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Khaleda Zia slammed by IGP

27 Jul 2015

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Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Haque has termed BNP Chief Khaleda Zia’s comments over police’s role during the three-month long blockade enforced by her party from January to March earlier this year as ‘unfortunate’ and advised the former Prime Minister to be ‘more responsible’ while making statements.

 

“It is unfortunate when someone like Khaleda Zia issues political statements to tarnish police’s image”, the IGP said while talking to reporters at police headquarters. He further said that the attackers who killed innocent people by throwing petrol bombs were mostly BNP men and they confessed their crime in the courts.

 

Speaking at an Iftar programme at the Supreme Court auditorium on July 4, Khaleda Zia said “Police set fire to and hurled petrol bombs at buses. ... … Our three-month long movement would not have stopped, had police not killed people by hurling petrol bombs and torching buses”.

 

The police chief brushed aside Khaleda Zia’s claim as ‘nothing but lies’, saying people knew it very well who had thrown petrol bombs and it was the people who handed over many bomb throwers to police.

 

Refuting Khaleda Zia’s claim of judiciary being kept on a short leash by the government, the IGP said “Everyone knows the political ideology of those arrested while hurling petrol bombs and committing violence”.

 

Over 150 people died - mostly from firebombing on buses – when the BNP-led Alliance enforced a country-wide blockade of rails, roads and waterways. Khaleda Zia has been accused of instigating the attacks in some of the cases over these incidents.

 

After failing to gain public sympathy or support to her call for blockade and hartal to unseat the government, Khaleda Zia instigated her followers to terrorize people through firebombing, arson attacks, vandalism and indiscriminate killings. The government deployed law enforcing agencies to safeguard public life and properties.

 

Khaleda Zia has been charged along with 37 others, mostly BNP leaders, for subversive activity through a petrol bomb attack on a passenger bus in Jatrabari, Dhaka in January. The attack, one of many the country witnessed during three-month blockade enforced by her, killed one person and injured 30 others on January 23. Moreover, she is facing three other cases over blockade-related violence that claimed at least 95 lives mostly in petrol bomb attacks and wreaked havoc on people’s lives and economy.

 

What has prompted BNP to unleash this anarchy and chaos which resulted only in death, destruction of property and economic downslide of the country? This can, by no stretch of imagination, be called political or democratic movement.

 

This so-called movement was not inspired by anything noble, except the narrow political objective of forcing the democratically elected government to step down. The party thought that after the government falls, BNP will come to power and the way would be wide open for them to get Khaleda Zia off the hook by withdrawing all the corruption and criminal cases pending against her. The same thing would be done with regard to her son Tarique Rahman now hiding in London to evade justice in the country. Next in their calculation was the plan to release from jail all Jamaat leaders now convicted or facing trial on war crimes charges.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won re-election to a second consecutive five-year term in 2014. Khaleda Zia’s BNP boycotted the poll saying the poll result would be rigged. Since then BNP has been demanding fresh polls, calling the present government ‘illegal’. The government, however, has made it clear that the next election will be held in 2019 when it is due and not before that.

 

Khaleda Zia’s charges against the Awami League-led Government are also intended to create barriers against the trial of her long term allies – the war criminals of 1971. She has been a long-time political supporter and well wisher of the war criminals and Pak collaborators of 1971 with whom she had earlier shared power. During her tenure as Prime Minister she did everything possible to thwart any move for trial of either the killers of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman or the pro-Pak Islamists who had committed horrendous crimes to crush the liberation war in 1971.

 

Now Khaleda Zia cannot openly defend the anti-liberation forces for fear of antagonizing the people who want to see the war criminals, anti-liberation elements and Pak collaborators brought to justice. The nation is not short sighted or the visions of the people are not so blurred.

 

Khaleda Zia must re-evaluate her position. She must have realized by now that her mission to burn and kill innocent people in the name of blockade and hartal has already cost her dearly. She must also realize that ground is fast moving from behind her feet.

 

Seething in frustration, anger and loss of power, she is trying to indulge in a mischief by passing on blame to the police for her own misdeeds without realizing that doing so would be counter-productive.

 




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