirant interviews via Skype.

BNP Publicity Affairs Secretary Shaheed Uddin Chowdhury Anne said Tarique talked to them using another application.

“Tarique Rahman spoke to us through video conference and directed us to remain united,” said Abul Hashem Bulbul, a BNP aspirant from Feni 1 constituency. He said this to Dhaka Tribune after exiting his interview with the board on Tuesday.  

The party began its third day of interviews, with nomination-seekers from Chittagong division, around 10am, at Khaleda’s office. 

Aspirants from the Comilla and Sylhet divisions were scheduled to be interviewed later in the day.

Other than Tarique, BNP Parliamentary Board members – including BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir – are conducting the interviews. 

Tarique, now staying in London, interviewed nomination-seekers on Sunday and Monday.

A BNP senior leader, on condition of anonymity, said their party is using virtual private network (VPN) to operate another video-calling application.

According to ICT experts, a VPN provides a secure, encrypted channel to transmit data between a remote user and any company network.

BTRC reportedly blocks Skype

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) reportedly blocked the telecommunication application, Skype, across the country, on Monday evening.

Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) Secretary General Emdadul Haque said they received a letter from the BTRC asking them to suspend all communication via Skype.

However, acting BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque said there was no instruction from the telecom regulator about blocking Skype.

EC has nothing to do with Tarique’s interviews

On Monday, the Election Commission said it has no issues regarding Tarique Rahman interviewing nomination-aspirants via videoconference.

“As Tarique Rahman joined the BNP nomination board from abroad, via videoconference, the electoral code of conduct is not applicable on him. So the Election Commission has nothing to do with it," said commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.

Awami League, on Sunday, filed a written complaint with the commission alleging that Tarique – a convict in several cases, including August 21 grenade attack case – does not have the legal right to participate in any electoral processes.

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