The people are angry at the provocative comment made at BNP’s Rajshahi divisional rally hinting at recurrence of another August 15 like incident, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said Friday.
Speaking to the media at his residence, Quader said the comment unmasked BNP’s “fascist mentality and politics of conspiracy and murder”.
Quader asked the BNP leaders why there was no clear statement from the party yet on the comment.
“Shall we assume it to be BNP’s statement?” he asked, adding that the people expect a clear statement from the BNP in this case.
The Awami League leader said the incidents of Aug 15 and Aug 21 are part of the same conspiracy and added that the BNP leader's statement exposed the nature of the party’s “politics of killing”.
“It’s clear from this statement that the BNP is still pursuing a politics of conspiracy … we’ll investigate whether their statement is part of a conspiracy hatched in London,” he said.
Rajshahi district Awami League has given a 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw the statement. “I hope BNP will clarify its position,” said Quader.
Also read: Quader warns BNP
Quader said the BNP leaders are blindly opposing the Digital Security Act.
“The government is keeping a close eye on whether the DSA is being misused. The law has been formulated in public interest in this era of technology. Instructions have been given to prevent its misuse,” he said
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday alleged that the killing of writer Mushtaq Ahmed was “carried out by the state”.
The BNP secretary general came up with the allegation at a rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club protesting the death of writer Mushtaq and Noakhali journalist Borhanuddin Mozakkir in infighting between two factions of Awami League. Jubo Dal organised the rally.
“Writer Mushtaq Ahmed was killed keeping him in jail unjustifiably after his arrest under the Digital Security Act. We said in the very beginning that it is a state-sponsored assassination,” said the BNP leader.
He also said BNP is demanding a judicial probe into the killing.
“Not only one person, around 700 people have been arrested under the act. All, from 5 year-old children to housewives have been arrested just for criticising the government or drawing cartoons ….our journalists are the worst victims.”
“This government is a fully illegal government, an unelected one. They’re there in power by force and are enacting anti-people laws to cling to power. They’ve snatched people’s freedom of speech through the Digital Security Act,” he added.
Fakhrul demanded immediate release of all those arrested under the Digital Security Act.
He also demanded the withdrawal of ‘false cases’ against their Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman and holding of fresh elections under a nonpartisan government.
He called upon the political parties to get united and said: “This government must step down, they don’t have the legitimacy. We hope the government will fall with people’s united movement,” the BNP secretary general said.
BNP leaders Amanullah Aman, Shahiduddin Chowdhury Anee, among others, attended the rally presided over by Jubo Dal president Saiful Alam Nirab.
Also read: The government is Mushtaq's murderer': Nur
Huge police personnel remained deployed in front of the Press Club since morning while water canons and riot cars were also kept ready.
The rally started at 10 am and the BNP men left the place around 11:30 am.
Writer Mushtaq reportedly suffered a heart attack inside his cell at Kashimpur Jail on Thursday last.
"He was rushed to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead," Senior Jail Superintendent Md Gias Uddin said.
An unnatural death case was filed with the Gazipur Metropolitan Police's Sadar Police Station in connection with Mushtaq's custodial death.
The 53-year-old writer, who published the book "Kumir Chaasher Diary" under the pen name Michael Kumir Thakur, was picked up by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel from his Lalmatia home on May 2, allegedly for posts over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also read: DSA must be repealed: Kamal Hossain
The government will take a decision on waiving sentences and relaxing the bail conditions of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia based on the opinion of the Law Ministry, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters at the Secretariat, he said, “Her (Khaleda’s) brother Shamim Iskandar submitted an application yesterday (Tuesday). They sought relaxation of conditions as she could not receive treatment during the corona period. They also talked about waiving her sentences.”
The minister said they will now send the application to the Law Ministry for scrutiny. “Once we get the opinion from the Law Ministry, we’ll take a decision on it through discussions with the authorities concerned.”
Describing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as Mother of Humanity, Asaduzzaman said she extends cooperation when she sees anyone under such a situation.
He said the Prime Minister earlier made an arrangement for Khaleda Zia so that she can receive treatment staying at her home on conditions.
Replying to a question, the ministers said Khaleda’s family mentioned in the application about taking her abroad for treatment, but she is still in jail. “She has been staying at her home which is now like a jail.”
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. The High Court later doubled her five-year jail term.
Khaleda was found guilty in another corruption case the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year.
She was released from the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) the same day, and she has been staying at her Gulshan house since then.
On August 27, the government extended her release for six more months.
The celebrations of Golden Jubilee of Independence maintaining friendship with anti-liberation people is nothing but a joke, said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday.
Obaidul made the remarks at a discussion meeting at Awami League’s Bangabandhu Avenue office on the occasion of the introduction of the new members of the Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Also read: Stop sheltering criminals: Quader
“BNP has been against democracy and violating human rights in the guise of democracy since its inception,” Quader said adding that they are still continuing their “pernicious” campaign.
After a series of failures in elections and movement, people had hoped that BNP would give up patronising the anti-independence extremist group, but they did not, Quader mentioned.
Describing BNP's movement, rallies, processions, human chains as violence and terrorism, he said people are now afraid of their programmes.
Also read: BNP trying to take revenge on people: Quader
The AL leader said when the BNP announced its programmes, transport owners and workers also stopped bus movement for avoiding any possible damage of their vehicles, but the BNP blamed the government.
Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said the BNP has now made police its opponent after a series of failures in its movement and election races.
Despite the BNP's announcement not to participate in the UP elections, there are rumors that their party-backed candidates are taking preparation locally, Quader added.
The AL general secretary warned that members of the sub-committees would be removed if they misuse power or engage in extortion.
Also read: AL victim of political plots: Obaidul Quader
Awami League presidium member Begum Matia Chowdhury presided over the meeting.
Earlier, newly-elected members of the Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee paid homage to the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32.
Stating that ‘lack of democracy’ is now the main problem in Bangladesh, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday urged all the political forces to forge a greater unity to restore it through a movement.
“Our main crisis is that we’ve lost democracy. We must restore it. All of the spirits of our Liberation War have also been looted by the current horrible fascist government,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, he also said BNP has to lead the nation in a united movement to overcome this crisis and establish a pro-people government by ousting the Awami League government.
“All the democratic political parties now want to get united to wage a strong movement for ensuring the fall of the current regime. Let’s take a vow to do that and get organised,” Fakhrul said.
As part of the party’s programme to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Independence, BNP arranged the discussion at the Jatiya Press Club marking the hoisting of the first national flag of the country in 1971.
On 2 March 1971, the national flag of Bangladesh was hoisted for the first time at Dhaka University by then student leader ASM Abdur Rob, he said.
Fakhrul said Awami League has divided the nation even after 50 years of the country’s independence as the party recognizes only its leaders’ contributions to the Liberation War. “We couldn’t achieve independence only because of any particular person or any particular party.”
He said Awami League is trying to give one-party rule a permanent shape in the country by snatching people’s all the rights as the party did it in 1975.
About Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed’s remark that as to why police are being made opponents of people, Fakhrul said, “I’ve the same question. You’re an educated and handsome man and a bright officer. Have you ever asked yourself why people think of the police as their opponents? Who’re they considering policing their opponents? Find out the answer to this question yourself.”
He alleged that police members now rig votes during polls in favour of the ruling party candidates while they brutally suppress and oppress political forces when they take to the streets with democratic programmes.
The BNP leader said it is unfortunate that all the state organisations have been politicised by the government to hang onto power.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan, JSD President ASM Abdur Rob, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Former Ducsu vice-president Nurul Haque Nur, among others, spoke at the programme.