BNP today said International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has withdrawn its red alert notice issued earlier on party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman as it ‘found the allegations against him baseless politically motivated’.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, party acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also said they will now fight a legal battle to have the ban on running Tarique’s speech in the mass media withdrawn.
With the withdrawal of the Interpol’s red alert, he also said it has been proved that Tarique is not a fugitive and he has been implicated in the August 21 grenade attack case in a bid to politically malign him. “Interpol has understood that it has been used to dent image Tarique’s image.”
“The name of Tarique Rahman has been withdrawn from the Interpol list. At the same time, the organisation has removed all information about him from its database as those proved false,” said Fakhrul.
On April 14, 2015, Interpol had issued a red alert notice on Tarique in connection with August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally that left 24 people dead.
Later, Tarique appealed to the Interpol Headquarters in France challenging the notice.
Accepting the appeal, Fakhrul said Interpol scrutinised the information about Tarique provided by the Bangladesh government and found those not truth. “As it didn’t get any basis of the information and those proved as politically motivated, the Interpol withdrew its notice as per its article 3.”
The BNP leader said the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files on March 14 informed its decision about the withdrawal of Tarique’s notice through a letter.
He alleged that Awami League after carrying out reinvestigation into the August 21 grandee attack case by its MP candidate and ex-police officer Abdul Kahar Akand implicated Tarique in it with a political motive.
Later, the BNP leader alleged that Bangladesh police provided Interpol with false and misleading information about him sowing him as an absconder.
“Bangladesh government has itself been proved a liar with its efforts to stigmatise Tarique Rahman’s political image. Bangladesh police’s acceptability has also come into question,” he observed.
Referring to acquittal of Tarique in a money laundering casein 2013, the BNP acting secretary said the government forced the judge delivered verdict in the case to leave the country and attacked his house.
“This is how the government is trying to politically harass Tarique and destroy his image by filing false cases one after another. But, he has been proved innocent in the country and in the investigation of the International agencies.”
He also called upon the government not to harass Tarique with ‘false cases’.
Replying to a question, Fakhrul said they had taken legal steps against the ban of publishing Tarique’s speech by the High Court. “But there was no good progress about the matter for various reasons. Now we’ll start a fresh legal battle following the withdrawal of the Interpol’s notice on him. We’ll duly resort to law so that his speeches are published in the media.”
On March 7 last year, the High Court imposed a ban on running Tarique’ statement by print, electronic and social media as long as he remains a fugitive following a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer as he had been making derogative remarks about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at that time.
Tarique has been in London since he left the country in 2008 for treatment there.