Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia on Saturday lambasted the government for what she said mishandling the rescue operation at the Rana Plaza tragedy site, causing huge casualties.
“The government has failed to save lives. Had the government been able to begin the rescue operation in time, many lives could have been saved. Though there were offers from abroad to help expedite the rescue operation, the government didn’t avail of that,” she said.
The BNP chief came up with the allegations while addressing a mammoth rally of the BNP-led 18-party alliance at the city’s Shapla Chattar.
Khaleda further said: “Local people came forward spontaneously during the Rana Plaza rescue operation and saved many lives. But the government didn’t give proper information about the causalities in the country’s biggest-ever human tragedy in the garment sector.”
Khaleda came down hard on the government for not observing mourning day in honour of those killed in the tragic incident. “The government only delivered lip service. On one hand, they declared the national mourning day and kept everything operational, including the Jatiya Sangsad, on the other.”
“The government observes public holidays on the birth and death anniversaries of a particular person. But why a holiday was not declared during the morning day marking the Savar tragedy. The government must answer this,” she told the rally.
Earlier, Khaleda Zia arrived at the rally venue around 3.50pm amid roaring slogans and clapping by the alliance leaders and activists.
The rally began with recitation from the holy Quran around 2:05pm with BNP’s Dhaka city unit convener Sadeque Hossain Khoka in the chair.
A special munajat was also offered seeking salvation of the departed souls of those killed in the Savar tragedy and early recovery of those injured in the incident.
The rally spilled over on to RK Mission Road, Dainik Bangla Crossing, Arambagh and Dilkusha areas and nearby roads with the opposition activists chanting slogans all around against the government and in favour of restoration of the caretaker government.
BNP Standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, ASM Hannan Shah, MK Anwar, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Jamiruddin Sircar, acting Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Mokbul Ahmed, LDP president Oli Ahmed, BJP chairman Andalib Rahman Partha, Kalyan Party chairman Maj Gen (retd) Mohammad Ibrahim, Jagpa president Shafiul Alam Prodhan, Khelafat Majlish chairman Maulana Ishak, Islami Oilya Jote president Abdul Latif Nejami and Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam secretary general Mufi Mohammad Wakkas, among others, addressed the rally.
On April 27, the alliance announced the programme to register its protest against the Savar tragedy and press home their various demands, including restoration of the caretaker government system.