Mymensingh, Sept 26 (UNB) – BNP on Thursday alleged that the government is putting some ‘small fry’ behind bars in its current drive against casinos and corrupts to remove its smell of corruption and hide the failures to run the country.
“The government has turned the entire country into a den of gambling and casinos. It’s now catching some small fry to eliminate its smell of corruption and hush up its failures, but it won’t work,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a public rally arranged by local BNP at Krishnachura Chattar beside Mymensingh Railway Station demanding the release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail.
The BNP leader said it is not so easy to restore people’s confidence as the government has lost it through deceiving people and broking its promises.
“Before the 2008 election, you (govt) had made many promises, but you didn’t live up to none of those. You’ve deceived people. You had pledged to create a state system where people’s security and human rights would be ensured and people would be able to cast their votes as per their choice. But now they can’t exercise their voting rights as police are casting their votes,” he alleged.
Fakhrul said the government has committed a big offence by ‘indulging’ in ‘vote robbery’ in the last general election, depriving people of their rights.
He also accused the ruling party leaders of siphoning off huge money abroad by plundering banks and public money from different projects. “The prices of all commodities have gone beyond people’s purchasing capacity. Farmers are not getting the fair prices of their produces while small traders are struggling to survive, but the ruling party men are siphoning off money abroad.”
The BNP leader said those who have been arrested so far for running casino business and plundering money from mega projects belong to the ruling party.
Stating that police are working to protect the ruling party, he urged the law enforcers to stand by people and take position in favour of them. “It’s your (police’s) responsibility to resist those who are looting national wealth and resources, snatching people’s rights and forming parliament without people’s votes.”
Fakhrul criticised the government for what he said adopting a serious ‘repressive’ policy to subdue its opponents. “Our leaders and activists are being picked up, tortured, killed and maimed by shooting in their legs. Even after such repression, no one has left the party. This’s the strength of BNP.”
Claiming that their party has been on a movement to only go to power, he said their only main goal is to restore democracy people’s rights.
The BNP leader demanded the government hold a fresh election under a neutral administration and the Election Commission by annulling the current parliament to end the ‘misrule’ and establish a pro-people administration.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the current government is working in favour of plunders and gamblers, not people.
He alleged that the economy has collapsed while banks have gone bankrupt due to the ‘misrule’ and ‘plundering’ by the government. “The national exchequer has got depleted due to widespread looting by the ruling party leaders and activists.”
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, vice chairman AZM Zahid Hossain, joint secretaries general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal and Khairul Kabir Khokon, among others, spoke at the rally held with Mymensingh south unit acting president AKM Shafiqul Islam in the chair.
Dhaka, Sept 26 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Abdullah Al Noman on Thursday asked the government to arrest the main organisers of casino business and put them on trial instead of detaining some ‘gamblers’ only.
“Thousands of crores of taka of the public have gone to gamblers through these casinos. The government itself is saying all those are involved with casinos belong to Awami League and Jubo League. Those who set up the casinos and the masterminds of those should be arrested and brought to justice,” he said.
The BNP leader said police only arrested some ‘gamblers’ instead of the masterminds of casinos in their recent drive. “Efforts are on to hush up the masterminds of casinos and those who destroyed the country’s economy.”
Noman, a BNP vice chairman, came up with the comments while addressing a human-chain programme arranged by Desh Bachao Manush Bacaho Andolon in front of the Jatiya Press Club, protesting the filing of ‘false’ cases against BNP leader Shamsuzzaman Dudu.
Describing the current government as an inhuman one, he alleged that it is working against the interests of the country and its people. “It’s not possible to ensure the fall of this government through a casual movement and programmes like forming human chains. “We must wage a strong movement uniting people to force the current regime to quit.”
The BNP leader urged the political parties to forge a strong unity as people did it during the 1971 to install a pro-people and democratic government and restore people’s voting rights through ‘ousting’ the current one.
“A ballot is more powerful than a bullet. So, we’ll have to take to the streets to ensure people’s voting rights. Democracy will surely be restored if BNP and other parties can launch a movement together with people. So, let’s unite all the political parties and leaders against this government putting aside the misunderstandings among us.”
He strongly protested and condemned the filing of cases against their party vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu, saying it is a move of the government to snatch people’s freedom of expression.
The BNP leader alleged that the government has kept their chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail in ‘false and politically-motivated’ cases to ‘annihilate’ democracy in the country.
He demanded the government immediately release Khaleda Zia from jail and restore democracy and people’s rights in the country.
Dhaka, Sept 25 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan on Wednesday strongly opposed the government’s reported plan to allow casinos for foreigners in exclusive tourism zones, saying it is an “immoral move”.
“I’ve seen in the newspapers that the government has a plan to allow casinos for foreigners. How did the government reveal this plan amid the huge uproar over casinos in the country? How can the government take such an immoral step,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the remarks while speaking at a human-chain programme in front of the Jatiya Press club arranged by Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal, demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Earlier at a press conference on Tuesday, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque said, “There’ll be exclusive tourist zones in Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and Cox’s Bazar. We’ve a plan so that foreigners can go to casinos at the exclusive tourist zones with their passports like other countries,” the secretary said.
He, however, supported the ongoing drive against illegal casinos in Dhaka.
Moyeen said setting up of casinos for foreigners cannot be a justified decision as it will have bad impacts on the character of the people of Bangladesh.
“What is a sin for Bangladeshis can’t be good for foreigners. Won’t it be a sin if foreigners indulge in misdeeds in Bangladesh? Who can guarantee that it won’t spread among the people of Bangladesh if casinos are introduced for foreigners?” the BNP leader questioned.
