Khaleda rejects dialogue offer; asks govt to quit
Turning down the government offer to sit for dialogue, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Saturday threatened to enforce tougher programmes like hartal, blockade and siege to force the government to quit.
“Talking to them apparently useless… it’s necessary to oust this killer government …this regime must go as people have no confidence in it. They’re killing people indiscriminately by police. We’ll have to wage a united movement to this end,” she said.
Khaleda was addressing a rally at Charigram Shahdat Ali Khan Government High School at Singair upazila organised by the upazila unit of BNP.
Khaleda further said, “There may be more loss of lives. We might face more losses, but we’ll have to take to the streets to save the country and its people.”
On her arrival at Singair around 3:30 pm from Dhaka, Khaleda went straight to the house of slain Maulana Nasiruddin and talked to his family members and consoled them.
Four people were killed and many others injured in a fierce clash between police and villagers at Gobindhal during the countrywide daylong hartal enforced by 12 Islamic and like-minded parties on February 24.
Accusing the government of committing ‘mass killing’, including the Singair one, Khaleda said a tribunal will be set up in the future to try the perpetrators. “The number one person who will be put on trial is the Prime Minister.”
Khaleda warned that they will announce a series of hartal, blockade and siege programmes if the government does not quit.
“If the government stays on, they’ll make the country a subservient state. So, today we have to vow to oust this government,” Khaleda said.
Earlier, at a press conference, Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam said the government is ready to sit for talks if the leader of the opposition agrees to take part in it.
Khaleda claimed that the government is now killing children after committing ‘mass killing’.
Turing to the dispute over the Vitamin A Plus used countrywide during a recent campaign, Khaleda Zia said, “The company that distributed the capsule belongs to Awami League joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif. It brought substandard vitamin A capsule from a foreign country that has no WHO approval. Many fell sick taking the capsules while many others died.”
Terming the Malaysian government offer for building Padma Bridge as mere eyewash, Khaleda said, “The World Bank cancelled the financing in the Padma Bridge project due to the corruption of the government. Now what the government is telling about the proposal is nothing but eyewash. This is how the government will pass time. The government won’t able to build the Padma Bridge.”
Khaleda reiterated that if BNP is voted to power, it will build two Padma bridges.
The Malaysian government on Friday formally offered investment worth US$2.3 billion to implement the Padma Bridge project, the largest-ever infrastructure project in Bangladesh.
At the rally, Khaleda wondered as to why Shamim Osman has not been arrested yet as Toki’s father said Shamim killed his son. “Newspapers ran reports that godfather of Naryanganj Shamim Osman killed Toki as his father worked for Selina Hayat Ivy during the last city corporation polls. But police haven’t yet arrested him.”
Toki, son of Rafiur Rabbi of Narayanganj, a local leader of Ganajagaran Mancha, was found dead in the Shitalakhya River on March 8.
“There’s no government in the country. One set of laws is there for the ruling party while another set for the opposition. The judiciary is not working independently,“ Khaleda alleged.
Khaleda once again came down heavily on Shahbagh protesters by branding them as anti-religious elements. “They are anti-religious elements. The government is operating the movement to hide its failures. They aren’t the part of the youth as the real youths are not with them.”
The Shahbagh protest is being run with government patronage and under police protection by blocking roads, causing sufferings to people, Khaleda said.
She also called the government anti-religion one ‘as it doesn’t believe in any religion’. “Though the government talks about secularism, they’re anti-religion. Confusion is there whether they are Muslims,” she added.
Khaleda went on: “No one — no matter which religion he or she belongs to — is safe in the hands of the government. The ruling party men are capturing religious establishments of the minorities. On the other hand, police are killing people indiscriminately when they protest the abusive remarks of the Prophet (PBUH),” Khaleda said.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, joint secretary general Barkat Ullah Bulu, among others, addressed the rally held with Mainul Islam Khan in the chair.