Strongly denouncing the arrest of a Mohila Dal leader in Rajbari for a Facebook post against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, BNP on Thursday said the Awami League government has turned into a “terrible autocrat”.
“A woman who has two minor kids was arrested in Rajbari. Her crime was that she gave a status on the social media against Sheikh Hasina. Are you (PM) a God that nothing can be said against you?” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Addressing a rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he said everyone has the right to criticise anybody in a democratic country and Mohila Dal leader Sonia Aktar Smriti just exercised her democratic rights.
The BNP leader said the level of repression of the government has reached such a level that Smriti was arrested at night under the Digital Security Act.
"This government has become such a horrible dictator that the police are collecting our names by going to our houses. It has also turned the country into an authoritarian and fascist state. So, this regime can’t be given any more time as it has become a burden on the nation,” he observed.
Rajbari Police arrested Smriti in the early hours of Wednesday in a case filed under Digital Security Act (DSA) for allegedly making insulting comments about the prime minister on Facebook recently.
As part of the party’s countrywide programmes, BNP’s Dhaka south and north city units arranged the rally in protest against the killings of Noor-e-Alam and Abdur Rahim in Bhola, Shaon Prodhan in Narayanganj, Shahidul Islam Shaon in Munshiganj and Abdul Alim in Jashore in the current movement against the price hike of fuel and daily essentials.
Hundreds of leaders and activists joined the rally that was brought out from Nayapaltan before ending in the same area after parading Kakrail and Arambagh crossing. Commuters in the surrounding areas faced gridlocks for several hours due to the rally.
Fakhrul said the people of the country, including the youth, are waking up every day with a vow to oust the ‘despotic’ regime. “People’s participation in our processions and rallies is gradually increasing. We’ve given a lot of blood, we will give more blood, if necessary, to ensure the fall of this regime.”
He alleged that the government has been making various efforts so that the people of Bangladesh cannot know the correct information about its corruption and irregularities.
He said the government has issued a circular asking 29 organisations not to give any information to the media or anybody else only to prevent news on corruption, theft and plundering. "They want to deprive the nation of the right news."
Earlier on Monday, the ICT Division declared 29 organisations as ‘critical information infrastructure’ under the Digital Security Act for the safety of sensitive data under which any illegal access to computers, digital devices or networks is a punishable offence.