Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh has been registered by the Election Commission of Bangladesh as the 41st political party in the country. The EC gave registration to the party at the order of the Supreme Court on 8 May.
The registration of Insaniyat Biplob, an almost unknown political entity in the country, has drawn much discussion in the political arena. Those who have constituted the political party are basically involved with Chattogram-based Sunni Andolan. But the leaders of Insaniyat Biplob claimed they are not a religion-based party.
Curiosity among people has grown following the news reports of the party’s registration. The central office of the party is at Gulshan-1 in Dhaka, says the EC gazette.
A visit to the area on Wednesday (10 May) reveals the office is at the first floor of a building at that address. It has a darbar hall with over 100 chairs and a stage. Separate rooms were also seen for the leaders at the office.
Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh’s secretary general Sheikh Rehan Afzal alias Rahbar was at the office that time. Speaking to Prothom Alo he said, “Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh was formed as a political party in 2010. Insaniyat Biplob does not believe in faith-based political parties.”
However, leaders of Insaniyat Biplob are also in leadership of the Chattogram-based Sunni Andolan.
Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh applied for registration as a political party at the EC in 2017 but the commission did not comply. When they filed a writ petition at the High Court, it passed an order in favour of granting registration to Insaniyat Biplob. The EC appealed against the HC order with the Appellate Division. Later, on 22 January, the Appellate Division upheld the HC order.
Following this order, in a gazette notification of the EC signed by the Election Commission Secretariat secretary Md. Jahangir Alam, it was said that Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh was given the registration as a political party as per the verdict and order of the Appellate Division and the clauses of The Representation of the People Order (RPO).
Leaders of Insaniyat Biplob
The chief advisor of Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh is Syed Mohammad Saidur Rahman Nizami Shah. He was conferred with Ekushey Padak in 2020 for research work. Syed Mohammad Saidur Rahman’s son Syed Imam Hayat is the founding president of the party. Imam Hayat is also the founding president of ‘Bishwa Sunni Andolan’, an Islam-based organisation. Their activities were Chattogram’s Mirsarai-based.
Syed Imam Hayat used to work as a teacher at Jami Rahmania Fazil Madrasah, founded by his family. The party’s secretary general Sheikh Rehan Afzal is the chairman of a developer company.
Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh is currently using the office of Bishwa Sunni Andolan as its headquarters in Gulshan-1, Dhaka. But the party leaders have been claiming that Bishwa Sunni Andolan and Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh two completely separate organisations. As a political party Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh is not a faith-based organisation at all, they claimed.
Questions have been raised about the source of funding of the party since it is running its headquarters in an upscale area like Gulshan. The party leaders claimed grants of the well-wishers, money from selling books of the organisation and the fees of party members’ are the sources of income of the party.
The party’s secretary general Sheikh Rehan Afzal said the party will contest in the upcoming 12th parliamentary elections.
The party’s Chattogram office
Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh started its activities first in Chattogram. A party office was opened in Choumuhani Hazipara area in Chattogram in the very beginning in 2010. The office was opened on the family property of party chairman Imam Hayat. There is a signboard of the party there as of now. However, a flat on the 3rd floor of a nine-storey building nearby is currently being used as the party office.
Any party that wants to compete in elections under an electoral symbol of the party has to register with the election commission. Since taking charge the incumbent election commission has not given registration anew to any political party directly. However, it has given registration to two political parties at the order of the Supreme Court. Insaniyat Biplob Bangladesh is one of them. Earlier, the EC gave registration to another political party, Trinamool BNP, in February at the order of the SC.
(Pranab Bal, Staff Correspondent, Chattogram, has helped to prepare the report by collecting information)
* The report has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza