Lawmakers demand Ranga’s apology for comments on Noor Hossain

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SANGSAD BHABAN, Nov 12, 2019 (BSS) – A number of lawmakers, including senior parliamentarians, today demanded Jatiya Party secretary general Mashiur Rahman Ranga’s unconditional apology for his derogatory remarks about 1987 anti-autocracy martyr Noor Hossain, as the issue was raised on a point of order in the House.

Veteran parliamentarians including Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were among those to condemn Ranga, also a lawmaker, who, however, was absent during the day’s proceedings.

The parliamentarians said Ranga’s comments were also humiliated Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as he was delivering his speech on November 10 when ruling Awami League and other parties staged programmes recalling Noor Hossain’s supreme sacrifice to restore democracy.

“His (Ranga’s) comments were audacious . . . he must seek unconditional apology to the nation,” Amu told the house while Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury was in the chair and leader of the House Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present.

Fellow parliamentarian Tofail Ahmed wondered how the Jatiya Party secretary general could make derogatory comments about Noor Hossain when his leader and former president HM Ershad himself had visited the martyrs house to express his sorrows.

“How he dared to deliver such speech? . . . Ranga must seek apology appearing on the parliament floor,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed said Ranga also made derogatory remarks about Bangabandhu, which he must withdraw as well.

Sheikh Selim said Noor Hossain dedicated his life for democracy and his death expedited the fall of the autocratic Ershad regime.

Ranga in his speech called Noor Hossain drug addict claiming that he used to take yaba, a drug which was unknown in the country when he was killed during the street protest on November 10, 1987.

Noor Hossain was shot dead by police as he took to the street along with thousands others on that day in the capital in bare body while his chest and back were inscribed with a slogan “Swairachar nipat jak, Ganatantra mukti pak” (Down with autocracy, let democracy be freed).

Amu said the then Ershad government had killed not only Noor Hossain, but also a number of political leaders and activists during the pro-democracy movement during that regime.

Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Firoz Rashid and Md Mujibul Haque, however, disowned Ranga’s comments saying it his own personal remarks, not the party’s stance.

They also expressed sorrow on behalf of their party for Ranga’s derogatory remarks about Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina and Noor Hossain.

Ranga, however, by now issued a public statement regretting his comments.

Jatiya Oikyafront (Ganoforum) lawmaker Sultan Muhammed Mansur Ahmed, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation lawmaker Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari and Naheed Ezaher Khan took part in the discussion, among others.