'When rape is inevitable ...'

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury says his "innocent statement" on Sunday, in which he had claimed that the dispute over BNP chief Khaleda Zia's cantonment mansion should be settled by the army, might have irked certain quarters in the government.

bdnews24.com
Published : 19 Oct 2010, 02:19 PM
Updated : 19 Oct 2010, 02:19 PM
Chittagong, Oct 20 (bdnews24.com)—Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury remained defiant and let zingers fly as police detectives were 'parading down' the house of the senior BNP leader for yet undisclosed reasons late Tuesday night.
BNP leaders and activists are flocking in droves to the residence of opposition party's policymaker on rumours that he might be arrested. Some five Detective Branch policemen went to the Goods Hill home at Chittagong city's Gani Bakery crossing around 11:15pm.
At 1:30am on Wednesday, he told bdnews24.com that his "innocent statement" made on Sunday, in which he had claimed that the dispute over BNP chief Khaleda Zia's cantonment mansion should be settled by the army, might have irked certain quarters in the government.
"The army," he had argued in his statements at a press conference, "had given the house to the widow of a former chief of staff."
Asked if it was right to make such a statement after a High Court verdict declaring the government's eviction notice legal, the BNP MP said: "The High Court didn't take away the title of the property from Khaleda Zia ... it just gave its verdict on the legality of the notice (asking her to leave the house)."
Asked if it was a judicious decision at all to move the court, he gave his "personal opinion": "It was up to the army to decide, and had nothing to do with the court. It wouldn't be a Rajuk bulldozer in this case, it would be an army bulldozer,' I had argued. So I had said then -- 'why bother going to the court'.
"But the learned lawyers of my party disagreed with me."
Asked if he would recommend punishment for those "learned lawyers" of his own party, he said with his trademark sarcasm: "Their education, intellect and ignorance have now been exposed to the nation. Why bother punishing them?"
And he continued: "They are all men of infinite wisdom. And I never recommend punishment for anyone.
"They often try to get me punished though."
When told he sounded "relaxed", S Q Chowdhury said he would quote Confucius to say "when rape is inevitable, why not enjoy it".
His supporters were chanting slogans that houses will burn should anything happen to Chowdhury, who according to some ministers will be put on trial for crimes against humanity during the nation's war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Chowdhury was then sitting at his balcony with city general secretary Shahadat Hossain, vice-president Dastagir Chowdhury, Jamaat-e-Islami leader and former MP Shahjahan Chowdhury and Rangunia Upazila chairman Abu Hasnat, among others.
Ruling Awami League (AL) MP Suranjit Sengupta responded to Chowdhury's comments, saying that the BNP leader's remarks amounted to contempt of court. Senior AL leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury said he should be arrested for such comments.
An investigation team of the International Crimes Tribunal last month disclosed, following a visit to Rauzan, his native home, that it got statements of witnesses about his involvement in crimes during the liberation war.
There are allegations that Chowdhury collaborated with Pakistani Army to kill Nutan Chandra Singha, then the owner of a herbal medicine factory, Kundeshwari Aushudhalay, on April 13, 1971.
Chowdhury rushed to Chittagong from Dhaka the same day and questioned the credibility and jurisdiction of the International Crimes Tribunal.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher