Published: 21 Nov 2023, 11:11 am
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has apprehended BNP leader Habibur Rahman Habib for disregarding a court summons related to his 'derogatory comments' about a High Court judge.
Habibur, a member of the BNP chairperson’s advisory council, was taken into custody from a residence in Dhaka's Mirpur DOHS on Tuesday (November 21), according to RAB-2 chief Anwar Hossain.
On Oct 9, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka sentenced 15 people, including Habibur Rahman and BNP Vice Chairman Md Shahjahan, to four years in jail in a sabotage case. Following the decision, Habibur went into hiding.
BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi criticised the arrest of Habibur, highlighting his prominent role as a student leader during the 1990 anti-autocracy upsurge and his past position as a Chhatra League president.
Habibur drew scrutiny for making derogatory remarks about High Court Justice Md Akhtaruzzaman, who had convicted BNP chief Khaleda Zia in two graft cases as a special court judge.
In response, the panel of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Raziq Al Jalil summoned Habib to appear before the High Court on Nov 6 to explain his comments. However, when he failed to appear, the High Court requested information about his whereabouts by Nov 8.
The Attorney General's Office later informed the court that law enforcement could not locate Habib at his permanent or current address, with his family members claiming ignorance of his whereabouts.
As part of its anti-government movement demanding the resignation of Sheikh Hasina and the formation of a non-partisan election-time caretaker government, the BNP began calling hartals and blockades following the deadly clashes between party loyalists and the police during a rally on Oct 28.
Its long-time ally Jamaat-e-Islam and other like-minded parties expressed solidarity with the BNP and are holding similar protest programmes.
After the violence on Oct 28, most senior BNP leaders were either arrested or went into hiding.