Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday slammed chief justice SK Sinha for comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan.
Addressing a function coinciding with the anniversary of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack, Hasina said that Justice Sinha should have quit before making such comparison and defaming parliament.
‘I will tell one word that everything could be tolerated, but comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan cannot be acceptable, she said.
Hasina sought people to judge the comparison with Pakistan posing a question why ‘Bangladesh would be compared with Pakistan and Pakistani prime minister.’
She said, ‘There would be no benefit in giving me such a threat.’
The prime minister said that usurping state power would not be allowed further in Bangladesh and ‘if anybody tries to do it, s/he must face trial according to Article 7 of the constitution.’
She said that the verdict scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution contained many contradictions while the chief justice raised question about electing women parliament members in the reserved seats.
According to parliamentary system, the president is elected by the parliament members including women lawmakers while the president appoints the chief justice, she said.
She said that if the women lawmakers were not elected, how the president would be elected.
‘When you [chief justice] make criticism in this regard, you will have to accept the other … so you should have stepped down before making such a comment,’ she said.
The discussion at the Krishibid Institution was joined by cabinet members, prime minister’s advisers, senior leaders of the ruling Awami League and AL-backed alliance and family members of the martyrs and those injured in the August 21 grenade attack.
Twenty-four people including the then president of Mohila Awami League Ivy Rahman, also late president Zillur Rahman’s wife, were killed and over 500 others suffered splinter injuries in the barbaric attack and many of them became crippled for life.
The attack was carried out at an anti-extremism rally of Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka on August 21, 2004 visibly.
Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack but sustained hearing impairment due to the impact of the repeated grenade blasts near the truck-dais of the public rally.
Earlier, the prime minister paid homage to the martyrs of the August 21 carnage by placing wreaths on a makeshift memorial in front of the Krishibid Institution.
Earlier, a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs of the August 15, 1975 carnage, four top Awami League leaders killed inside jail and martyrs of the August 21 massacre.
AL Advisory Council Members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Syed Ashraful Islam and general secretary Obaidul Quader, Workers Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president Hasanul Huq Inu, Bangladesh Tariqat Federation president Alhaj Najibul Bashar Maizbhandari, JSD faction executive president Moinuddin Khan Badal, Samyabadi Dal general secretary Dilip Barua, AL organising secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim and writer Imdadul Haque Milon, among others, spoke on the occasion.
AL publicity secretary Hasan Mahmood and deputy publicly secretary Aminul Islam Amin conducted the meeting.
The prime minister said that Sheikh Mujib had incorporated provisions for reserved seats for women in the constitution as he believed in women’s empowerment. ‘Our government has raised the number of women lawmakers in the reserved seats to 50,’ she said.
Electoral college, law makers elected directly to parliament, elect female lawmakers and it is a democratic system and made as per the constitution, she said.
Hasina said that there were many contradictions in the verdict. ‘I am going through the verdict and taking notes. By the grace of the Almighty, I could say in the Jatiya Sangsad.’
The prime minister said that comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan was very insulting. ‘So I seek justice from the people as their court is the biggest one and none could ignore it,’ she said.
She said that Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in the liberation war. Many collaborated with Pakistan in the war and that collaborator group grabbed power after August 15, 1975.
The prime minister said that Sheikh Mujib had liberated the country, while her government gave institutional shape to all organisations. ‘There is a word that independence is good but it is not good for boys. So we don’t expect behaviour like a boy,’ she said.
Hasina said, ‘The country is marching ahead and we want that the trend of development continues in Bangladesh and it would be kept ongoing if Awami League and the pro-liberation forces stay in power.’
She said that the country would not advance further if the anti-liberation forces like Razakar, al-Badr and Peace Committee members came to power. ‘We have seen it in 21 years after 1975 … we don’t want the people to suffer again,’ she said.
Source: New Age