Vol. 5 Num 536 Tue. November 29, 2005  

Militants patronised to cling to power
Former army chief tells Rangpur rally

Former chief of army staff and Awami League Advisory Council member Mostafizur Rahman yesterday alleged that the BNP-Jamaat government is acting on a 'blueprint' to cling to power by eliminating pro-liberation force.

The government is patronising militants who are killing leaders and activists of progressive political parties. "Their aim is to cling to power at the cost of the country and its people".

They even do not care when Bangladesh is going to be branded as a country of terrorists and fundamentalists abroad, he told a rally organised in the town to protest alleged inaction by law enforcers in nabbing activists of JMB (Jama'atul Mujahideen, Bangladesh) and other Islamist militants.

Organised by the local unit of 14-party opposition alliance, the rally held at the court square was followed by a procession in the town.

Mostafiz said the August 17 serial bomb blasts across the country was unprecedented in the world but the government was unmoved. A ruling party lawmaker was expelled from his party for protesting governments inaction in arresting militants responsible for the blasts, he said.

This proves that a section in the ruling alliance is protecting the Islamist militants who are behind the August 17 blasts and such incidents earlier.

Mostafiz also alleged that certain quarters are trying to destroy documents recovered from a JMB den in Noorpur in Rangpur town last week so that the culprits can not be arrested.

The rally, presided over by Gonotantrik Party central leader Mohammad Afzal, was addressed by, among others, AL central leader Sharfuddin Ahmed Jhontu, JSD (Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal) central leader Dr. Ekramul Hoque Swapan and Rangpur Awami League secretary Elias Ahmed.

Mostafiz said it is unbelievable that the chiefs of JMB and JMJB can not be arrested while newspapers at times run stories on their whereabouts. The militant kingpins are under the protection of some ruling party men, he claimed.

Dr. Ekramul Swapan alleged that police are inactive in arresting JMB militants despite recovery of important documents from the house in Noorpur.

He said BNP leaders should realise that militant activities done allegedly under the sheltered of a partner in the ruling coalition is hastening its downfall. It is losing public support.

The leaders called upon the people to participate in opposition agitation programmes in a massive way to hasten fall of the government.