BNP on Wednesday urged Indian Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw his ‘irresponsible’ comments accusing the party of carrying out repression on minorities during its rule.
“Amit Shah has made disgusting remarks accusing BNP of oppressing minorities in Bangladesh. He also said the persecution of minorities increased greatly during BNP’s period. Amit Shah’s remarks are devoid of truth,” said BNP senior secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said. “We turn down with hatred Amit Shah’s irresponsible comments. We strongly condemn it, and call upon him to withdraw his baseless allegation.”
While speaking in Lok Sabha on the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, Shah criticised the BNP government and listed a number of instances of gang-rape of Hindu women and attacks on Hindu houses and temples in October, 2001.
Rizvi said the interests of minorities were protected here during BNP’s government while the minorities were more or less tortured during the Awami League government.
“BNP believes in communal harmony and rights of all citizens to independently follow their respective religions. We also don’t believe in minority-majority concept based on religion,” he observed.
About filing of a case against 12 people, including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, by Jananetri Parishad president AB Siddique, Rizvi said the case was filed on ‘false and fabricated’ charges at the behest of the government.
He strongly protested and condemned the filing of the case against the BNP leaders, and demanded immediate withdrawal of it.
The BNP leader said AB Siddique is a perverted person who used to file cases one after another against BNP leaders on fabricated and bizarre charges as per the directives of the government only to harass them.
BNP senior leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury on Wednesday said their party will intensify its movement to free Khaleda Zia if she is denied bail by the Appellate Division on Thursday.
“People are keeping their eyes on the Appellate Division as it’ll give order on Khaleda Zia’s bail petition tomorrow (Thursday). As per the precedence in such cases, there’s no scope to deny her bail if the rule of law prevails,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, ‘If Begum Zia is not granted bail by depriving her of her legal rights, people will execute their decision of strengthening the movement to have her freed.”
A faction of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, demanding the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Khosru, a BNP standing committee member, said the report of people is more important than the medical one. “Try to understand the report of people. They want to see her freed.”
The BNP leader also warned the government that it will face the ouster like that of autocratic ruler HM Ershad if it fails to realise the sentiment of people.
He also said people are determined to take to the streets to ‘restore’ democracy in the country ensuring the fall of the current government.
On Thursday last, the Appellate Division deferred until December 12 (tomorrow) the hearing on Khaleda’s bail petition in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
The court also asked the medical board, formed by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to treat Khaleda Zia, to submit a report on her health condition within December 12. The board failed to present the report on December 5 as per the directive given on November 28.
Khaleda has been in jail after being convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said there is no place in their party for those who behave like landlords driving dedicated leaders into a corner.
“Those who assume leadership role must work for the welfare of people, not for making their own fortunes,” he said while attending the triennial conference of the district unit of Awami League.
Quader, also the Road, Transport and Bridges Minister, said there is no place in the party for those also who invite corrupt elements, terrorists, extortionists and tender manipulators.
He said no polluted blood will have the space in the party as they are working to infuse fresh blood into it.
Urging the party leaders for making a fresh vow to make Awami League as a party of clean image, the minister invited all leaders and activists to join the purge launched by Sheikh Hasina.
Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday said those who deprive people of their rights are “criminals and dacoits”.
“Those who deprive me of the rule of law and the constitutional and basic rights are criminals and dacoits. No-one can be a bigger robber than those who robbed people of their voting and basic rights, Brand them as robbers,” he said.
Dr Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, came up with the remarks while speaking at a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Human Rights Monitoring Council at the Jatiya Press Club, marking the International Human Rights Day.
He also said the government can pick him up if it wants for calling it “dacoit”.
The Oikyafront chief warned Awami League not to show arrogance as power is not permanent for any party. “I would like to ask you to be fully respectful to people’s rights and obey the constitution.”
Stating that people are the owners of power and the country, he urged all to get united to restore their rights. “No-one has the right to deprive us. We’ll get united and punish those deprive us of our rights. We’ll surely enjoy our rights.”
Dr Kamal also called upon people to hold meetings at every locality to organise people to restore their rights, including that freedom of expression. “Freedom fighters have given us the right of expressing our views independently, and we’ll have to restore that right.”
Mentioning that the Liberation War took place to establish democracy in the country, he said democracy means people will freely enjoy their rights.
Dr Kamal said Pakistanis and autocrats in Bangladesh had to pay heavy prices as they could not realise that the Bangali do not accept unfairness. “If anyone now thinks of hanging onto power unfairly, it won’t be possible.”
BNP picked Abu Sufian, party’s Chattogram south district unit convener, as its candidate to contest the Chattogram-8 by-election.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came up with the announcement after the party nomination board took interviews of nomination seekers at its chairperson’s Gulshan office.
“We’re taking part in this election to maintain the democratic continuity. Three aspirants sought our party’s nomination to contest the Chattogram-8 by-election, and they all are our important leaders. Our nomination board decided to nominate Abu Sufian who was also our candidate in the 2018 election.”
Fakhrul urged the Election Commission to hold the by-election in a credible manner. “People can get back their confidence a bit in the election system if the Commission at least holds this election fairly.”
Earlier, BNP nomination board, comprising its standing committee members, interviewed Abu Sufian and two other party’s Chattogram unit leader-- Mostak Ahmed and Ershadullah.
On Monday night, Awami League nominated its Chattogram south district unit president Moslem Uddin Ahmed as the candidate of the party for the by-polls.
The by-election to the parliamentary seat (Boalkhali), which fell vacant following the death of Moin Uddin Khan Badal, will be held on January 13 next.
As per the schedule, the deadline for the submission of nomination paper is December 12, while the date for scrutinising the nomination papers is December 15 and the last date for the withdrawal of candidacy is December 22.
Moin Uddin Khan Badal, the executive president of a faction of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Jasod), was elected MP with Awami League’s symbol ‘Boat’ in the last general election. He died at a hospital in Bangalore, India on November 7 at the age of age of 67.