He said the ruling party leaders are indulging in casino business and various misdeeds as the government has no accountability.
The BNP leader said the government cannot hide the wrongdoers and corrupt elements without accountability and democracy. “As a little politician, I can say, the Frankenstein you (govt) have created will not only harm BNP, but also Awami League.”
He said people want to know how the government developed the country when crores of taka and huge gold ornaments are being recovered from the houses of ruling party leaders.
Another BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said the allegations of corruption are being surfaced against ruling party leaders while some of them are being arrested with crores of ‘ill-gotten’ money. “They made the illegal money with the help of the government.”
He criticised Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam for his remarks that those arrested on charge of casino business are infiltrators, and questioned why the government allowed them making money and doing business illegally and gave them big posts of Awami League and its associate bodies.
“From when have you (HT Imam) started doing Awami League as you conducted the swearing-in ceremony of Khandaker Mushtaque Ahmed? You’ve now become a bigger Awami Leaguer when those who hold the posts of Awami League, Jubo League and Chhatra league have turned infiltrators. Don’t make illogical comments to avoid your responsibility,” the BNP leader said pointing at the PM’s adviser.
He also came down hard on Information Minister Hasan Mahmud for his comment that a detained ruling party leader used to send Tk crore per month to BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, saying the minister is trying to mislead people with such unguarded remarks.
Nazrul urged the government to arrest all of them who are involved in casino business and corruption, and put them on trial for the sake of country’s betterment. “But we know you can't do it.”
Dhaka, Sept 25 (UNB) – BNP on Wednesday alleged that the government’s current drive against gambling and corruption is mere eyewash as no ‘major corrupt’ person and their godfathers has so far been arrested.
“Whatever is happening now is nothing but eyewash as a few small fish are being caught in the name of so-called purge. Big corrupts still remain out of touch and godfathers are controlling everything,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also alleged ruling party leaders created banks in their houses, and crores of taka can be recovered from their possessions by arresting them.
He said the ‘troves’ of illegal money are being discovered every day in the houses of minor leaders of the ruling party, exposing their involvement in widespread corruption. “They’ve amassed huge money and created troves in their houses by indulging in gambling, casino business, extortion and corruption.”
Rizvi said the ruling party leaders have got so much money that they are not finding space to hide the ‘ill gotten’ fortunes. “Even, they’re hiding the money in the houses of their employees.”
He alleged that the leaders of Awami League and their associate bodies turned Bangladesh, a predominately Muslim nation, into a country of casinos and gambling. “Their leaders, MPs and bureaucrats are now talking in favour of casinos to justify their activities.”
Rizvi criticised the ruling party leaders for accusing BNP of introducing gambling and casino culture in the country, saying they are only trying to shift the blame of their misdeeds onto others. “Blaming BNP for anything bad is their old political habit.”
He said Awami League has long been following a policy to blame BNP for their ‘big’ scandals only to misguide people.
“People don’t accept Awami League’s falsehood…they laugh at the ruling party instead. BNP has been out of power for over a decade. So, people don’t want to hear the allegations against BNP. They want to know what the current government did over the last one decade,” Rizvi said.
Sylhet, Sept 24 (UNB) – BNP senior leaders on Tuesday called upon their party leaders and activists to get ready for a strong street movement to ‘oust’ the current ‘plunderer’ government and free Khaleda Zia from jail as per the desire of people.
Speaking at a rally, they accused the government of turning the country into a ‘den of casinos’ and gamblers by destroying democracy and the democratic institutions.
“Awami League government is an anti-people one. They didn’t get elected with people’s votes. They’ve destroyed all the achievements of the country. The country is now under the grip of gamblers and plunderers,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He further said, “People now want the government to quit and Khaleda Zia to be freed. The country’s sovereignty will be at stake if the current government stays in power for a long time. So, get ready for a movement. We’ll announce programmes in the days to come.”
Sylhet city unit BNP arranged the rally in the Registry Field here demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Fakhrul said the government fears people as it has been in power illegally by resorting of ‘vote robbery’ the night before the national election.
He said the government is now ‘using’ the administration, police and the judiciary to hang onto power after destroying all the democratic institutions of the country. “They (govt) often claim that Bangladesh has become a role model of development. It has become such a role model that casinos are now everywhere.”
The BNP leader said their chairperson Khaleda Zia has been kept in jail in ‘false and fabricated’ cases as she did not get justice. “But the ruling party leaders are siphoning off thousands of crores of taka abroad through plundering, but they’re not being put on trial.”
He said the government made over 500 opposition leaders and activists, including BNP leader M Ilias Alai, disappeared and implicated over 26 lakh people in different false cases to suppress its political opponents.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the current government is a ‘regime of looters, extortionists, grumblers and robbers, not that of people. “They’re turning the country into a failed state with their misdeeds and misrule.”
Referring to the recent drive against casinos and illegal business, he said the black cats of the government are coming out from the bag, exposing how they ‘looted’ public money.
He called upon people to get ready for waging a strong movement to restore democracy and free Khaleda Zia from jail ensuring the fall of the current government.
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said Awami League government is an ‘unconstitutional’ one as it is not elected with people’s votes.
He said the ruling party men are involving in plundering, extortion and various offences as the government has no accountability to people. “Corruption has spread everywhere as the government has no control over the state organs. The government should quit right now.”
Claiming that Khaleda was convicted in ‘false’ cases, he said a street movement is the only way to have her released from jail. “So, we must take to the streets to restore democracy and free Khaleda Zia.”
BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said Khaleda Zia will not be freed from jail as long as the current government remains power, “So, we must oust this regime to ensure the release of Khaleda Zia and pave the way for safe homecoming of Tarique Rahman.”