MA Latif earns ire of party colleagues
Leaders of Chittagong city unit Awami League (AL) yesterday declared to take legal and disciplinary actions against MA Latif, an AL lawmaker from Chittagong-11 constituency (Bandar-Halishahar-Patenga), over an allegation of tampering with a picture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in festoons and banners, which were hung in Patenga and Bandar areas on the occasion of the prime minister's visit to Chittagong, last Saturday.
They alleged that Bangabandhu's face was tagged with the figure of MA Latif and Latif's name was at the bottom of the festoons. In the image, Bangabandhu's face was used on a body wearing Salwar and sneakers.
Contacted, Latif, who is in the capital now, denied the allegations and termed it as part of a conspiracy against him. "The festoons and banners had been hung three days before the prime minister's arrival. No one raised any questions till Monday and all of a sudden we saw the photo on Facebook on Tuesday," he said, adding, "What is my benefit by tampering the picture of Bangabandhu? I will find out the liable persons."
"I think, a quarter did it to malign me…they are also tarnishing the party's image," Latif said.
As the photo went viral on Facebook, criticisms poured in from different corners.
President of Chittagong city unit AL and former mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury termed the act as "audacity of Latif".
"We can reach a compromise with everything but not the Liberation War and Bangabandhu," said Vice-President of the AL unit Khorshed Alam Sujan.
Meanwhile, various organisations in the port city brought out processions and demanded exemplary punishment of MA Latif.
The demands came from a rally held under the banner of Jagrata Jubo o Chhatra Janata at Chittagong Shaheed Minar premises. Bangladesh Chhatra League, Khelaghar, Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri and AL leaders said in unison that they will not tolerate any disrespect towards Bangabandhu and urged the government to vacate Latif's post.
Contacted, officer-in-charge (OC) of Patenga Police Station Muhammad Alamgir said he did not see such posters in his area while Mohiuddin Mahmud, OC of Bandar Police Station, declined to comment.