Vol. 5 Num 663 Sun. April 09, 2006  

Arrest of Militant Kingpins
Free edn up to degree level if voted to power: Hasina

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the BNP-Jamaat alliance government has been distorting the history of the liberation war and teaching false history to children, destroying the moral fibre of new generation.

"Those who are distorting history will be treated as criminals and the day is not far off when the people of the country will bring them to book," she said.

The AL chief was addressing a prize giving ceremony of the National Cultural Competition 2006, organised by Bangabandhu Shishu Kishore Mela, in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi in the city.

Referring to the militancy issue, Hasina, also the Leader of the Opposition, demanded that the arrested militant kingpins be interrogated by the Interpol officials.

As Interpol issued warrants for the arrest of Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai, they must be interrogated by the Interpol to identify their patrons and sources of finance and arms and ammunitions, she said.

She also said the militancy would not be eliminated unless the alliance government arrests all the followers of Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai.

Accusing the prime minister of harbouring the militant kingpins, Hasina called for immediate arrest of all militants to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the children and restore the image of the country.

She urged the parents and teachers not to teach distorted history to the children.

She also urged the prime minister not to teach false history to her (PM) grandchildren, what the AL chief said, as one day they would come to know that their grandmother was a liar.

Hasina, also a former prime minister, said the goals for which the country was liberated have not been attained in the last 35 years.

"The literacy rate could not be raised to 100 percent in 35 years," she said, adding that if the father of the nation had been alive today, poverty would have been eliminated and a single person would not have remained uneducated.

Hasina said the previous AL government had taken various measurers to raise the literacy rate, which stood at 66 percent during its regime, but the alliance government has not taken any step to increase it.

The AL chief alleged that the prime minister and her family members have looted thousands of crores of taka in the last four years.

Although the prime minister speaks of development, Hasina said, the people did not witness any development. Rather, they experienced price hike of essentials and crises of power, fuel, gas, water and fertiliser, she added.

"Only the family of the prime minister amassed a huge fortune by plundering public property," Hasina said.

She pledged that her party would remove illiteracy from the country and make education free up to degree level for both boys and girls, if her party is again voted to power.

"We will take appropriate measures to portray Bangladesh to the world as a developed country, a country of educated people and a country free from terrorism, corruption, militancy and misrule," she added.

"Bangabandhu was killed when the country's economy has just started to grow," Hasina said. She also held the war criminals inside the government responsible for the killing of Bangabandhu.

She also criticised the four-party alliance government for widespread corruption in every sector.

Earlier, Hasina distributed prizes among the winners of the cultural competitions.

Presided over by Bangabandhu Shishu Kishore Mela President Miah Munsef, the programme was also attended by AL's Acting General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Mela General Secretary Shirin Akther Manju, advisors to the organisation Mohammad Zahirul Haque, Zahir Kazi and Mir Mosharraf Hossain.