Main opposition Awami League staged a two-hour sit-in in front of the Speaker's chamber inside the Sangsad Bhaban on a five point demand.They demanded release of the MPs arrested during the ongoing anti-crime clampdown before the parliament goes into session on November 14. Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar responded by saying that he would try to protect the privileges of the legislators as per law and convey the AL's demand to the Prime Minister and the President.
Earlier, in a memorandum submitted to the Speaker, the AL demanded that the winter session run for at least 20 working days, and 'false cases' against all MPs be withdrawn, they are released before the session begins and their participation in the upcoming session ensured.
The memo also demanded a detailed discussion in the parliament so that the army-led crackdown against the criminals runs neutrally, and that the MPs not arrested without any specific charges and warrant, and that the Speaker publicly take a firm stand against the trend of implicating the arrested MPs in different cases.
The Deputy opposition Leader Abdul Hamid regretted that MPs were being arrested like ordinary criminals under Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code. "No lawmaker should be detained this way; MPs are elected representatives of the people and they are known to all. If there is any specific charge against any lawmaker, he or she can go to the courts in person," Hamid, also a former speaker, added.
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