Advocate Golam Rabbani has been enrolled as an advocate in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in 2004 and started legal practice. He is better known all over the country as Nayan Banglaee and is recognized as one of the topmost organizers with high efficiency. Golam Rabbani gave prime importance to liberating the country from the autocratic one-party rule. To achieve the goal he organized the labor community and the youth into two separate units who under his guidance work in unison. Possessing high experience and expertise in labor laws he dedicated himself to extending his work in the industry and factory sector and turned himself into a vigorous fighter for the legal rights of the laborers. In recognition of his dedication, he was elected the President of the Garments Labor Federation. On 30 December 2004, he was honored with the accolade of the National Youth Medal from the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh for his contribution in successfully creating strong bondage between the laborers and the youth community and engaging them in nation-building activities. In 2005, he received the President Award from the Hon’ble President of Bangladesh for being the topmost national social work leader.
On 12 November 2009, he was elected the president of a city unit of BNP, the largest political party enjoying the highest popular support. By dint of his continuous pro-people activities and ceaseless work to build and just society, BNP nominated him to be the Mayor of that city in 2010.
It was the Awami League regime. It left no stone unturned and used all sorts of heinous policies including bribing and pouring illegal favors on the administration and the law enforcement agencies to work for Awami League and crush any effort by the BNP from winning the election. Due to the highhandedness of the administration and the law enforcement agencies, Mr. Golam Rabbani could not conduct enough public meetings or door-to-door publicity, the people en mass cast their votes for him. When it became evident that Mr. Golam Rabbani is winning, the Election Commission under government order stopped counting votes and declare the Awami League candidate elected and telecast on all TV channels.
This is the starting of a conspiracy against Mr. Golam Rabbani to stop him from communicating with the labor and youth community – his main strength. On 8 February 2011, he was arrested in front of the National Press Club, without assigning any reason thereof. In police custody, he was mercilessly beaten and charged with anti-state activities. Finding no such instances to use, police released him after several days. After his release, at the instruction of the BNP high-ups, he refrained from field-level politics and joined as the Joint Secretary of the G-9, the Think Tank of BNP. There he had the opportunity to work with the illustrious Shafiq Rahman, a renowned journalist of high stature. Mr. Golam Rabbani started his new career as a columnist and author writing on topics of public interest that ultimately went against the government. These immediately earned him nationwide recognition.
Group – G9 (a think tank wing of BNP founded by Shafiq Rehman) published a book on the life and work of Ziaur Rahman, ex-president of Bangladesh. On 7 April 2012, BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia addressed a mass meeting conducted by Mr. Golam Rabbani. The meeting was attended by more than 10 thousand people in front of the National Press Club. After Mr. Golam Rabbani returned home, police raided his house and not finding him there, started a combing operation to arrest him. On 23 April police arrested him and took him to Shahbagh Police station where he was interrogated all through the night by different high police officers who used all sorts of torture on him. Again, finding no clue to involve him with any offense he was released after nearly a fortnight. All these days and nights were dreadful experiences for him.
During the campaign of the Parliament election, the grass-root level BNP workers staged continuous agitation and the affairs of running the country came to a halt. The people were waiting for only a direction from BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia herself. But the government created an obstacle by placing sand-filled trucks adjacent to the boundary wall of her residence so that she cannot come out and address the people. Every sort of telecommunication from her to the people was stopped. on 11 November 2013, Mr. Rabbani was a member of the delegation led by Shafiq Rahman, who visited Begum Khaleda Zia. On 12 November police raided his house to arrest him. Not finding him there police arrested his PS the driver and one other visitor. On 22 November, when he was returning home from the Supreme court, he was arrested near “Motsho Bhobon”. It was heard from the walky-talky, that someone is instructing the police to kill him right there. Police beat him so mercilessly that his left leg and arm broke and he got a direct hit in his skull. Blood gushed out from all over his body and his cloth was blood-soaked. He turned senseless and motionless he lay there on the road. The police watching him for half an hour left the scene thinking him dead. Hearing the incident the people and the journalists rush to the spot and took him to the Holy Family Hospital. Learning that he is still alive and is under medical care, the police planned to abduct him from there. But, somehow the family was informed they rushed him out of the hospital by the family members barely ten minutes before the police raid.
