Bangladesh Nationalist Party senior leader Abdullah Al Noman on Monday said that despite its leaders and activists being victims of enforced disappearances and targeted and extrajudicial killings, the party wanted votes just to avoid conflicts.
‘Our backs are against the wall, but we want peace, we want to avoid conflicts’, said Noman, a vice-chairman of BNP, while speaking at a discussion at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
‘We don’t want bloodshed anymore for establishing democracy,’ he said, ‘but you [Awami League] have to ensure a free and fair polls to pave a smoother path towards democracy,’ he said.
The discussion was organised by Bangladesh Youth Forum to observe the sixth anniversary of disappearance of BNP organising secretary Ilias Ali.
Ilias went missing in Dhaka along with his chauffeur Ansar on the night of April 17, 2012. His family and BNP have been blaming the government for his disappearance, claiming that it was a law enforcement agency that had picked
Noman said that the ruling party leaders, including prime minter Sheikh Hasina, have no escape route but to hold a free and fair election.
‘They could be forgiven for their repressions only at the cost of establishing democracy through polls,’ he said, adding that the elections should be
overseen by a neutral government.
Noman said that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia should be freed from prison because of her struggle for voting rights and establishing democracy in the country. ‘Every citizen knows that Khaleda Zia is jailed for politics, not for mere Tk 2 crore,’ he said.
Khaleda was jailed on February 8 in a graft case, dubbed by BNP as ‘politically motivated’.
BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said that the list of the BNP leaders and activists who were victims of enforced disappearances and murders was
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