BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday alleged that their party Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko was killed ‘through torture’ by the interim regime of Fakhruddin-Moyeenuddin after the 1/11 political changeover in 2007.
“It’s our bad luck that a very talented sports organiser Arafat Rahman Koko fell sick as he was brutally and shamelessly tortured by the Fakhruddin-Moyeenuddin government. He later died while undergoing treatment in Malaysia,” he said.
The BNP leader said, “We think he was killed. Arafat Rahman Koko had to die due to repression.”
He made the remarks while talking to reporters after paying homage to Koko along with party leaders and activists by placing a wreath at his grave, marking his sixth death anniversary.
Fakhrul said Koko was not a politician as he had no involvement in politics. “He was a sports organiser. Arafat Rahman Koko made himself memorable through his various activities in the sports arena within a short time.”
On his death anniversary, the BNP secretary general said they offered fateha at Koko’s grave and prayed for the salvation of his departed soul.
Also read: Koko’s 6th death anniversary Sunday
On January 24, 2015, Koko died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 45 at a rented house in Malaysia.
His body was brought back home on January 27 and buried at Banani Graveyard.
BNP and its associate bodies chalked out various programmes to mark the day.
As part of the programmes, BNP leaders and activists, led by Mirza Fakhrul, placed wreaths at Koko’s grave at Banani Graveyard in the capital and offered fathea there.
BNP arranged a milad mahfil at its Nayapaltan central office, marking the day.
Also read: BNP pays tributes to Koko on his birthday
Besides, cooked foods were distributed at different madrasas and orphanages in the city.
A discussion on the life and work of Koko will be arranged at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) on Tuesday.
Different associate and professional bodies of BNP and its city and district units are also observing the day through various programmes, including discussions and prayer sessions, across the country.
Bangladesh Awami League's mayoral candidate for the upcoming Chattogram City Corporation(CCC) election Rezaul Karim Chowdhury on Saturday announced his election manifesto, where solving the Port City's waterlogging and traffic problems got most attention.
Rezaul Karim announced his 37-point manifesto at the Bangabandhu Hall of Chattogram Press Club.
In the manifesto, city's healthcare sector also took importance because of Covid-19 crisis. All service sectors including revenue will be under 'One Stop' digital server. Also mentioned that ongoing master plan-development projects will be coordinated with priority in the first one hundred days.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said in his manifesto that giving maximum services to the city's big population is the true qualification. He also said, "I have nothing to get. I have got all the earthly gains through my family. If I get the chance, my promise is to sacrifice my intellect, work and everything for this city's people."
Awami League and boat symbol mayoral candidate and joint general secretary Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said in his 37-point manifesto that Chattogram Development Authority (CDA), Wasa and the city corporation's works will get the highest attention to solve the waterlogging problem. Canal-river restoration and water drainage issues, errors and obstacles will be detected and rules implemented to solve these issues within hundred days.
Also read: Training for CCC election officials begins
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday alleged that a conspiracy is there to keep Bangladesh subservient to others weakening its existence and sovereignty.
"The current government has deprived the people of Bangladesh of their rights in a planned way. They’re now trying to push people away from the identity they have,” he said.
Speaking at a webinar, the BNP leader said, “There’s a plot to make Bangladesh subservient to others forgetting the nation’s uniqueness, independence and sovereignty. We must resist such a plan.”
‘Seminar and Symposium Committee', formed by BNP, to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country’s independence arranged the webinar.
Fakhrul said their party wants to protect the nation from the current ‘appalling’ situation following the ideology and directives of its founder Ziaur Rahman. “Our only slogan is that we don’t want to be shackled. Let’s all get united and move forward towards that goal.”
He said Bangladesh will get stronger as a nation if people’s feelings for the country and patriotism can be reinforced.
The BNP leader said their party founder had given the nation a new identity and unique existence by gifting Bangladeshi nationalism through his farsighted thinking.
Recalling Zia’s role in the Liberation War, he said the country’s independence cannot be thought of separately from Ziaur Rahman as the entire nation was inspired and joined the war by his ‘declaration’ of independence.
“Those who’re in government want to identify him (Zia) as an unknown Major. But the then seven and a half crore people of Bangladesh jumped into the war following the declaration of this unknown Major. Their (Awami League’s) great leaders at that time could not make that announcement in front of the people,” Fakhrul observed.
He accused Awami League of trying to ignore Zia and his role before the young generation by carrying out a ‘false’ campaign against him and ‘distorting’ history. “I just want to say one thing for them that acknowledge the contributions of everyone. You must recognise what Ziaur Rahman deserves.”
