Government Policy

All going pear-shaped for Gonoforum

At least 15 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Gonoforum, the political party founded by Dr Kamal Hossain that for the first time enjoys representation in the current parliament.

Gonoforum suffered a split last December, when a group of its leaders held a council to form a 157-member new committee under the leadership of Mostafa Mohsin Montu, leaving out founder-president Dr Kamal.

The rump of the party now led by Dr Kamal and Mokabbir Khan MP, was scheduled to hold its council at the Jatiya Press Club auditorium on Saturday morning, but the Montu-led breakaway group arranged a human chain programme in front of the club at the same time, ostensibly to ‘protest the soaring price hike of daily essentials’.

The clash ensued as some leaders and activists of the Montu-led faction entered the council venue and started raising different slogans against Mokabbir.

The two groups ended up tussling, and threw chairs at each other. It created panic among the councillors who came from different parts of the country.

Mokabbir Khan also sustained injuries as he tried to protect his supporters from the attack.

Eventually police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.

Later, the council did go ahead at the JPC auditorium as planned, where Dr Kamal Hossain was made the president of the faction – even as he increasingly withdraws from party activities.

Mokabbir proposed Dr Kamal’s name as the president of the faction while the councillors supported it by raising their hands.

The Gonoforum MP also read out a letter sent by Dr Kamal to the council, as he himself could not join it due to illness.

Dr Kamal wished all-out success of the council and urged the party leaders and activists to remain united to restore democracy and establish the rule of law and good governance.

Mokabbir alleged that those who were expelled from Gonoforum earlier attacked their council ‘in a planned way’.

He claimed that 15 of their leaders and activists were injured in the attack.

“We’ve organised the council in a democratic manner as per our previous announcement. But some miscreants attacked the council and injured many of us, including me,” Mokabbir said.

Contacted, Mostafa Mohsin Montu claimed that none of his followers entered the council venue. “Our senior leaders, including Subrata Chowdhury and me, did not even go to the press club today (Saturday). Our city committee formed a human chain in protest of growing commodity prices and they left the area at the end of their programme,” he said.

Montu also said that those who arranged the council had no relationship with Dr Kamal Hossain, despite the letter read out by Mokabbir.

Earlier on December 3 last year, Montu-led Gonoforum held its council where Mostafa Mohsin Montu was made president while Subrata Chowdhury general secretary.

A close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dr Kamal Hossain founded Gonoforum on August 29, 1993 deserting Awami League.

Conflicts within the party leaders began after its fifth council held on April 26, 2019, as many party leaders, including then general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, were left out of the committee formed then.

It all marks out the period since the December 2018 parliamentary election, where Gono Forum was a key component of the Oikya Front opposition alliance, as one during which GF tasted unprecedented success, but also suffered internal turmoil like never before.

Source: United News of Bangladesh