Claiming that the ruling Awami League was clean bowled by their movement's 'googly', BNP Secretry General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday noted "much progress" towards the party's aim of achieving victory on the streets.
“There is another spin (in cricket) called googly by which the batsman is bowled out with the stumps or the middle stump uprooted before he understands anything. Awami League was completely bowled out by BNP’s googly on (July) 28th and 29th,” Fakhrul said while speaking at a protest rally at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan.
The BNP leader also claimed that braving rain and scorching heat, nearly five million (50 lakh) people attended their party’s grand rally at Nayapaltan on July 28, coming to the capital from all over the country, from 'Teknaf to Tetulia'.
“People thronging that rally gave a message to Hasina to step down immediately,” the BNP leader observed.
He said they had given a simple programme of sit-ins at the entry points of the capital instead of hartal or blockade the next day (July 29), but hundreds of law enforcers equipped with arms and armoured vehicles, together with the ruling party ‘goons’. took positions at the entry points of Dhaka getting paranoid about their programme: “They opened fire on innocent and unarmed people and utterly repressed them.”
He said the worst thing was that the police beat BNP senior leaders Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Amanullah Aman by throwing them on the streets. “Later, they prepared the script and made stories and videos. Such a blackmailer the regime is!”
The BNP leader said those who do not share connections with the people resort to such blackmail and contrived stories. “People didn't accept their stories. Have those stories belittled our leaders Gayeshwar Babu and Amanullah Aman? You, who created such dirty dramas, have been disgraced.”
Reiterating their party’s demand for holding the next election under a non-partisan government, Fakhrul said they do not want any election under Sheikh Hasina and her government: “We want elections under a caretaker government. If our demand is not accepted in a straight way, then it will be settled on the streets. We’ve come a long way and our victory is certain."
The BNP leader said the AL government will no longer be able to cling to power as it has lost the ground beneath its feet. “This regime is now so scared that they have arrested 1200/1300 people from a programme and prosecuted and injured them," he said.
He said they will soon announce the next course of action for their one-point movement after discussions with other opposition parties.
Fakhrul demanded the release of the recently arrested BNP leaders and activists and the withdrawal of the ‘false’ cases filed against them.
Stating that the government has lost support both at home and abroad, he said Awami League usurped power twice by circumventing fair and credible elections, thus deceiving the country's people.
Fakhrul ridiculed the visit of a foreign election monitoring delegation with no known track record in the field and comprising some members from the US, China, Japan, and Ireland. Referring to them, the BNP leader said the government hired a few people from abroad.
“One of them came from the US. He went to the Election Commission and told the media that the caretaker government system would not work here. Wah! Who are you brother? No one knows him," Fakhrul chided.
He said the government just hired an American citizen to make such a remark. “They (govt) did it before the last election…this is a bluff to fool people. The government has become so weak that it brought such nameless people to say that elections will be held under them, not under caretaker.''
Fakhrul said the country’s people have taken a decision that no election will be held under Sheik Hasina and her government. He said for the first time in Bangladesh's history, both the leftist and right-wing parties have united to reject elections under the current regime.
The BNP leader said the government must quit and dissolve parliament to pave the way for holding the next polls under a non-party neutral administration.
BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said the current government has outdone all previous repressive regimes, including that of Ayub Khan in the Pakistan era, in terms of repressing and suppressing people.
He said the government has now started arresting BNP leaders and workers wholesale to foil their movement. But he warned it would be of no use:“You won't be able to resist this movement, no matter how many leaders and activists you arrest. We’re not afraid of getting arrested. BNP is not a party of cowards. Our leaders and activists are being arrested when they go to the market and even when they go to pray in the mosques. The movement will continue, no matter how much you torture us. The people have taken an oath that no one will return home until the fall of this government.”
Another BNP standing committee member, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, said their sit-in programme at different key points of the capital on Saturday was completely peaceful.
“But astonishingly the police and the ruling party cadres attacked our leaders and activists by violating the people’s constitutional rights…they beat one of our standing committee members like a snake,” he said, referring to the police treatment of Gayeshwar Chandra Roy.
As part of the party’s countrywide programme, BNP’s Dhaka south and north city units arranged the rally at the historic venue to protest the “oppression” on the party leaders and workers during their Saturday’s sit-in programme at different entrances of the capital.
Hundreds of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies from different city areas participated in the rally amid the presence of a huge number of law enforcers all around the venue.
In the wake of attacks on the party’s sit-in on Saturday, Mirza Fakhrul announced the countrywide protest rallies. BNP’s all district and city units also organised a similar programme.
BNP’s sit-in programme at the key entry points of Dhaka on Saturday was marred by clashes and violence, leaving an unspecified number of people injured.