'Election tactics' in Rajshahi-2 sparks protest
The authorities of Rajshahi Islami Bank Medical College Hospital (IBMCH) dominated by Jamaat people has organised a free eye camp for freedom fighters on the Victory Day today to befool freedom fighters as well as deceive voters. About 200 freedom fighters at a meeting held at Miapara General Library auditorium here Sunday strongly condemned the move saying it was aimed at humiliating freedom fighters.Badiuzzaman Tunu, Bir Protik, chaired the meeting. Speakers said the killers and collaborators of 1971 organised the eye camp with an ulterior motive to create confusion among freedom fighters ahead of general elections. They called upon the voters to vote for Grand Alliance candidate Fazle Hossain Badsha in Rajshahi-2 constituency and its other candidates in other constituencies to thwart the evil design of anti-liberation forces. Among others, Fazle Hossain Badsha, eminent freedom fighters Dr Emdadul Haque, Shafikur Rahman, Motahar Hossain, Hamidul Haque and Malek Chowdhury addressed. Interestingly, the IBMCH advertisement was first published at the highest circulated local Bengali daily Sonali Sangbad owned by Grand Alliance candidate Badsha Later, the advertisement was published on other local newspapers. In the advertisement, IBMCH wished a happy Eid to freedom fighters asking them to enrol themselves for free eye operation at the camp to be held at the hospital. Islami Bank Foundation is financing the camp for welfare of freedom fighters, the advertisement said. 'The eye camp is nothing but an election tactic to distract voters who feel proud of Liberation War', said Mahtab Uddin, a prominent freedom fighter here. 'Jamaat men are fully aware that their existence is at stake', he said. 'So, they have adopted the deceptive tactic to allure voters', he said. 'Those who killed freedom fighters during Liberation War are now showing sympathy to them,' Rajshahi Muktijuddho Pathagar general secretary Dr Sayed Shafikul Alam said. However, the IBMCH authorities said the eye camp has nothing to do with election. Dr Muhammad Jahangir of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) Pharmacology Department is conducting the camp, IBMCH sources said. He is also superintendent of IBMCH and is funding election expense of Jamaat candidate Ataur Rahman in Rajshahi-3 constituency. However, Dr Jahangir could not be reached over phone although this correspondent tried in vain to contact him several times. Talking to The Daily Star, IBMCH administrative officer ASM Mamun Shahin said the camp is in no way related to election. Jamaat is supporting BNP nominees in five constituencies here although the party fielded its own candidate besides the BNP candidate at one seat here. When asked about publication of the advertisement on his own newspaper, Badsha said he would inquire into the matter.