There is no democracy in Bangladesh now, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has said and urged the government to let it return.
The BNP chief made the call in a statement sent to the media on Friday night where she asked for release of leaders detained in jail.
The people were ‘almost choking on the government’s fascist and undemocratic role and its criminalisation”.
The former prime minister alleged that the government was trying to shorn her party of leaders by sending them to jail in ‘false’ charges.
“They continue with the heinous act to defame the leaders,” she said.
“I urge the government to release all our leaders and activists; stop barring opposition demonstration. Open the closed door of confined democracy by showing respect to basic human rights and leaving the path of oppression,” she said in the statement.
The BNP chief said the government had been ‘denying repeatedly the fact that people are source of power’ in order to be in power for five years.
After the boycott of the last general election in 2014, the BNP enforced a three-month blockade from Jan 5, the first anniversary of the polls.
Over 100 people were burnt alive and over 1,000 were injured in petrol-bomb attacks on vehicles during the blockade.
Thousands of leaders and activists of the party, including Khaleda herself, were accused in cases over the attacks.
Many of them are in jail now. Several other senior leaders of the party are also in jail in other cases, including over killing of 24 in a grenade attack on an Awami League rally on Aug 21, 2004.
Khaleda, however, in the statement denied doing politics of terror and harbouring terrorists and said her party always called for peaceful democratic movement.
The statement mentioned 21 jailed leaders.
They included Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdus Salam Pintu, Aman Ullah Aman, Mizanur Rahman Minu, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Lutfozzaman Babar, Mozaher Ali Prodhan, Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia, Ariful Haque Chowdhury, GK Gaus, and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal President Rajib Ahsan.
Of them, former state minister for home Babar and deputy minister Pintoo are in jail in the Aug 21 case.
In a programme to mark the carnage on its 11th anniversary earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alleged that Khaleda and her son BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman were involved in the attack.
Source: Bd news24