Ershad fears deportation

Jatiya Party chief Hussein Muhammad Ershad has said he is being 'detained' in the name of 'treatment' and fears he might be 'forced' to leave Bangladesh.

Salahuddin Wahed
Published : 20 Dec 2013, 08:22 PM
Updated : 20 Dec 2013, 08:22 PM

The former dictator is reportedly undergoing 'treatment' at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.

A letter on a party letterhad apparently signed by him said Ershad had made his younger brother party's Presidium member Ghulam Muhammad Quader and Secretary General Ruhul Amin Howlader Jatiya Party spokesperson in his absence.

File Photo

"I believe the Jatiya Party activists and the people of the country are aware that I'm currently incarcerated at the CMH. I fear that I might be forced to leave the country any moment," read the letter roughly translated into English.

When approached, GM Quader's personal secretary Abdul Hannan said both Quader and Howlader had received copies of Ershad's letter.

"He (Quader) held a media conference based on the letter," said Hannan.

In a media call at his Banani residence on Friday, Quader said of late many had claimed themselves as the party's spokesperson but they were not so.

"Our Chairman is HM Ershad. He currently cannot directly address the media.

“Hence, as per his direction, statements from no one but Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader and myself should be acceptable," he said.

Ershad's adviser Boby Hajjaj recently claimed the party chief had made him the spokesperson. He is reportedly in the UK now.

Quader said his brother was resolute about not contesting the polls.

Twenty aspirants from the Jatiya Party have won uncontested in the next general elections.

Ershad, known for his often contradictory remarks, announced on Nov 17 to take part in the elections.

He allowed six of his party leaders to be part of the 'multi-party' government, designed to supervise the elections.

The party's candidates had filed their nominations by Dec 2, the deadline. However, at a media conference the following day, the former dictator said he would not contest the polls without participation by all the parties.

He ordered his party members to withdraw their nominations and resign from the interim cabinet.

On the night of Dec 12, hours after war criminal Abdul Quader Molla was hanged, RAB members ‘escorted’ Ershad to the CMH.

It has been unclear since then whether the Jatiya Party chief was detained or was indeed undergoing treatment. Ershad had not addressed the media directly since his admission at the CMH.