Home » Exclusive News » More

Tareq Salman

The Report

‘JCD can turn around within 24 hours’

২০১৫ অক্টোবর ১২ ২০:০১:৪৩
‘JCD can turn around within 24 hours’

Sanaul Huq Niru was a firebrand leader of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), in a broader sense in the student politics, of the 1980s. Niru is one of those who created history in the student politics at the Dhaka University. The university dubbed the Oxford of East was the home of student politics.

Those who founded a big student organization like the JCD can tell well of the heroics of Niru. Though he was deprived of nomination for the DUCSU election, he is deemed the architect of the JCD’s conquering of DUCSU.

He took the route of struggle with the JCD as a follower of late President and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman. The indomitable strength and the large force of activists helped the BNP come to power again and again. But leaders like Sanaul Huq Niru remained always behind the scene. They were not evaluated in the BNP.

Because of their remaining outside the power for long and the two successive failed movements the BNP is now passing a tough time. Amid this the BNP has undertaken the programme of reorganizing the party and its student wings. This has caused a lot of buzz among the party leaders and activists. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is bringing back into the party fold former firebrand JCD leader Niru. She is giving him an important role. In this background the uncompromising former JCD leader talked to The Report in an exclusive interview. He spoke frankly about his sadness over the distance from the party, the sorry state of the JCD, BNP and the contemporary politics.

No evaluation of grassroots in the party: Recalling the past, Sanaul Huq Niru said, “We made the anti-Ershad movement a success. During the nine years of the Ershad regime I had been in jail for four years. During the remaining five years we continued our ideological struggle facing arrest warrant, repression and different other adversities. I lost my own brother and innumerable JCD leaders and activists, who sacrificed their lives for the party being imbued with the ideals of late President Ziaur Rahman. But we could do nothing for them. We now live to regret that.”

About the then politics, especially of the JCD, Sanaul Huq Niru said, “I was elected the organizing secretary of the JCD, when I was 24 years old, a leader for the whole country at this age. Today what is frustrating to note is that the supporters cannot become leaders or even members of the JCD even after turning 40. All called me the mastermind of the JCD. I faced all including the arrangement of funds and other political issues. Dudu Bhai, Bablu Bhai failed, but I could. Everything is still clear. I faced the trouble first ahead of others. We worked like a family. Leaders from the district level came to me in droves. I met them. I arranged their meeting with the Madam at the party office. We spent the night just lying on paper on the floor at the university hall. We shared a ‘singara’ and a cup of tea. We took instruction from the Madam about political programmes. We all including the activists on the streets and the central leaders worked together. The district level leaders were happy and encouraged. Where is now that politics of the JCD? Now many become owners of cars after becoming leaders of the JCD. They lead luxurious life. The situation was not like this when we were the leaders. We all were imbued with the ideals of Ziaur Rahman. None of us had the mentality of earning money. Now the district level leaders cannot meet the central leaders. If they come to Dhaka, they are left in trouble, there is no accommodation. They can only walk on the roads, but the roads are not safe. They can be in trouble anytime. The grassroots level leaders are the lifeblood of an organization. But now there is no evaluation of them.”

Niru also said, “Now we need to give the JCD leadership back to the students. The leaders must be imbued with ideals. The JCD must be vocal about the rights of the students. The leaders must be hard-working. If there is the right leadership, the JCD will turn around again. The JCD turnaround will not take even 24 hours. What is needed is the initiative and the right leadership.”

Sanaul Huq Niru said, “Earlier there was a competition among the Chhatra Dal, Juba Dal, Sramik Dal and Krishak Dal. There was a tough leadership competition. There were many Chhatra Dal leaders who did not get any posts, but still they did not desert the party. There had been thousands of able leaders, who could understand the politics and had the organizing capacity. We used to pick them.”

At least a half of BNP executive committee members had never been in the party: About the present sorry state of BNP Niru said, “Now there are a half of the BNP executive committee members who had never been in the party. They joined the party by dint of money. This is not wise to disclose it. They gave Tk 5 lakh, 3 lakh, 2 lakh under contracts with particular leaders and thus joined the party.”

Niru also said, “The leaders and activists want to bring out procession, chant slogans and stick posters. There is no activity like this in the BNP. They do not need any political field and activists. We came to know all of a sudden that a committee was formed. There are many people in the BNP committee whom the people do not know. Even the BNP chairperson also does not know them. Then what is the point of doing politics? They do not need to be any known face. One day Shimul Biswas, as we heard, came to the BNP chairperson at the Gulshan office with some executive committee members. The Madam said—Go away. I don’t know them. Madam did not allow them in. She did not give the permission to meet her. This is the state of BNP.”

He also said, “See who the advisers of Madam are. Who arethe standing committee members? Fifty percent of them did not do politics in their life. Many joined the party by dint of money. To sum up, there is no scope to do politics in the BNP.”

Niru said, “BNP must do politics. The BNP must have their own strategy in politics. They must take decisions. The decisions that BNP should take right now are taken three months later. The party must come out of this.”

