“Hefajat-e-Islam says it wants to stage their programme peacefully. The government is trying to create a chaos in the country by trying to foil this peaceful programme with calling hartal and other programmes,” Khaleda told a condolence rally.
Addressing the rally at Satkhira Government Girl’s High School ground in the district town, the opposition leader said, “We want to clearly state that the government will have to shoulder the full responsibility if it creates any volatile situation in the country by blocking the long march programme. They’ll have to be accountable for that.”
Hefazat-e-Islam is scheduled to start its long march from Chittagong towards Dhaka on Saturday demanding punishment of the ‘atheist’ bloggers who hurt the sentiment of Muslims by making indecent remarks against Allah and Mohammad (pbuh).
In a counter move, 25 socio-cultural and professional bodies called a 24-hour hartal from Friday 6pm, triggering a panic among people.
The BNP chief alleged despite the demand of devoted Muslims for the punishment of the bologgers who made derogatory remarks against Allah and Mohammad (pbuh), the government patronised them and refrained from taking any action.
In her nearly 35-minute address, the former premier bitterly criticised the government for what she said its failures, widespread corruption, misrule, repression and subservient foreign policy.
Threatening to call more hartals, she urged the government to quit. “The whole country has got paralysed. The government is on the verge of sinking. It’s lost ground from beneath its feet. I want to tell the government, there is still time, quit and arrange the next election under a non-party caretaker government, if you want peace in the country,” Khaleda said.
The BNP chief branded the government as coercive and killer, and said it is killing people like birds. “Around 180 people were killed in jut one month. They’ll be made accountable for this mass killing one day.”
Khaleda lamented that the government even did not show any sympathy to the family members of those killed let alone providing them with financial assistance.
Taking a swipe at Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir for his remarks that the BNP chief will be made accused of instigating violence, Khaleda said the government has targeted her but she is not at all afraid of such threats.
Khaleda threatened that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be charged with directing to kill people by oars and sticks, killing people by torching a bus with gunpowder and killing 57 army officers in BDR (now BGB) headquarters.
The former premier also alleged that the government is trying to control media to hush up its failures, misdeeds and corruption.
“The government is creating an anarchic situation in the country by destroying democracy. There’s no rule of law, no security of people and their property and have no right of expression,” she said.
She accused the government of trying to return to power by holding a one-sided election and reiterated her demand for restoration of the caretaker government to hold a free, fair and credible election under it.
Terming the Awami League worse than a two-head snake, she said it has no minimum sense of shame and does not hesitate to do any thing to make a narrow gain. ”Jamaat was a good party when Awami League had been in movement with it against the then BNP government in 1996. Now they (Jamaat) have become a party of war criminals.”
Referring to the appointment of a ‘controversial’ justice to the Supreme Court Appellate Division, she said people are not getting justice as the government extensively politicised the judiciary.
She said the government lacks patriotism as the ruling party men are busy plundering since they have no sense of responsibility for people.
Khaleda also talked to the family members of those killed in recent violence and provided them with financial assistance.