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    Posted December 18, 2012 by
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

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    Picking on the Sanctity of Opposition Ladies – Bangladesh Government’s Latest Streak


    The Bangladesh Government nailed down its autocratic disposition yesterday on the Opposition & Islamic parties– when it placed 21 female Islamist student party members on a two-day remand through court orders, all of whom except one – are students from the top universities of the country. They were arrested last Monday on deplorably vague charges which only stated “they were involved with subversive activities”. The investigation officer of the case had sought 10-day remand for all of them. There was only one who was spared of remand and she is a six-month pregnant young lady – but the court rejected her plea of bail as she was escorted to prison by heavy police barricade.


    There was no proof whatsoever of any anti-government activities in the incident, let alone it being subversive. All that the police could get hold of in the Central Office of Bangladesh Islami Chhatrishangstha were – Quranic texts, literatures and the student wings’ work processes. Adding on to the ironic situation – this specific student wing has been known to be shy of any public display of activities and have not been active in the political arena, unlike the male counterparts. There hasn't been any sort of report of any untoward activities by this group so far. So the arrests have come as a shock to many.


    The current Government has been driving what it has termed as ‘combing operation’ against the biggest and growing Islamist party of the country for the past couple of years. In the process they have till now arrested more than 20,000 of its members, of which many have been tortured to the point of permanent disabilities. The top leaders have been in prison for the past couple of years on charges of 'Crimes against Humanity’ during its War of Independence in 1971 – the trial of which took a dramatic turn during this month when the Skype conversation of a key Judge presiding over the trial was leaked out (refer to The Economist Report - The trial of the birth of a nation, published in 12 December 2012 edition). The conversation not only gives away details of discrepancies in the Judiciary but also the inherent intention of the Government in getting the sentencing of the trial through.


    However, with all the challenges and trials that the party has faced till now, concerns have reached its peak– when this ‘combing operation’ has started to pick on the female members of the party, not sparing even the most vulnerable ones. Reports are coming from several parts of the country – where women are being black listed and picked up by the police force, without any specific charge.


    Interestingly one of the 21 ladies in the recent arrests – is the wife of Quader Mollah, Jamaat's assistant secretary general, and one of those facing the controversial trial of ‘Crimes against Humanity’. Whatever correlation one may find in this situation – there is no doubt that this specific drive has been attempted to foil the resilience that the party has shown till now. How successful the Government will be – only time can tell. But one thing is for certain – this adds to the list of factors which is causing the Government party’s popularity take a nosedive. Women in Hijab (head scarf) are still respected and considered as sign of sanctity by vast majority of the population. So the nailing down that the Government is doing might as well turn out to be on their own coffin.

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