Bangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday opposed the government’s reported move to give police the magistracy power to force people to wear masks as he thinks it may boomerang, causing harassment to common people.
‘This government has turned the country into a police state. Police are now being given magistracy power to control the pandemic, which will be a boomerang as we know what the police will do. It’ll only help increase the harassment of common people,’ he said.
The BNP leader came up with the comment while talking to reporters at his local residence in the district town.
According to media reports, the government is considering giving police the magistracy power by amending the Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Eradication) Act-2018 to force people to mask up in a bid to contain the Covid-19 transmission.
Fakhrul alleged that the government has completely 'failed' to tackle the corona situation. ‘The mismanagement in dealing with the pandemic the government has exhibited its failure and incompetence.’
The BNP leader said their party has long been calling upon the government to involve other political parties, NGOs and social organisations in corona control activities, but the government has not paid heed to it.
He said the main target of the government’s corona prevention activities is to indulge in corruption. ‘People are suffering because of corruption and plundering by the government.’
The BNP leader said the government could never take any right step to slow down the coronavirus transmission. ‘Their indifference, ignorance and corruption are the main reasons behind the current corona situation in the country.’
He also said the government enforced lockdown and kept the public transport services suspended during the eid without any proper plan to control the movement of the holidaymakers. ‘People went to their village homes in many ways facing serious ordeals.’
‘Had the public transport services been resumed before the eid, people could have gone to their homes smoothly. Now people are returning to their workplaces the same way. This is the ultimate failure of the government,’ the BNP leader observed.
Fakhrul said the government asked people to stay indoors by enforcing the lockdown without taking any step to ensure food for the poor, destitute and the day labourers. ‘In other countries of the world, the governments sent grants to the low-income people and day-labourers during the lockdown.’
The BNP leader said the government mainly enforced the lockdown to carry out a crackdown on the opposition activists and the dissent.
He said their party urged the government to provide the helpless people with a one-time grant of Tk 15,000 for three months. ‘There're two crore people in the country who live below the poverty line while about six crore people work in the informal sector. These six crore people have not been brought under stimulus packages. Incentives have been given to garment owners and the owners of industries.’
The BNP leader said their party also proposed giving remittance earners incentives, but the government did not pay heed to it. ‘Policymakers are saying the government has no specific plan. How’ll people abide by an unplanned lockdown?’
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