Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday urged the government to try to understand people’s voice and to release the party chairperson Khaleda Zia without any delay.
Addressing a rally organised by BNP at Hemayet Uddin Eidgah Maidan in Barishal city as part of divisional-level rallies demanding imprisoned Khaleda’s release, which, Fakhrul alleged, the government had granted autocrat HM Ershad, one who killed democracy and the integrity of the state.
Thousands of BNP leaders and activists from different districts in Barishal region carrying banners and festoons demanded release of Khaleda and other party leaders and activists across the country as they joined the rally with processions and chanting slogans. Khaleda is now in jail since February 8, 2018 when a Dhaka court convicted her in a graft case.
Though the rally began around 4:30pm, the processions began to reach the venue since noon. The gathering engulfed the entire Maidan and its surrounding areas.
Mentioning people’s sufferings, lack of rule of law, absence of democracy and people’s cry for justice, he urged the people to be united to achieve their demands.
He also asked the government to ‘try to understand people’s voice. Call the opposition parties to discuss to find out a way to solve the problems peacefully and in a democratic way.’
‘I will ask the government to release deshnetri (Khaleda) withourt any delay. If otherwise, you will not be able to survive,’ he warned the government.
He said that BNP expressed its condolences at the death of HM Ershad as he was the chairman of a party. ‘But it is true that democracy was destroyed during his tenure. It is true that many of our people and students were killed during his government. He was ousted from power through people’s movement,’ he said.
He claimed that AL, by compromising with Ershad and forming alliance with them, has taken a stand against people by conspiring against democracy.
He criticised the government and said that Ershad was given state honour and Khaleda, who fought for democracy and remained confined in the hands of Pakistani army in 1971, is kept in jail.
Fakhrul said that AL, after assuming power in 1972, established one party rule by introducing BKSAL and now was trying to introduce one party rule by using state machinery and destroying all the state institutions.
He said the government had stood against common people and gave the 2019-20 financial year budget to increase taxes and prices of electricity and gas.
The BNP secretary general said that the government was increasing the salaries and allowances of government employees as they want to remain in power using them and by depriving the common people.
He criticised lack of justice and deteriorating law and order situation in the country. ‘We are even seeing murder in the courtroom,’ he added.
He said that if this government remained in power for long, people would lose their rights and the country would become a failed state.
Fakhrul urged the government to cancel the 11th parliamentary election and hold national election immediately under a neutral government.
Presided over by BNP joint secretary general and Barishal city president Advocate Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, the rally was addressed by Standing committee members Begum Selima Rahman, Iqbal Hasan Tuku, vice-chairman Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Shahjahan Omar and Jaynal Abedin, among others
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