Nagarik Oikya holds a rally at National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday demanding immediate release of its convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna. — New Age photo
Politicians, academics and civil society leaders on Wednesday at a citizens gathering protested at custodial torture on Nagarik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and demanded that he be granted bail. They said the government should take proper legal step against Manna, who was detained on charge of telephonic conversations with BNP vice-chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, but it could in no way indulge in custodial torture on him. Nagarik Oikya organised the gathering at National Press Club auditorium demanding release of Manna, who was picked up by the Detective Branch police on February 23, from the house of his relative at Banani. Eminent citizen Zahrullah Chowdhury, trustee of Gonoshasthya Kendra, said the country was going through a serious political crisis for over two months. The government was taking repressive steps to control the movements of the opposition parties, Zafrullah said. Without holding a free, fair and participatory general election, the political crisis would not end, he said. Referring to the arrest of Manna and putting him on remand for 20 days, Zafrullah said the government was conducing repression on him. He called on the judiciary to take steps against the illegal measures taken by the government. He criticised Human Right Commission chairman Mizanur Rahman for his silence regarding torture on Manna. Zafrullah called on Nagarik Oikya leaders and activists to continue movement in demand of his release. Dhaka University teacher Asif Nazrul said the government had taken repressive steps against Manna, as he was against the ‘controversial’ general elections of January 5, 2014 and organising a political force. He called on Nagarik Oikya and others citizens rights bodies to be vocal against the government repression. SM Akram, adviser to Nagarik Oikya, alleged that the government was taking repressive steps to stop his political activities. Nagarik Oikya will take part in the upcoming Dhaka City Corporation election and Manna would be mayoral candidate, Akran said. Chaired by Nagarik Oikya central leader Fazlul Haque Sarker, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, labour leader Mahbubur Rahman Ismail, central leaders of the citizen body Abu Bakar Siddiq, Shahidullah Kaiser and Iftekher Ahmed Babu spoke at the gathering.
Source: New Age