A leader of the ruling Awamu League on Monday said they no longer needed BNP’s backing to ban Jamaat-e-Islami, a party that opposed Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.
Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahabub-Ul-Alam Hanif, made the statement on Monday, a day after Parliament passed the International Crimes (Tribunals) (Amendment) Act 2013 allowing tribunals to try any groups that opposed the creation of Bangladesh.
“Before the passage of the act we needed BNP’s support to formulate a law banning Jamaat and its student wing Chhatra Shibir. But now we no longer need it as we can do that as per law,” Hanif said.
The remark of the Prime Minister’s special aide comes hours after President Mohammad Zillur Rahman on Monday approved the act that will now allow trials of parties or organisations alongside individuals on war crimes charges.
The amendment also allows equal opportunity of appeal to both the prosecution and the defence against verdicts of the war crimes tribunals.
The amendment was approved last Monday by the Bangladesh Cabinet and then placed in Parliament.
It was approved with a voice vote in Parliament on Sunday.
The President’s approval of the act comes on a day of nationwide strike called by the Islamist party that got lukewarm response.
The protestors at Shahbagh demanding death sentence for all the war criminals called upon people to defy the shutdown.
Leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and its affiliate organisations brought out processions in different parts of the city rejecting the strike call.
“The life remains normal during the shutdown as people have responded to the call from Shahbagh’s Ganajagaran Mancha and rejected it,” said Hanif.
Hanif also accused BNP leader Miza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir of trying to create confusion among the people by vowing to try war criminals after returning to power.
Jamaat is the key ally of the BNP.
The Acting Secretary General of the BNP on Sunday said they would ensure justice for crimes committed against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War if they return to power.
Hanif said people no longer want to see BNP in power.
He also dubbed those who want to lead the movement at Shahbagh in a different direction “Pakistan’s agents.”