Awami League and its affiliates held a rally at Bashurhat Rupali Chattar, protesting Noakhali-4 MP Ekramul Karim Chowdhury’s comment that Obaidul Quader belonged to a “family of razakars.”
The leaders and workers of Awami League's Companiganj upazila unit in Noakhali held a sit-in protest demanding the expulsion of Ekramul Karim Chowdhury, Awami League lawmaker from Noakhali-4 constituency from the party, and the dismissal of the party's district level committee.
Bashurhat Municipality Mayor Abdul Quader Mirza, also the younger brother of the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, suspended the sit-in protest at around 10:30am on Saturday and called a half-day hartal in Companiganj upazila on Sunday.
But he announced the suspension of the hartal from Bashurhat Zero Point Bangabandhu Chattar at 6:20pm upon receiving assurance of from Obaidul Quader that he will look into the matter.
Mirza said, "I have suspended the hartal for half a day as Minister Obaidul Quader has taken charge of the matter. I respect my leaders, so I obeyed what they said."
Earlier, during a Facebook live post on Thursday, Noakhali-4 MP Ekramul Karim Chowdhury said Obaidul Quader belonged to a "family of razakars."
The video was quickly removed from Ekramul's Facebook account, but it went viral on social media.
After that, the leaders and activists of upazila Awami League and its affiliates held protest, meeting and press conference at Bashurhat Rupali Chattar on Friday afternoon under the leadership of the Bashurhat mayor.
Later, Mirza continued the sit-in protest throughout the night with thousands of party leaders and activists at Bashurhat Zero Point Bangabandhu Chattar and chanted slogans.
He said, "We have waited a lot. Following the instructions of the central Awami League, we withdrew our strike from the Bashurhat Bangabandhu Chattar. But, have we received justice? Ekramul Chowdhury became drunk and said extremely insulting words against our leader and freedom fighter Minister Obaidul Quader."
Mirza also alleged that Ekramul took Tk5 lakh bribe for appointing peons at the Noakhali Science and Technology University and urged the law enforcing agencies to investigate the matter.
Companiganj Upazila Awami League President Khizir Hayat Khan, General Secretary Nur Nabi Chowdhury, Upazila Vice Chairman Azam Pasha Chowdhury Rumel and other leaders and workers of Awami League and its affiliates were present at the programme.