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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
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Time 4 days

Khaleda tells govt; asks it to find Ilias by Saturday or face tougher programmes from Sunday; hails Sohel Taj

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday issued a four-day ultimatum to the government to locate Ilias Ali and his driver, or her party will go for tougher agitation from Sunday.

The main opposition party will stage demonstrations across the country on Thursday and at all upazila headquarters on Saturday, she said.

The former prime minister was addressing a crowded press conference at her Gulshan office yesterday evening after the end of third consecutive dawn-to-dusk hartal.

“There is no scope to stop the movement. We have showed great patience. We have lost many of our leaders and workers. Many lives have met untimely ends, but not anymore. Tougher agitation will start from Sunday,” Khaleda warned.

The BNP will announce its next course of action on Saturday.

Asked about the possibility of getting back Ilias alive, Khaleda said she was hopeful and the government must return the leader immediately.

It was her first formal appearance before the media after Ilias Ali, one of the organising secretaries of the party and former lawmaker, along with his driver went missing in the early hours of April 18.

Ilias' wife Tahsina Rushdir Luna and three children were also present.

The statement Khaleda read out at the press meet touched on railwaygate scandal and resignation of ruling party lawmaker Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj.

The BNP chief said it was unconstitutional that the prime minister kept Sohel Taj on salary even after his resignation as state minister. “Finally, Sohel has stepped down as a lawmaker to retain his dignity. And I thank him for that.”

Khaleda alleged that the administration and law enforcement agencies had been making up stories since Sheikh Hasina said “Ilias went into hiding at Khaleda Zia's suggestion”.

Asking the government to stop “killings and forced disappearances”, the former premier said, “The country has become a Moger Mulluk [a land of anarchy]. It is now under a dictatorship. People are in a state of panic over disappearances. They are filled with apprehensions. Things must change.”

Hasina alone was to blame for this situation, as it was the result of her whims and autocratic attitude, Khaleda alleged.

Expressing sympathy for the families of the two drivers killed in last three shutdowns, she said the government had created chaos by deploying ruling party cadres to repress the opposition activists.

The BNP chief demanded release of all leaders and workers arrested during the last three days.

She said the prime minister had rewarded corruption by reinstating Suranjit Sengupta as minister without having him take the oath. Suranjit had resigned amid widespread criticism after his APS was caught with bribe money.

Khaleda claimed the foreign media published a list of 100 BNP leaders who were targets of abduction or murder; even a secret killing squad was formed for this purpose. She, however, did not go into details.

BNP standing committee members and senior leaders, including acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were present at the conference.

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If someone pretends sleeping, its very hard to make him/her awaken. Time is not a big factor at such case.

: Sengupta,Canada

Two drivers died during the hartal are not less precious than Ilias. They were the breadwinner of their family. Khaleda should look after those families. If tougher programmes bring back Ilias alive we vouch it. But Khaleda should cogitate hand-to-mouth persons who are most vulnerable people in our country. Khaleda and Hasina's hard-nose mentality would cost the all walk of people lives.

: Nasirullah Mridha,USA


  • Drishti
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:34 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    I wish our leaders had same level of concern for common citizens just as they have for Ilas Ali.

  • upfront
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:50 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Hopefully four days are enough for the peace loving citizen to prepare themselves for the unknown destination; a tougher program is coming as told by the opposition leader. The condition for recovery of Ilias Ali without any help from any quarters is a political wish which will never succeed. I hope the opposition is not progressing with day to day events but has complete program to unseat the government and firstly find out Ilias Ali followed by formation of the caretaker government of their design.

    What a wonderful achievement by the BNP which they could not achieve during war of liberation having invisible dubious role to work from within. I keep crossing my fingers for any eventuality getting the feeling that a total civil disorders might be in place making the life and earnings of the ordinary citizens panicky, fearful and keeping the politics and democracy in vacuum. The only plus point I can see now that the people would clearly know and identify who believes in secular and democratic Bangladesh and supported the war of liberation .

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 01:08 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Madam, the BNP & AL are the same. Rotationally both the parties rule over Bangladesh but there is no qualitative change to political environment. The suffering of general people has gone out of control. The BNP & AL both should understand that political tool hartal hurts everyone and mainly the general people but not the political leaders because they call hartal and stay to safe place but ordinary people die or suffer. Please give programmes which is very specific and effective like agitation, human chain, procession, carrying black badge & hunger strike. Please no hartal anymore.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:09 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Madam, go on but no more hartal please.

  • Razib
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:58 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    It would be better giving hands to govt. to find Ilias Ali instead of interrupting the govt. in its activities for finding the missing person. Stop whimsical act like hartal and join govt. to find him.

  • Truth Teller
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 03:32 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    My plea to both Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, please spare the lives of poor innocent Bangladeshi people. They are fed up with both of you, your parties and your dynastic politics. They are fed up with your lack of respect for the constitution and the laws of the land. Both of you have failed the country and its people. Both of you have caused immense harm to Bangladesh and sufferings to its people. The people of Bangladesh cannot wait to see the political nightmare of the last forty-one years ending soon. They want to start the dream of their political and economic freedom afresh. They want to see flourishing democracy in Bangladesh and peace and prosperity in their lives.

  • sharif
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:08 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Please stop dawn to dusk shut down on 29 April. We have to attend in exam.

  • Anonymous
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:12 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Definitely the opposition does not have any alternative to press its demand. The opposition should have raised the matter actively until the peoples lives are saved and secured. Disappearance, killing, kidnapping, ransom are regular phenomenon in which eight months old child was not got rid of kidnap by miscreants. The nation simply pale and voiceless in observing and experiencing the whole situation of the society in which state is absolutely fail to provide security of the peoples' lives and properties. Citizens are living with great fear, distress and sleeping with tension. Even, we are not assured of sending our children to educational institutes or elsewhere. It seems that we are living in a cave of the miscreants for which we are always afraid of losing lives and properties in each moment.

  • Robin
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:40 AM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    How do you know for sure the govt is behind his disappearance. Why should the poor people suffer because of some politically motivated issues? I would have a lot of respect for you if you had the same feelings for the 2 men that died.

  • habib
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:19 PM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh wants a change!

  • deimos fabiano
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:23 PM GMT+06:00 (198 weeks ago)

    Tougher agitation is needed to force the govt. change their behavior. Law and order situation has hit the bottom of spittoon!





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