The BNP secretary general said the nation liberated the country with the basic aspiration of establishing a democratic governing system and build free society.
“But it’s unfortunate for us that after 50 years of the country’s independence we couldn’t implement it…we should be ashamed of that we still have not been able to build a proper political structure and a system for a peaceful handover of power. This situation has been created only because of the current government which has usurped power by force and got isolated from people,” Fakhrul said.
Stating that Beximco Pharmaceuticals is going to make a huge profit from every dose of coronavirus vaccine to be imported from India, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna on Thursday urged the government to stop procuring the vaccine through any private company.
"Oxford sells its vaccine (dose) for two dollars and 70 cents while Beximco will sell it for $13. That means they’ll make around $11 profit from each (dose of) vaccine. There can be no bigger robbery than this,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, Manna said, “The government will do business with Beximco through the vaccine import. I would like to say from here that such business by the government through private companies must be stopped.”
He warned that people will not allow the government to do business through tricks in the name of vaccine procurement.
Shaheed Asad Foundation arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the 52nd martyrdom anniversary of student leader Asaduzzaman Asad of 1969 mass uprising.
Also read: “Govt syndicate” behind price hike: Manna
On January 20, 1969, Asad was shot down by the Pakistani police in a protest rally near Dhaka Medical College Hospital against the atrocities on the people of East Pakistan.
Manna said there is no guarantee that the poor people of the country will get vaccine. "As per the list prepared so far, only those who are in power will be vaccinated first.”
He alleged that people’s lives have no value to the current government which came to power resorting to vote ‘robbery’.
Manna also claimed that there is no democracy in the country while people have lost their right to vote. Dramas are being staged now in the name of voting."
Also read: Manna urges rich to do more for poor
In the current context of the country, he said Shaheed Asad is like a beacon of light for the nation.
Manna called upon the country’s people to follow the deal of Asad and take place a mass upsurge to ‘restore’ their voting rights and democracy.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday alleged that the government has no ‘roadmap’ and ‘planning’ for the proper distribution of coronavirus vaccine.
“There’s no roadmap or planning for making the vaccine available for common people. They (govt) are saying 20 lakh (doses of) vaccine will come first, but we don't know who’ll get these doses,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said, “We also don't know who’ll get 50 lakh doses that may come every month. There’s no guarantee that we the ordinary people will ever get the vaccine.”
Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal arranged the programme at Supreme Court Bar Auditorium, marking the 85th birth anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.
Twenty lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the Serum Institute are scheduled to reach the country on Thursday as a token gift from the Indian government.
Fakhrul alleged that Awami League leaders had indulged in widespread plundering and corruption during 1972-75 as they are doing the same now.
Vexed at the serious plundering at that time, he recalled that Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani called Bangladesh Awami League “Nikhil Bangladesh Lootpat Samiti”. “And now Awami League has become an association for plundering.”
He alleged that Awami League leaders and activists are indulging in looting and corruption over the coronavirus at this bad time of the country. “Initially, they looted public money in the name of corona tests by Regent Hospital and JKG.”
The BNP leader accused the government of indulging in corruption over the procurement of the life-saving corona vaccine from India through Beximco Pharmaceuticals. “They’re buying this vaccine from India at a much higher price.”
He said, “Awami League's success in the 50 years of independence is that it has snatched all the rights of people by literally enchaining them.”
Under the current circumstances of the country, Fakhrul called upon all the political parties to get united and make efforts to unite people breaking their silence. “Let’s get united and establish a true democratic governing system by removing the current awful monstrous regime.”
He alleged that the government jailed BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia as she was working for democracy and implementing the ideal and the 19-point programme of Ziaur Rahman.
Fakhrul said the current Awami League government has been trying to remove the name of BNP founder Zia from everywhere out of jealousy.
“They’ve removed his name from the airport, different universities, colleges, and other establishments. But they can’t remove his name from the country as his name is there in the hearts of people and it’s not possible to erase it,” he observed.
He said the current government “cannot tolerate Zia and as he succeeded where Awami League had failed”.
The BNP leader said Awami League destroyed democracy and snatched people’s all the rights by introducing one-party Baksal rule through changing 1972 constitution while Zia introduced multi-party democracy and restored people’s rights.
He said Zia took the country forward overcoming all adversities and obstacles by uniting and inspiring people.
Fakhrul urged his party colleagues to follow the ideals and directives of Zia to overcome the current adverse situation by uniting and inspiring people.