Some unidentified men assaulted the ex-judge when he and his daughter were leaving the York Hall in Bethnal Green after visiting a Durga Puja Mandap there.
In a press conference held on 26th October at Monte fiore Center, Barrister Nadia Chowdhury read out a written statement to the journalists and community members. The press release read,:
“First of all, a very warm welcome to all the journalists and everyone else present here today and thanks to everyone for your show of concern and support. That is what has kept us strong under these difficult circumstances.
To me, fearlessness and my father’s name, Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury, go hand in hand. Although I am sure, most of you are already aware of my father’s works, it wouldn’t be fair to go through this press conference without briefly outlining my father’s career. For these are the dots that connect to reveal that my father is one of the prime targets for terrorist BNP/Jamat forces.
My father is that man who went on hunger strikes at the doorstep of the British Minister’s House during our glorious war of Liberation in 1971, who protested in front of No. 10 Downing Street, and distributed fliers with my mother to raise awareness about the brutality of the Pakistani forces in 1971. My father is that man who worked day and night and travelled to the United States of America as a Deputy Attorney General to bring Bangabandhu’s killers to face justice in 2001.
My father is that man who was brave enough to utter the truth about Zia-ur Rahman being a cold-blooded murderer in 2011 as a Justice of the High Court, when conspirators tried to project Zia out to be a freedom fighter despite historical evidence or lack thereof.
My father is that man who was the only Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh to sentence the war criminal Sayeedi to the maximum penalty of death sentence in 2014. When those who are weak say we shouldn’t try an ex Prime Minister on corruption charges, my father is that man who says everyone must be equal in the eyes of the law.
When money is said to make the world go round, my father is known as that man who can never be bought by money nor influenced by power, the reason why Barrister Maudud told the Chief Justice to include in the Bench to hear his personal case involving his house in Gulshan any one other than my father. Barrister Maudud knew my father would never compromise with principle and fairness. My heart fills with immense pride to call this man, AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, my father.
I hope I have been able to accentuate how every milestone achieved by my father has worked directly to derail their backward agenda of greed, corruption and regress.
On 21.10.15, my father and I came out of the airport at around 6:30pm and were received by the Bangladesh High Commission’s car, its chauffer and one of its protocol officers. As we were on our way to our home, dad received a call from one of his ex-students, Barrister Dalton Talukder, who invited him to see the Durga Pooja festivities taking place at the York Hall. Dad decided to accept the invitation especially as he had heard many of his acquaintances were also there. My father was received at the hall by a number of people including Mr.Jalal, Dalton, Sanjay, and thereafter was requested to give a short speech.
We must have stayed there for not more than 20 minutes, when dad and I, along with the High Commission’s 2nd Secretary, proceeded to exit. I came out ahead of dad, and saw dad coming out by himself. We proceeded to walk towards the High Commission’s car parked on the other side of the road. Just as we were walking towards the car, I noticed a bulky man walking suspiciously close to my father, as if ready to hoist him up by the arm while he gestured and asked someone if this was him.
As soon as I had noticed this, I held on to dad and attempted to move him away, when dad stopped as the man now came right in front of his face and asked in Bengali, ‘Are you Justice Shamsuddin Choudhury’. Dad sensed trouble and attempted to flee but the man grabbed him by the arm, when 3 or 4 others joined in and started hitting and kicking dad.
I shielded dad and fought them in defence as best as I could. Dad and I both screamed for help repeatedly as they tried to take dad away. By this time, people from the festival had gathered around on the other side of the road and the assailants had ran away. They managed to snatch away dad’s phone. I don’t know where dad would be today had I not been with him that day
It is worth reminding everyone that my father was attacked in the same fashion back in 2012 (after the conclusion of Colonel Taher’s case and the 7th Amendment case), and so was our Honourable Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu in 2013. These sadistic inhuman creatures not only beat their targets or anyone who seem to be a threat to the BNP or speak out the truth, but are psychologically sick enough to record these beatings just like the killers of Rajon, to keep as a prize possession to show to the sickest of them all, Tarique Zia. The attacks of 2012, 2013 and 2015, were all carried out in the same manner and if anyone had any doubt about who these assailants are, the assailants of 2012 have already been found to be from BNP.
Make no mistake, today’s story is not a sad story. It is not a story of defeat or where fear wins. It is a demonstration of how fearlessness always wins over immoral cowardice.
At a time when our Hon’ble Prime Minister has been awarded with the prestigious ‘Champions of the Earth’ award, when Bangladesh has graduated to a lower middle income country with a large portion of its population already in the middle income and affluent category, has achieved its Millenium Development Goals before target dates, has won the ITU award twice for its use of Information and Communications Tecnology (ICT) whereby over 130 million people out of 160 million people in Bangladesh are now mobile phone subscribers, realising a Digital Bangladesh and stepping in the right direction to fulfil the 2021 vision, is the top contributor of forces, including female police officers, for UN peace-keeping missions, when Bangladesh is preparing to launch its very own satellite and has been praised internationally as a role model for its unprecedented growth and progress under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the BNP-Jamaat are now resorting to burning and attacking people and killing foreigners and bloggers in a desperate attempt to dismantle this government. They are desperately trying to make the world believe that ISIS exists in Bangladesh, though in fact it is the coalition BNP Jamaati forces that are really responsible for these terrorising acts as they have been doing the same in the streets of London.
I am here today to let you all know that I am my father’s daughter and I am also fearless. I am here to let you know that these attacks only prove BNP-Jamaat’s cowardice which make us even more determined and resilient to work harder until Bangladesh is free of such terrorising, extremist, militancy and communal forces who are out there to destroy the sprit and the ethos of our liberation war. I am here to say it out loud and proud, that Bangladesh shall continue to grow at the current rate of unparalleled progress under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. No matter how much you try to threaten us, beat us, kick us, burn us or even stab us, we will continue to build the Bangladesh Bangabandhu had dreamed for us until our last breath. I am here today as an example that fearlessness always triumphs over cowardice.”
The other guests who took part in the press conference included Barrister Alamgir Rahman, Barriste Mohiuddin Ahmed, Barrister Anukul Talukdar Dalton, Barrister Swapan Kumar Majumdar, Barrister Rafiqul Islam Milton, Barrister Kazi Shamsul Hasan Shuvo and Barrister Monirul Islam Moni.