Govt. can end conflagration, bloodshed peacefully

With mass killings across the country totalling some 174 people—majority of whom were apolitical, simple villagers—in a space of three or four days in the wake of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir activists’ violent attacks in retaliation for police excesses and brutalities (for instance entering people’s homes in some cases, and shooting them dead by touching their torso with gun barrels), a devastating political tsunami so to speak, has been brewing since February this year. At least 16 policemen have been killed during clashes. Not surprisingly, an academic has described it as a low-intensity civil war. Notably, April 6 Dhaka Long March led by Amir Shah Ahmed Shafi  of Hefajat-e-Islam, the third force, based at Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa at Hathazari, Chittagong, has added a new dimension. In several flashpoints situation became uncontrollable, we wish let there be no more conflagration.

The agitation of the Shahbag Prajanma Chattar, led by Dr Imran H Sarker belonging to the pro- Awami League (AL) association of doctors called ‘Sachip’, began on 6 February 2013 after a tribunal gave life sentence to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah. Ministers Hasan Mahmud, Hasanul Haque Inu, Shahjahan Khan and Dilip Barua among others, joined the rally initiated by bloggers and activists’ network.
These ‘bloggers’ have been maligning Islam on their web blogs in the most offensive language. Scribd, a San Francisco-based technology company in America, has reproduced some Bangladeshi pictorial exemplars of dirty, obscene, X-rated Bengali posts on Allah and the Holy Prophet of Islam. In addition, the posts mentioned genitals, sodomy and so on. (Vide www scribd com/doc/126858264/ Bangladeshi- Muslims-protest- sponsored -blasphemy).
The Prajanma became fully unmasked when its activists began speaking like the AL leaders. In this country of some 90 per cent adherents of Islam, cunningly and deviously engineered Shahbag Prajanma—an unofficial front of the ruling AL but enthusiastically admired by the Prime Minister who even tried to influence the International Crime Tribunal through her utterance in parliament in favour of the youths’ demand for death sentence—the nation is passing through its worst time.
Horrendous incidents persist as devastating, frenzied mass fury portends destructive knock-on effect—threatening stability of the nation whose body politic is divided into two distinct groups on whether the next parliamentary polls in Bangladesh will be held under a neutral non-party administration or under the ruling AL government headed by Sheikh Hasina.
Starkly exposed politicisation became more conspicuous when the Prajanma, led by a former BCL man, demanded arrest of the Bengali daily Amar Desh’s editor Mahmudur Rahman who was subjected to brutal torture in police custody for long and had to serve nine months and a half in prison under the ruling AL government. The Amar Desh is one of three pro-Opposition Bengali dailies, while the overwhelming majority of the newspapers, some 80 per cent, by and large toe the ruling Awami League line. Some Bengali and English daily newspapers apear like the AL propaganda tools. Percentage of the private TV channels should be similar; and Channel One TV was shut down by the government on April 28, 2010. Of the 24 private TV channels, except 4, the rest of the channels are overtly pro-AL.
The ruling AL government has opened the Pandora’s box by annulling the Caretaker Government (CG) system. On May 10, 2011 the Supreme Court of Bangladesh repealed the 13th amendment to the Constitution declaring the Non-party CG void and ultra vires to the Constitution; but allowed holding of “two more parliamentary elections” under the CG. Disregarding the second part of the verdict the AL has abolished it in parliament allegedly to come to power through a rigged election conducted by the Election Commission which is subservient to the government, and has no power to deploy Army personnel though military jawans have often been called in to discipline Dhaka city traffic or guard WASA water pump stations. This action of annulment of CG can best be described as the goodbye to fair elections that could lead to serious turmoil because many people do not support the AL.
The Parliament is sovereign and has the power to reinstate the CG system; well, one may call it by any name—non-party government, neutral administration or whatever. For this to happen, presence of the BNP MPs is not necessary as the ruling AL has two-thirds majority. Lust for power is a very obnoxious malady. For all these the government shall have to carefully reflect and positively act; or else the coming days may be very bleak and bloody, which we do not want.
The bottom-line is that the onus is on the ruling AL government.
Source: Weekly Holiday


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