He said, “Though Pranab Mukharjee is a Congress man, as the President the decision not to meet him was wrong. Though he was a Congress man, he was the President of India. He deserved this courtesy. But those who advised not to meet him did not give the right advice. It was a wrong decision. It was also a wrong strategy to go for a movement this time. It was a trap set by the government. The government threw the bombs and then filed cases against the BNP leaders and activists to drive them away from home. What is the gain from it? Why shall we make the programme of the government a success? I could not understand. I told uncle Hannan Shah, BNP standing committee member, which after Narayanganj the government would not let hold any meeting. They would not let hold the meeting in Gazipur. He laughed and said—Our mayor is there in Gazipur. I said—what if you have a mayor? The Awami League is in power? Later it was seen that the government did not let hold the meeting.”

Sanaul Huq Niru also said, “What does Madam do? Madam should go to the party office at least four days a week. After the weekly holiday on Friday and attending the Gulshan office two days a week for meeting the diplomats, she should attend the party office during the remaining four days. When she was the opposition leader, she was not let sit at the opposition leader’s office at Minto Road for a single day citing the excuse of security. She must come out of this.”

About the BNP Chairperson’s London visit Niru said, “Madam needed to undergo treatment and see the party’s senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, especially after the death of Arafat Rahman Koko. She will take different important decisions with him. It was needed. There is no other way. They need to save the party and politics. She will take decisions about Chhatra Dal, Juba Dal, Swechchhasebak Dal, Sramik Dal and other wings. When she will be back home, there will be a lot of change in the party. Consequently there will be a change in the whole country also. But she (Khaleda) may take time to come home.”

About his return to BNP and taking the helm of the important BNP wing Juba Dal Niru said, “I still do not know anything in this connection. Madam and Tarique Rahman know it all. They will take the decision. But Tarique Rahman is positive about me. The standing committee members do not do politics. They are the policy makers. The leaders in the field do the politics—especially the leaders of Chhatra Dal, Juba Dal and Sramik Dal. And the Juba Dal is the main force of the BNP politics. Those now doing the politics of Juba Dal will be the leaders of the main party BNP. It is possible to groom three hundred alternative leaders for three hundred constituencies. They can be fielded as the fit candidates when it is required by the party. If the leadership is given, efforts will be made to organize the party only through politics.”

Niru said, “The state of the country is critical. Depoliticisation is going on in the country. A tough time lies ahead, if the country cannot come out of this situation. The situation may worsen. But there must be a change. In future the BNP will take the role of Awami League and the Awami League will meet the fate of Muslim League.”

Recalling the past memory Niru said, “Niru, Bablu were born in the student community as the followers of late President Ziaur Rahman. After the killing of Ziaur Rahman we were vocal against those who wanted to make Justice Abdus Sattar chairman of the BNP. We held a secret meeting at the cafeteria of the Dhaka University’s Jashim Uddin Hall at night. It was a revolt. With us were senior leaders like Jalal Ahmed, Abul Kashem Chowdhury, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Fakir Abul Kalam Azad and young leaders like FH Hall president Tipu, Kabi Jashim Uddin Hall AGS Bhulu and others. We decided to welcome the leadership of Khaleda Zia as the symbol of unity. At last we won. Begum Khaleda Zia took the rein of the party. Many of the top leaders of a big faction of BNP beneficiaries did not stay with the party. There was none even to light a candle in the party office. It was difficult to gather even 20 BNP men. On the campus we attracted the young generation against the military ruler with arrest warrants haunting us. The JCD rose from the Dhaka University with fresh vigour and democratic values under the leadership of uncompromising leader Khaleda Zia. When we went to the BNP’s office on Road No. 27 at Dhanmandi the people of the whole Dhanmandi area got to know that Khaleda Zia was there. Our solace lies in the fact that we could revive the politics of late President Ziaur Rahman under the leadership of Khaleda Zia.”

Killing of Mahbubul Huq Bablu: About the killing of Mahbubul Huq Bablu Niru said, “Bablu Bhai was not killed in a bomb blast. When Bablu was standing in the veranda of his hall, a bullet hit him. One bullet took his life. He was shot with the gun held close to his ear. The bullet pierced his head before going out through the backside. Nur Hossain and Badal were killed in bomb blasts. Another was injured. They faces were burnt beyond recognition.”

He also said, “Bablu Bhai was staying in the room no. 458 at the Mohsin Hall. He was taking his bath. He was called to go from there to the veranda of the room no. 427. There was a ‘gamchha’ round his waist. He was wearing a Sando ‘genjee’. In his hand was a cigarette. He was shot, when he was standing there. There was only onebullet. He was fair-complexioned. There was no sign of any bomb blast. There was only the injury of a bullet.”

He also said, “Bablu was shot by JCD insiders. With that murder the culture of killing in the own party, own family started. In continuation of this we lost many of our brothers.”

Niru also said, “Everything has taken place under a long-term conspiracy. Within 13 days of forcing Jalal Ahmed to leave the country Bablu was killed. I was arrested and sent to jail. I had been kept in jail for more than five years. When I was in jail, the people of the administration told me—Niru Bhai, you are in jail, we are relieved now. Now nobody will be able to kill you.”

