Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked for the countrymen’s vigilance against recurrence of violence waged by BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami during 2013-2015 killing some 500 innocent people and wounding over 3,500 others in the name of so-called ‘movement’.
‘I only urge the countrymen not to forget those dreadful days (of 2013-15),’ she said while addressing an exhibition and discussion on the 2013-2015 nationwide violence when BNP and Jamaat waged a violent anti-government campaign enforcing a countrywide blockade.
The prime minister added, ‘Remain alert against recurrence of those days ever.’
She said that the BNP-Jamaat alliance started killing of people in the name of movements as about 500 people were burnt to death while over 3,500 others were injured.
The prime minister said that her government tried its best to stand by the victims with providing all necessary support including treatment, adding that it is impossible to erase the sufferings and pain of losing the near and dear ones.
She said, ‘I realise your pain and I am telling you (who lost loved ones) to see us (me and my sister Sheikh Rehana) as we have lost everything (father, mother, brothers and sisters-in-law) on a single day.’
The prime minister reiterated her vow to punish the culprits which had already started and stand by the victims and family members of the deceased at her best.
A video documentary titled ‘Woe of Fire-terrorism: Partial Scenario of BNP-Jamaat’s Fire-terrorism, Anarchy and Human Rights Violation’ was screened at the programme organised by the Awami League at the National Museum auditorium in the capital’s Shahbagh area.
The prime minister inquired about the injured persons and relatives of deceased in the BNP-Jamaat alliance’s firebomb attacks and heard their agonies with patience.
Some of the victims and relatives of the deceased were seen bursting into tears while speaking about their miseries on the occasion.
They demanded exemplary punishment to the BNP-Jamaat culprits for killing and injuring innocent people by resorting to nationwide inhuman attacks.
Information and broadcasting minister and AL’s joint general secretary Hasan Mahmud was present at the programme moderated by Asaduzzaman Noor, MP.
The members of foreign missions, cabinet members and senior Awami League leaders were present.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, reiterated that her party had no objection if anyone wanted to do politics in a fair manner.
‘If anyone attacks commoners (like 2013-15), they will not be spared. It can’t be tolerated and no human being can tolerate it,’ she said.
The prime minister said that every person irrespective of party and opinion had the right to live independently and beautifully, adding that, ‘It is our duty to do so and we’re pursuing that.’
She said that she could not understand how the people could support the BNP-Jamaat that killed innocent people with petrol bomb in the name of movement.
Sheikh Hasina said that the BNP started arson terrorism in the name of so-called movement soon after ‘we had been able to establish democracy in the country through long struggle and tried to ensure socio-economic advancement of the people after assuming office’.
The Awami League chief said that after assuming power in 2001, BNP attacked houses of Awami League leaders, activists and supporters and conducted inhuman torture including rape like the Pakistani occupation forces of 1971.
‘They (BNP-Jamaat alliance) did it time and again during 2013-15 (in the name of a movement to oust the AL government). How can one kill people by setting fire on buses? Is it movement? We never saw it earlier,’ she said.
The prime minister added she started movement from her childhood and did movements against all the military dictators such as Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Ziaur Rahman.
‘But, we even think in dream to wage movement by killing people with arson and petrol bomb. BNP had announced strike and hartal and started killings of the people,’ she said.
The prime minister reassured the countrymen that the people who ordered the massacres would be punished saying the trials in the cases of the arson attacks were now going on and none of them would be spared.
She said that Bangladesh had witnessed 19 to 20 coups after the killing of Bangladesh’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975 while military dictator Ziaur Rahman killed hundreds of armed forces officers and sepoys in the name of trial.
The relatives of the officers and soldiers killed by Zia even did not get bodies of their near and dear ones, she added.
‘Continuation of it (by the BNP and its clique) went on day after day,’ she said, adding that her party is working with a target to give the countrymen a decent and beautiful life as dreamt by the country’s founding president.
She added, ‘We do politics for the welfare of the people. We are working for ensuring people to live with peace and giving them a developed and beautiful life.’