After a few days, the police set to abduct him from his home city. Police thought that he might be in hiding in the adjacent police thana (police station) area. On 27 November 2013 police raided the house of the president there. Finding that he is not there they abduct Mr. Hiru and Mr. Humayun. At this time Mr. Rabbani along with his family members was hiding in an abandoned house in the village of Kaundia under Savar. For six months they had to remain there unnoticed. On 11 December 2014, when he came to the High Court at his chamber (room no. 206) to supervise some repair work he was abducted by RAB from the High Court Mazar gate. No one could say anything about his whereabouts. RAB simply denied that they abducted him. After 4our days of restlessness from his family members, he was found. But not a word came from him about the incident. He was not seen by anybody after his
Release for long. A trusted source said that Mr. Golam Rabbani made a long-term plan to work in the social sector and to ensure other social safety and social justice. For long years he engaged himself in research on social work. He studied at Dhaka University on Social work and social welfare. He secured the First Class First position. But the irony of fate is that even a progressive social researcher is not spared of the wrath of the men in authority. A clean image grass-root level organizer like him could bring in could usher in a qualitative change in politics. Alas, they are not allowed to work free. All doors of opportunity are shut right on their face. The poor people and the labor community, who took him as their guardian, were barred from his valuable, selfless, and sincere service.
We came to know that he went at first to India, then he spent a few days in Geneva. Now he is residing in the USA… The nation is deprived of its contribution to nation-building. Harassment, abduction, and killing have become the law of the land and unleashed on anyone who would try to involved in nation-building activities. The government wants as much booty as it can collect. Bangladesh is a wasteland now and people like Mr. Golam Rabbani are not safe, only because they work for the safety and security of the people and protect the will of the people.
Any person who dares to even make some constructive suggestions is subjected to harassment, abduction, and even killing. The family members including the elders are not spared. What is the problem with Golam Rabbani? He just wanted a free and fair election and to restore the right of the citizens to cast their votes in a free and fair environment. As we said in this note, he suffered in this suffocating election environment when he was not allowed to make contact with the people. He was threatened that if he continues the election campaign, he will face dire consequences. He was physically tortured and his car was burnt to ashes. When the men in authority noticed that the people are casting their votes in his favor the election commission under instruction from the government stopped counting votes and declared the Awami League candidate winner. This happened several times. His wife was threatened too over the telephone. A Muslim when dead are covered in a cloth and then buried. The government agencies sent the covering cloth with a note that this is for Mr. Golam Rabbani’s burial. Thus they not only stopped Mr. Golam Rabbani from carrying on political and social activities but also arrested his age-old mother ( an elected councilor by people’s vote) and tortured him during interrogation. His younger brother was abducted blindfolded and tortured.
While talking to senior lawyers and elderly people, they said that Mr. Golam Rabbani is a man of extraordinary caliber and he is a highly efficient organizer who can bring people of different professions under a single banner and make them serious activists. This is the reason behind his continuous harassment, arrest, and torture. The government agencies are fearful that if he is left alone and allowed to work then he will gain enough political support to inactivate the Awami League leaders who will be lost control of the local administration and law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Golam Rabbani and lawyers who share his ideology and thoughts had to go hiding to keep safe from abduction and being killed. The life of Mr. Golam Rabbani here in Bangladesh is in real danger and he will definitely be killed if he returns to Bangladesh while the Awami League government is in power. His village home is burnt to ashes and his house in Dhaka is locked by the law enforcement agencies, and they are still searching for him app over the country fearing that he may return home and continue his political and social activities keeping himself hiding here and there with the active support of the people who love him much.
Mr. Golam Rabbani is also an expert in electoral law and he is the only legal expert in Bangladesh who spent 20 years in the practical field of election and election process. Golam by heredity associated with national and Local body Election. His mother is still running as an elected representative of the people for the last 20 years. The Youth Forum, the organization that he founded and established formed, has been an Election Observer for the last 20 years and enjoying much reputation from all quarters. Golam and his youth forum team conducted an election campaign to make people conscious of free and fair elections and voting for qualified candidates. The election is a process through which people can choose qualified leaders and thus ensure accountability. To save democracy from the clutches of unscrupulous political leaders, it is imperative that the election is conducted freely and fair and devoid of application of force by vested quarters. When he was engrossed in research on labor law he encouraged the laborers to form trade unions and framed and propagated different election principles. He nursed an unquenchable thirst to frame election principles for National and Local Body elections and the application thereof.
