Dhaka’s ex-deputy speaker detained for sedition

March 22nd, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 22 (IANS) The former deputy speaker of the Bangladesh parliament, Akhter Hamid Siddiqui, has been detained for 30 days for allegedly making a “seditious remark”.
During an outburst at a police station, Siddiqui is alleged to have told an officer that the present Awami League-led government would be “ousted” in two months and that “thousands of people would die” during the period, according to United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency.

“Who will save you then?” Siddiqui asked Elias Fakir, the police officer-in-charge at Mahadebpur in Naogaon district, where he had gone to secure the release of detained workers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Police say he threatened them with dire consequences, but Siddiqui has denied the allegations, according to bdnews24.com, a news agency website.

He was also quoted as saying that last December’s elections were not fair and “the army put the Awami League in power”.

He was produced in the chief judicial magistrate’s court Saturday where Magistrate Hasanuzzaman sent him to prison for 30 days under Section 3/2 of the stringent Special Powers Act 1974, New Age newspaper said.

Siddiqui, adviser to the district unit of BNP, contested the Naogaon 3 constituency where he lost to Awami League’s candidate Akram Hossain Chowdhury.

BNP, the party of opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia, has protested Siddiqui’s detention.

BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain called it “an ominous sign”.

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