BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday alleged that the government has restarted an “old game of setting trap to eliminate BNP”.
"You’ve noticed many buses were set on fire in Dhaka on Thursday last by miscreants. Awami League leaders are trying to shift the blame onto BNP for it. Like its previous old game, they’ll carry out such subversive acts by their agents to put the blame on BNP,” he said.
The BNP leader said, "I would like to say no one should step into such traps. We’ve to move with people and continue the movement together with them. BNP has no relation in any way with those who’re carrying out such acts of sabotage. I strongly condemn such incidents.”
He called upon the government to find out those involved in such acts and put them on trial.
Fakhrul was speaking at the biennial conference of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) held at the Jatiya Press Club.
He said the government is “snatching” the freedom of expression in a very well-planned manner so that no one can speak against them.
"On the other hand, they’ve established their full control over politics and started the process of depoliticisation. They (govt) are now engaged in a conspiracy to eliminate BNP adopting the minus-one formula.”
Stating that a democratic movement against fascism is not an easy one, the BNP leader said their ongoing movement may linger further and a lot of sacrifices are necessary to make it a success. “That’s why all of us, the people of all walks of life, including journalists, lawyers, doctors, engineers and politicians need to be united as we did it during 1971 to protect the country and uphold the democratic spirit of the Liberation War. There’s no alternative to removing the current fascist and monstrous government.”
He alleged that Bangladesh has now become a “terrorist country as the current ‘regime has been in power for over a decade by resorting to repressive acts.”
“Bangladesh is no longer a democratic and pro-people state. The country is now under the grip of a few oppressors and looters.”
Referring to the plight of journalists, Fakhrul said they are now going through a difficult time as many of them have become jobless. “They’re not getting any job or they’re being forced to quit jobs.”
He said the journalists are living with their families in dire straits. “In fact, not only the journalists, but also people all over the country are now in difficulty. "Everyone who believes in freedom, democracy and the rule of law are now being persecuted and they’re being picked up without any reason."
Fakhrul said not only the nationalist forces, but also those who run newspapers and speak against the government are not being spared. “A chargesheet has been given in a murder case against Matiur Rahman, editor of such a big newspaper like Prothom Alo. You’ll see many journalists are now facing repressive acts.”
He bemoaned that the journalist community now cannot play a strong role in protecting their rights as they have got divided. “I always say journalists need to be united. You can unite and move forward with all the demands relating to your profession.”
The BNP leader said though the government enacted many anti-media laws like the Digital Security Act, journalists cannot put up any resistance against it and force the government to revoke those.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said that the BNP is again trying to take revenge by burning people after voters rejected the party in the election.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, came up with the remarks at a virtual conference at the Bagmara Upazila in Rajshahi district this morning.
Saying that the killing of people and terrorism are BNP's political culture, Quader said in past they had enjoyed killing people using petrol bombs and in arson attacks.
He said that the recent incidents of bus torching was quite similar to BNP’s sabotage and setting fire to vehicles in 2013.
There is video footage of the bus burning incident which showed an old and familiar story, he said.
The Awami League leader said police are trying to unravel the mystery of a phone conversation centering the incident.
Talking about the ruling party, Quader said no pocket committee would be allowed and those who are sacrificing and dedicated to the party would be included in the committees.
The conference was chaired by Bagmara Upazila Awami League President Engineer Enamul Haque where Awami League Organising Secretary SM Kamal Hossain was present.
Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Khairuzzaman Liton, district Awami League President Meraj Uddin Mollah, General Secretary Golam Sarwar Abul and leaders of different levels of the metropolis were also present at the conference.
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BNP on Friday announced a two-day demonstration programme demanding the cancellation of the results of by-elections to Dhaka-18 and Sirajganj-1 constituencies, and protesting the arrest of its leaders and activists in ‘false’ cases.
As part of the programmes, the party will stage a demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday and its leaders and activists will hold a similar programme in every district town on Sunday.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the programmes at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
"All of you saw that 200-500 people from outside areas took a position in front of every polling station during yesterday’s (Thursday’s) by-polls and they bet people who went to cast votes. The Election Commission and those who are running the country could not ensure a normal election system and a minimum scope for giving votes. The biggest thing is that police have abetted those carried out such misdeeds,” he said.
The BNP leader said Awami League is resorting to various tactics ad lies to justify the by-polls. “But in no way, this election can be acceptable.”
Fakhrul said the government agents torched some vehicles in the capital on Thursday, but the government filed cases against BNP leaders and activists, including standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy. “We strongly protest and condemn it.”
He alleged that police picked up many BNP leaders and activists and raided the houses of many others on Thursday night following the vehicle torching incidents.
“What happened yesterday (Thursday) is a nasty thing. Such incidents do not help the democratic environment, they harm it instead. As far as we know, a TV channel has reported that an activist of Chhatra League was arrested in connection with such incidents who admitted that he was hired by Awami League men by giving money. The news has also been spread on social media,” the BNP leader claimed.
He said the incidents were carried out to divert people’s attention to a different direction from the ‘deceptive and rigged’ by-polls that can no way be called an election. This is undoubtedly a plan of the government to destroy the electoral process and establish a one-party governing system in the country.”
