Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Khaleda vows to try Hasina

Accuses govt of 'genocide' again; warns of hartal on Mar 18-19; BNP briefs foreign diplomats

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said those responsible for the recent “genocide” in the country, including the prime minister, would be tried if her party returns to power.
She said her government would then form tribunals to try the police personnel who had been involved in the genocide.
“The prime minister [Sheikh Hasina] is guilty of crimes against humanity. From the government’s number one to all responsible for killing 170 people across the country would be tried for committing crimes against humanity,” said Khaleda while addressing a rally in front of BNP central office in the capital’s Nayapaltan area in the afternoon.
Referring to the Shahbagh movement, she said the government on the one hand was firing bullets on BNP rallies, and on the other hand guarding and feeding atheists and bidhormis [infidels] to divert people’s attention from its failures.
She urged the government to refrain from forming so-called platforms [mancha-fancha] and said, “It [govt] will not find the escape when people will form their own mancha.”
The leader of the opposition yesterday went to visit her party’s central office to have a firsthand experience of the aftermath of Monday’s police raid.
Flanked by top party leaders, the BNP chairperson entered the office around 5:47pm. She visited the rooms on the second, third and fourth floors.
About 20 minutes later, she came to the balcony of the first floor and addressed hundreds of leaders and activists gathered on Nayapaltan Road.
In her 13-minute speech, Khaleda also demanded that the government release all detained opposition leaders today. She called upon her party men to enforce hartals on March 18 and 19 across the country if the leaders are not released.
The BNP chief also asked police to refrain from arresting her party men. She said, “Otherwise, you [police] will have to face dreadful consequences. Don’t shoot on every word.”
“Your [police's] salaries come from people’s taxes. Therefore, you will have to answer one day. And answers will not be enough, you will be tried in tribunals for committing genocide,” she added.
Referring to countrywide attacks on religious minorities, she alleged that the government had carried out the attacks and repressed minorities to divert people’s attention from its failures and corruption.
Amid thunderous claps from BNP leaders and activists, she said the government would have to take the responsibilities of the attacks on minorities, as it was the government’s men who attacked them.
Khaleda said she had given party leaders and activists directions to protect the religious minorities.
She also reiterated that if her party comes to power, it would try those who had committed crimes against humanity [during the Liberation War of 1971] and it would be transparent and of international standard.
“There are many razakars in the Awami League-led government. “Even the now home minister [Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir] was a big Razakar [collaborator of Pakistan occupation army in 1971],” she added.
Khaleda further said the very foundation of the government had shaken and it was looking to escape after massive plundering over the last four years.
“But you [govt] won’t be let go. We will observe tougher programmes like hartals and sieges in the coming days,” she warned.
She asked her party men to undergo sufferings now, as a sweet future was waiting.
The BNP chief also accused police of vandalism and looting money and important documents from BNP office during the March 11 raid.
“As per their earlier plan, police themselves planted cocktails inside BNP headquarters and later blamed party leaders and activists for those,” she alleged, adding, “We do politics, not bombing.”
Lambasting law enforcers, she said they [police] had started looting and killing people instead of serving.
Addressing the government she said, “There is still time. Step down and hand over power to a caretaker government for a free and fair election, or else the people will make you go.”
Meanwhile, the Dhaka district unit BNP yesterday threatened to enforce daylong shutdown in the district on March 21, if the government does not release the arrested BNP men by March 20.
Unit President Abdul Mannan said this at a press briefing at the BNP central office.
Leaders of pro-BNP Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh yesterday demanded unconditional release of the BNP leaders, including their secretary general AZM Zahid Hossain.