The continued attacks on and police harassment of Jatiya Oikyafront leaders and activists are raising fears about what may happen on the polling day, Dr Kamal Hossain said yesterday.
The government may try to obstruct a free and fair election because “it has sensed that people do not support them”, he told a press conference at Oikyafront's office in the city's Paltan area.
“It is surprising that they [opposition nominees and leaders] are being attacked and are being arrested and put behind bars too.
“If these incidents continue to take place, it is logical to be worried about what may happen on the voting day.”
What is more concerning is that despite these incidents, no investigation is taking place and no steps are taken, he said.
The Jatiya Oikyafront, a combine of the BNP and several other parties, has been alleging that the ruling party men are attacking them and the law enforcers are arresting the activists en masse.
Kamal, president of the Gonoforum, alleged that the voters are being threatened and the Oikyafront leaders and activists are shot and beaten up.
Legal action should have taken place against the attackers who are trying to ruin the polls atmosphere, he said.
“This [taking action] is a constitutional duty.”
He then urged the media to guard the polling centres so that people are not deprived of their voting rights.
The BNP-led alliance will announce its election manifesto today at Hotel Purbani.
In the morning, Kamal paid tributes to the Liberation War martyrs at the National Mausoleum in Savar on the occasion of the Victory Day. He told reporters there that the country was under an oppressive rule. “We will all unite to fight it.”
He also said people earned the country's freedom by being united and they will have to unite again to protect their independence.
Addressing the press conference, BNP Vice Chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo alleged that the ruling party had been doing whatever they could to snatch away the people's right to vote.
The Oikyafront will contest the polls overcoming the obstacles as people have already decided whom to vote.
Another leader of alliance, Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “During the attacks, police are playing the role of mere spectators. When asked for help they said they did not have the permission of the high-ups.”
He added that the government and the Election Commission were working against the Oikyafront.
Oikyafront nominee in Dhaka-6 Subrata Chowdhury also spoke.