Speaking at the press conference, BNP leader Aman Ullah Aman and Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu described who the ruling party men droved out the agents of BNP candidates from the polling stations, obstructed voters and indulged in various irregularities during Thursday’s voting in the two parliamentary seats.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday alleged that the incidents of torching vehicles in the capital is an act of “sabotage by government agents”.
“Our experience says there’re some elements of this government that used to carry out such acts and incidents to stage sabotage. We also saw it in the past, they (govt agents) did it at different times to malign and accuse BNP,” he said.
Speaking at a Meet-the-Reporters programme at Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU), the BNP leader said, “I would like to clearly say BNP doesn’t do such politics. From our previous experiences, we can say some government agents carry out such acts of sabotage to thwart a movement aimed at a better cause.”
Mirza Fakhrul strongly condemned such incidents and demanded the government track down the offenders and put them on trial, no matter who they are.
Some vehicles were torched at different parts of the capital, including Nayapaltan, Jatiya Press Club, Gulistan, Shahbagh areas, on Thursday. Several cases were filed with different police stations, including that of Ramna, Shahbagh and Paltan Model Police, against BNP leaders and activists on Friday.
Fakhrul protested the implication of BNP with the cases filed in connection with the vehicle-torching incidents. "What happened yesterday (Thursday) was a very sad and nasty incident. Those of us who do politics always work in a peaceful democratic way and think of democratic way. Such incidents happen when there’s no democratic space in the country.”
He said though their party chief Khaleda Zia has been in jail for nearly two years, its unity remains intact. “In such a situation, some party leaders usually quit the party, but there’s still no division within the party. Our party is being run under collective leadership. Our standing committee meets every Saturday and takes the party’s decisions. We think the role BNP has been playing at this critical time is the right one.”
The BNP leader said their party chief Khaleda is active in politics mentally and still she has a big influence in politics. “Begum Khaleda Zia never left politics, and will never leave it. "Her (Khaleda Zia's) existence is very deep amidst the people of the country. Many villagers still fast for her so that she can recover and come out of jail. “We think that she is in politics and she’ll surely be active...”
Slamming Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader for his comment that BNP is a barrier to democracy, Fakhrul said Awami League had obliterated democracy by introducing Baksal in 1975 and also did the same now and snatched people’s all the basic rights.
He said Awami League also snatched people’s freedom of expression by formulating many harsher laws like the Digital Security Act.
The BNP leader also criticised Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda for his comment that the USA can learn many things from Bangladesh Election Commission, especially regarding the vote counting, saying it is a ridiculous remark.
He said now BNP’s only agenda is to ensure holding a fair and credible election by forming a neutral election commission under a neutral government to form a people's government and parliament.
Also read: Cases filed over torching of 9 buses in city
Bangladesh's ruling Awami League on Friday released its list of candidates for the upcoming polls to 27 local bodies -- seven upazila parishads, five pourashavas and 15 union parishads.
The names of the candidates were finalised at a meeting of Awami League’s Local Government Nomination Board, chaired by party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, held at Ganabhaban this afternoon.
Those in the list for the bypolls to seven upazila parishads are M Abdur Rouf of Raninagar in Naogaon, M Nayeb Ali Biswas of Ishwardi in Pabna, M Rezaul Huq of Bera in Pabna, Victoria Parveen Sathi of Bagharpara in Jashore, M Jahangir Khan Chowdury of Brahmanpara in Cumilla and Shahnaj Begum of Begumganj in Noakhali.
The five chairman candidates for pourashava elections are M Abu Bakkar Pradhan for Palashbari in Gaibandha, Nazma Rashid for Rajoir in Madaripur, Khandaker Morshed Rahman for Madhukhali in Faridpur and Tofazzal Hossain for Bancharampur in Brahmanbaria.
Besides, the ruling party has announced its chairman aspirants for 15 union parishads polls in different districts.
They are SM Rezaul Karim (Daantbhanga), M Abdul Quader (Bondober) and KM Fazlul Mandal (Char Shoulmari) of Roumari upazila in Kurigram district, M Arzed Ali (Doldoli) of Bholahat upazila in Chapainawabganj, M Abdul Hannan (Madhainagar) of Tarash upazila in Sirajganj district, M Nurul Islam (Uttar Ulania) of Mehendiganj upazila and Kazi Abdul Halim (Dakkhin Ulania) upazila in Barisal district.
Others include M Matiur Rahman (Gotashia) of Monohordi upazila in Narsingdi, Mahsin Huq Bepari (DM Khali) of Vedorganj in Shariatpur district, Mohammad Ali (Jahangirpur) of Nandail in Mymensing district, Badrul Karim Dulal (Raziura) of Habiganj Sadar in Habiganj district, CM joynal Abedin (Baramchal) of Kulaura in Moulvibazar district, Mohammad Iqbal Sarkar (Ramchandrapur Uttar) of Muradnagar upazila in Cumilla district, Satya Chandra Tripura (Borotholi) of Bilaichari and Binimoy Chakma (Mogban) of Rangamati Sadar in Rangamati district.
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