'No vote' campaign against anti-liberation elements | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 08, 2008

Election 2008

'No vote' campaign against anti-liberation elements

Family members of Kaliganj massacre victims decide at meeting


From left: Kazi Faruque Kader, Azizul Islam

Family members of Kaliganj massacre victims during Liberation War in Jaldhaka have decided to launch a campaign for casting 'no-vote' in Nilphamari-3 (Jaldhaka and part of Kishoreganj) constituency, protesting nomination of anti-liberation persons by the two alliances in the upcoming Jatiyo Sangsad (JS) election.
On April 27, 1971, the then Pakistani occupation army massacred 300 innocent people at Kaliganj village in Jaldhaka when they were crossing the border.
The BNP-led four-party alliance has nominated Jamaat-e-Islami leader Azizul Islam in the constituency. Local Jamaat formed Razakar and Albadr militias during the war, who killed freedom fighters, innocent people and raped girls, families of the victims said.
Awami League-led grand alliance has also nominated Jatiyo Party (JP) leader Kazi Faruque Kader, son of Kazi Abdul Kader, declared a war criminal by the Sector Commanders Forum.
Kazi Kader was a leader of the then Pakistan Convention Muslim League and a central minister.
The victims' families said Kazi Faruque Kader was the mastermind behind the Kaliganj massacre.
Both Jamaat leader Azizul Islam and JP leader Kazi Faruque Kader have submitted nomination papers.
Sources said their nominations have been okayed by the two alliances.
The victims' families and local elite held a meeting at Kaliganj on December 5, which decided to campaign for 'no vote' in the constituency, meeting sources said.
Talking to this correspondent, Hemanta Shil, 54, son of Kaliganj massacre victim Bhuban Shil, said, “It is not possible to vote for Kazi Faruque Kader as he is the son of Kaliganj massacre mastermind Kazi Abdul Kader.
“For the same reason, we can not vote for Azizul Islam of Jamaat because his party was involved in killing and rape during the Liberation War. So, we should campaign for no-vote”, he said.
Kaliganj High School teacher Amornath, 58, lost his father Auswani Kumar in Kaliganj massacre.
“We have nowhere to go as both the candidates represent anti liberation forces”.
Massacre victims Dileep Kumar, Kali Bhusan Adhikari, Mukta Begum and many others expressed their determination to cast 'no-vote' in the election. By casting majority 'no-vote' we want to defeat Rajakars and killers, they added.
Freedom Fighter Asgar Ali said, “It is shameful that Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina accepted Kazi Faruque Kader as grand alliance candidate while Bangabandhu had cancelled citizenship of his father Kazi Kader”.
Shahriar Kabir, central convener of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, when contacted, said his organisation would support 'no-vote' campaign launched by martyrs' families and freedom fighters.
“Soon we will go to Jaldhaka and Kishoreganj to encourage people to reject anti-liberation forces by casting no vote”, he told this corresponded over phone.
Jaldhaka Awami League president Ansarul Islam Mintu also expressed his resentment at the nomination of Kazi Faruque. In a faxed message to party chief Sheikh Hasina, he said local party leaders and activist are reluctant to work for a war criminal's son in the election.

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