He said, “Madam had good relation with us, the two brothers. Especially Madam was very affectionate to Bablu Bhai. We were like the mother and sons. Maybe, under any conspiracy a quarter gave Madam wrong ideas about us. We do not know. We never could understand.”

DUCSU issue and how Khaleda took him to her residence: Describing the background of DUCSU election, Niru said, “A panel was formed to pick candidates for the DUCSU election—Dudu-Rpon-Hiru and Aman-Khokon-Alam. Badruddoja Chowdhury and other leaders were involved with that election. The Dudu-Ripon panel won the election by a big margin. The Aman-Khokon panel got a nominal margin of votes. The AGS candidate got only his own vote. But the winning Dudu-Ripon panel was not given the nomination. Instea s d, the losing panel got the nomination. We were informed that it was the choice of Madam.”

He also said, “Those who did not face a single case during the nine-year tenure of the autocrat, those who were not arrested for a single time and those who could not win the hearts of the Chhatra Dal leaders and activists were given the nomination for the DUCSU election to the utter frustration of the students who used to join the long procession of the Chhatra Dal.”

Niru said, “Badruddoja Chowdhury and other senior leaders like Abdur Rahman Biswas, Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Roy conducted a survey on the Dhaka University campus. They found that without Niru the Chhatra Dal was destined to taste defeat in the DUCSU election. They reported it to Khaleda Zia. Madam told Mirza Abbas and Jahanara Begum to call in me. From there I was taken by car to the residence of Madam. Present there were the mother of Khaleda Zia and her brother. Then Khaleda Zia was our only resort.”

Niru described, “Madam said very affectionately—‘I lost my Bablu, you lost your brother. You had been thrown into jail for the party. You were haunted by arrest warrants and expelled from the university. Today if you are not beside the Aman-Khokon panel, there is no chance of their win. You give me the DUCSU, I’ll remember it throughout my life.’ It was 12:30 at night. I did neither have the mentality nor the audacity of rejecting the request of Khaleda Zia who was like a mother. As soon as I agreed, she wanted to know whom from the party we wanted to have with us at the panel projection meeting on the campus. I mentioned the name of Badruddoja Chowdhury. She then asked Badruddoja Chowdhury to be with me at the DUCSU panel projection meeting on the campus the next day. She told Nazmul Huda to go to the residence at 10/15 Iqbal Road at 8:45 am with a jeep. By midnight the information spread on the campus that Chhatra Dal hero Niru would come to the campus. By 9:00 am when I reached the Fine Arts Institute area, the car came to a halt. Thousands of students were there. I was given a ride on their shoulders to the dais in front of the Arts Faculty. The next day the media carried reports headlined ‘Niru given shoulder ride to campus’. When I got to the stage the name of DUCSU VP candidate Aman could not be heard. ‘Niru, Niru’ slogans were being chanted all around. No classes were held that day on the Dhaka University campus. Everyone went to the projection meeting to have a glimpse of Niru. With helpless, pale Aman standing beside, Sanaul Huq Niru who conquered the campus uttered some words in an emotion-choked voice and in tears. To the silence of thousands of students he declared—‘This panel is the Shaheed Bablu panel, this panel is the panel of movement, this panel is the panel of Khaleda Zia.’ Then he came down from the stage and then the mandate of the student community went to the Aman-Khokon panel. After that, they had never to look back. Long before that, through the direct votes of Chhatra Dal activists in 1987 Jalal Ahmed was elected the president of the student wing, Mahbubul Huq Bablu its general secretary and Sanaul Huq Niru organizing secretary. In the history of the BNP and the Chhatra Dal it was the first election. The last example of election was the Rezvi Ahmed-Ilias Ali committee.”

Spoiled sons became followers of Khaleda Zia: Niru said, “We not only built a human wall around Madam with our belief, emotion and courage but also rocked the streets for fall of the Ershad regime. We saw many big leaders then. But the alternative of Khaleda Zia was her herself. One day Mahbubul Huq Bablu lost his life for doing the politics of Khaleda Zia, I also struggled putting my life at stake. We wanted to free the democracy under the leadership of Khaleda Zia through our struggle on the streets even at the cost of my life. With the Almighty Allah above and the thousands of courageous students who joined the procession as the witnesses, I can say the irony of fate so hard that I became the ‘follower’ of autocrat Ershad overnight despite being in jail for four years and haunted by the arrest warrants for five years. I became the killer of Dr Milon whom I had never seen even. Thanks God the truth prevailed at last during the rule of our BNP, our dream.”

“The student community saw to their utter frustration that the spoiled sons in the student politics who signed contracts with Kazi Jafar and Col Jafar Imam under the cover of darkness of night for hatching a conspiracy became the sentinel of Khaleda Zia.”

Niru said, “Khaleda Zia does not know that during her rule her affectionate Niru was transferred from one jail to another 30 times in three months. I believe Khaleda Zia did not know what agony I endured after being distanced from the party for which I lost my brother and also sacrificed youthful days of my life.”

Ends/thereport24.com/AR/Oct 12, 2015