When there was Caretaker Government he led a delegation to discuss 10-point demand and election principles and bargain with the Election Commission led by the Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Shamsul Huda and the Election Commissioner Brig. General Sakhawat Hossain. They promised to work with the youth forum and conduct a free and fair election. WYouth Forum directly pressured and expressed their views against the 1/11 Government, he also told the Caretaker Government that it will not be moral to conduct an election under the Caretaker Government for long. So, it is the best policy to hand over the reign of the government to the elected persons.
Golam was so terrified over the running election practice and culture prevailing in the country. A leader with strong principles and high quality is now the call of the hour to resist the widespread corruption in elections, unbridled use of black money, ruthless application of force by political thugs, and using the administration as well as the law enforcement agencies with the promise of awarding them undue privilege once elected. Most regretted that those who research election laws and election process are not aware of the adoption of dirty politics of the political parties, the business has done (money transaction) in nominating the candidates. They only observe with pleasure the open game playing of the nominated candidates and the voters during a month-long election campaign.
As a conscious citizen and an organizer with high expertise and experience in working with the laborers and youths of the country, he decided to go deep into the election turmoil by running for office (elected representatives of the people) and thus get a clear picture of the A to Z of the election. He did dig deep into the Strength, Weaknesses, Advantages, and Threats (SWAT) involved with the performances of a leader working for the development of his electoral constituency.
This brought a terrible curse in his personal and professional life and a consequent disaster. In 2011 he ran for the office of Mayor. The election expenditure that the bore was never thought of by his family. The most horror that he witnessed was multi-dimensional. The ruling government and its political party nakedly interfere with the conduction of the election by threatening the Election Commission with dire consequences if they do not comply with government directions, using the weapon yielding party hooligans to terrorize the voters instructing them not to appear in the polling centers to cast votes, forcibly enters the polling booths and cast votes in favor of the ruling party candidates, and to refrain the other candidates to refrain from election campaign under direct threat of fearful reprisal which include the wife, sons, and daughters of the candidates. The participation of the administration and the law enforcement agencies was so naked and brutal that they even filled up the ballot boxes with ballot papers with seals on the election symbol of the ruling candidates, and at last, declare the ruling party candidate as elected. He was not only a witness to all these horrifying experiences but he turned into a victim of physical torture while campaigning. this is not the end. The ruling party hired hooligans to search door to door for those who they thought voted for him, ransacked their houses, and maltreated them and their sons and daughters. Many of them were arrested by law enforcement agencies on concocted charges. Being a popular candidate, he was subjected to constant watch, threats of abduction, arrest, and torture beyond imagination, and pouring real wrath on his family members including his wife and his old mother. My children were so terrified that they could not sleep for a number of days and screamed in sleep as they dreamt of being killed. In fact, he had no alternative but to run away to save his life and the lives of his wife and children. A life in exile is never a pleasant life even if the new environment is much more comfortable with safety and total security.O
Only a free and fair election devoid of any interference by any quarter including the government and its agencies like administration and law enforcement agencies can ensure a good government and good governance. The situation in the country is that no Member of the Parliament (MP)wants that any prospective MP candidate enters or lives in his constituency. To participate in the election is a far dream. The continuous practice of being elected by using all sorts of unfair means including uncontested (applying ruthless force so that no other aspirant dares to submit candidature with the Election Commission), forcing the contestant aspirant to refrain from conducting election campaign, terrifying the voters not to come to the polling stations has made the ruling party candidate so bold and carefree that they adopt every aggressive measure and deny any aspirant to come to the constituency. If anybody dares, he is either abducted and killed or sent to hospital with multiple injuries. Dhaka 16 is the place where I live and work and the people there take me as their guardian. Both these places have a close bond with me and He had a firm base in his constituency as a popular leader. The elderly people, the laborers, the youths, and the local media want him to run for office as a Member of Parliament. For the last ten years, the Ministers, the MPs, and the ruling party leaders and activists have tried to kill him only for his candid voice and they are jealous of his popularity. But somehow their master plan came to his knowledge and he could able to escape the attack. That is why he said, “Elections brought curse in his life. The redemption rests also with an election.”