Ershad picked up
Members of an intelligence agency picked up Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad from his Baridhara residence and took him to the Combined Military Hospital last night.
JP sources said Ershad was picked up as part of the government move to force him to participate in the election. But Rab-1 Commander Kismat Hayat said the JP chief was feeling sick and they just provided him security on his way to the CMH.
A four-member team of the intelligence agency entered his President Park residence at 11:15pm and came out with him after 15 minutes.
The development came just hours after a meeting between the ruling Awami League high-ups and three JP leaders -- Raushan Ershad, Anisul Islam Mahmud and Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu -- at the Gono Bhaban.
JP workers present in front of Ershad's house tried to stop the vehicle carrying Ershad and chanted slogans in his support, said Faisal Didar Dipu, convener of Dhaka University unit of Jatiya Chhatra Samaj, a pro-JP student wing.
Intelligence officials called police and Rab to clear the way. At one stage, the law enforcers charged batons to disperse the JP men, he alleged.
According to Dipu, a top intelligence official told the JP workers, “We are taking your sir for treatment."
Contacted, several AL sources said Ershad was picked up to ensure JP's participation under Raushan Ershad in the January 5 polls. They mentioned that there were some complications about the party's participation in the election with Ershad at the helm.
On November 18, Ershad quit the AL-led grand alliance and announced that his party would take part in the polls independently.
The JP also joined the polls-time government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the same day.
But on December 3, Ershad made a U-turn to say that his party would not join the polls race unless all political parties took part in the election.