BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Tuesday alleged that the ruling party men are indulging in extortion in all markets and shopping malls across the country, including Dhaka, with the backing of the government.
"The New Market incident ensued because of the extortion of those who rule this country and the thugs of the illegitimate government," he said.
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Speaking at a rally, the BNP leader also said, “Who are extorting money from all the markets across Bangladesh, including Dhaka city? Those who belong to the ruling party and its associate bodies are extorting money with the backing of the government.”
BNP’s Dhaka south and north city units arranged the rally in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding the release of arrested party leader Makbul Hossain and withdrawal of ‘false cases’ filed by police in connection with the bloody clashes in the city’s New Market area.
At least 40 people were injured as a group of Dhaka College students and shopkeepers in the New Market area fought pitched battles last week.
Later, two injured people—computer accessories delivery man Nahid Hasan and shop employee Morsalin--died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Five cases were filed in connection with the violence while police arrested former New Market thana BNP President Makbul Hossain in this connection.
Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member said the ruling party-backed extortionists are responsible for the violence in the New Market area that claimed the lives of two people.
“The shopkeepers of New Market put up a resistance against extortion while the cadres wearing helmets killed people to suppress this resistance. It’s now people's question as to why no case is filed against them (ruling party men). But our leader Makbul was arrested and put on remand as he has an only fault that he owns a shop in New Market,” he said.
The BNP leader demanded the government immediately arrest the real perpetrators and put them on trial.
He called upon the government to release BNP leader Makbul Hossain and withdraw the false cases filed against their party leaders and activists.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is now under ‘misrule’ of the Awami League government, Mosharraf said ousting the current ‘usurper’ government is the only option to get rid of it. "The fascist and despotic government of Sheikh Hasina must quit power. We all have to take to the streets in a greater way to make it happen."