Sunday, June 7, 2015

Modi's visit and the BNP leader detained in India

It can't be very pleasant for the country's main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, to see  prime minister Sheikh Hasina get so much acclaim and kudos during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi - but there is one very good reason why the party can be thankful for the prime minister's visit to Bangladesh at this particular time.

And that is the decision two days ago of the Shillong District and Sessions Judge’s Court court to grant bail to Salah Uddin Ahmed.

Salah Uddin is, as you will remember, the BNP leader who was allegedly picked up by law enforcement agents on 10 March from a flat in Uttara and who was then two months later, according to him, dumped in the Indian hill town of Shillong.

It has been difficult from Dhaka to follow the ins-and-outs of exactly what has been going on in Shillong over the last month, but my understanding is that the reason why bail was not agreed by the court the previous week was because the police/prosecutor and the defense could not agree the conditions for bail.

At that time, the police/prosecutor apparently would only agree to bail as long as Salah Uddin stayed at a particular appointed place, and reported daily to the police. Salah Uddin's defense lawyers wanted far more liberal conditions so that they could take him anywhere in Shillong, and reporting to the authorities only on a weekly basis.

Two days ago, the defense got their own way, and this must surely be linked to the impending trip of Modi to Bangladesh, a few days later.

Modi's people would not, I would conjecture, have wanted Salah Uddin to still be in detention when he came to Bangladesh. Apart from anything else this would have colored his meeting with Khaleda Zia who would one assume have brought the matter up. With the Indian authorities and court dealing with Salah Uddin in an apparently liberal matter, the BNP can only be happy with how India has treated the BNP leader.

Modi's visit could not have been better timed for Salah Uddin .. and the BNP

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