Dismantle Shahbagh Mancha or face ‘Janagoner Mancha’: Khaleda to govt

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BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Friday urged the government to dismantle the Shahbagh Mancha (podium) of atheists and its collaborators, or else, she warned there will be a ‘Janagoner Mancha’ (People’s podium) to overthrow it.

“A group of atheists and pro-government people are involved in the Shahbagh protest. Stop the politics of erecting Manchas-Fanchas (Podiums)…or else, people will march towards Dhaka and erect their own Mancha to drive you out,” she said.

The leader of the opposition was addressing a rally at Kalirmath near Goalimandra Bazar in Louhajang upazila in the afternoon. Earlier, Khaleda visited a Hindu community’s temple, recently damaged by miscreants, near Kalirmath.

Khaleda Zia said the pro-government people have started attacking temples and worship places of the minority communities to divert people’s attention as their much-hyped Shahbagh movement died down.

“They’re now damaging the temples and worship places of the minority communities having lost the ground from beneath its feet. They (gov) will soon start attacking mosques and shift the blame on others,” she said urging people to stay alert.

“Bangladesh is a country of 16 crore people and 5 crore of them are youths, and the Shahbagh protestors constitute only 1 percent of them… more importantly, they (Shahbagh youths) are atheists, spoiled and partisan people,” she told her audience.

Khaleda went on: “On one hand, this government locked the Baitul Mukarram gate and is harbouring the atheists on the other.”

Turning to the attacks on the minority people in Ramu upazila of Cox’s Bazar district in March last, the leader of the opposition alleged that Awami League men were also involved in the Ramu mayhem and they shifted the blame on others. “The mastermind of the attack was seen as an entourage member of the Prime Minister,” she alleged.

Charging the government with carrying out mass killing across the country, the BNP chief said this government has killed over 170 people by unleashing violence across the country in recent weeks. “A tribunal will be constituted if BNP returns to power to try all these killings.”

About Monday’s police raid on BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, Khaleda said it was like an attack by robbers. “They (police) swooped on the BNP office and carried out loot at their sweet will.”

On bomb recovery, the BNP chief said police themselves took the bombs into the office and then staged the drama of bomb recovery. “BNP office is not a place to keep bombs in it.”

Coming down heavily on the government for what she said its failure to govern the country, Khaleda said it is not possible to hang on to power through mass killing and creating anarchy in the country as no autocratic government could do that in the past. “You (govt) have failed to govern the country, pave the way for a fair election and then there’ll be a government of people.”

Khaleda further alleged that this government has engaged in loot and plundering having failed to fulfill its election pledges and warned that they (govt) will be put on trial if BNP is voted to power.

Turning to “police atrocities”, the BNP chairperson urged the law enforcers to refrain from engaging in killings and making people disappeared. “There are some partisan police from a particular district who are doing excesses and tainting the image of the police.”

The former premier reminded the police they would not get jobs in UN peacekeeping mission if they fail to maintain their image.

Regarding the Padma Bridge issue, Khaleda said the World Bank and other co-financers of the mega project have refused to provide funds for its implementation because of corruption by the government. “With the graft in this project, the government has earned a name as a corrupt one before the world. Now they’re trying to collect funds for implementing it. The fact is that this government is unable to implement such a project.”

About the BNP-led 18-party alliance’s March 18-19 hartals, Khaleda said the shutdown was called demanding the release of the BNP leaders and workers arrested from its central office by Thursday. “As they were not released within the deadline, you (people) please observe the hartal spontaneously,” she urged people.

The BNP chief arrived at the damaged temple around 5:20 pm, talked to the affected people and assured them of rebuilding their worship place.

She also handed over Tk one lakh from her party for the repair of the idols damaged during the attack on the temple at the dead of night on March 3.

Source: UNB Coonect

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