It’s shame for me, also for nation

Dr Kamal on threat of sedition charges

Staff Correspondent

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Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said that to be told now in 2015 that a sedition charge would be brought against him is a matter of shame not only for him but also for the nation as well as the person who said this.

The jurist was talking to journalists after an extended meeting of his party at its Arambagh headquarters in the capital.

Replying to a query about Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s Facebook post, he said, “The Pakistan government brought a sedition charge against me, and so did the BNP during its tenure. I don’t really care about any sedition charge.”

Joy, son of the prime minister, in a Facebook post on Thursday said that Dr Kamal Hossain, The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam and Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna should be arrested and tried for “treason”.

Referring to the PM’s ICT affairs adviser, he also said, “This kind of talk does not suit a person like him. This is a childish talk.”

About Manna’s leaked conversations, Dr Kamal said, “Investigation is on into the issue regarding his conversations and it should be carried on properly.”

“If anything is found based on a fair probe, the law should take its own course,” he added.

Manna, who is on a 10-day remand now, is facing sedition charge for his alleged involvement in “instigating revolt by the armed forces.”

To another query about the conversations, Dr Kamal said, “I knew nothing about this and I was abroad at that time. I came to know about the matter from media reports. I was told to attend the procession. But I’ve said I won’t go till this matter was made clear.”

About the ongoing political impasse, he said dialogue should be held among all the political parties, rather than between two parties, to resolve the crisis and strengthen the democratic process.

He said his party was equally vocal against the widespread blockade violence and extra-judicial killings.

He lambasted the ruling Awami League for not fulfilling its “commitment” to holding another polls following the January 5 elections in 2014.

Asking the government to inform the people about its thoughts on the next polls, he said the society had been pushed towards this unstable condition due to the government’s delay in arranging for a participatory election.

Referring to the gruesome killing of blogger Avijit Roy, he said ill politics of the country was to blame for it. This kind of attacks would not have happened if there had been unity.

Later in another meeting, Gonoforum decided to hold mass campaigns across the country to bring back a healthy political culture, and announced that the party’s national convention would be held by April, said a press release.