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Khaleda accuses govt of ‘genocide’

Urges people to take to streets, calls hartal for Tuesday

Staff Correspondent

The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, addresses a press briefing at her office at Gulshan in Dhaka on Friday. 
— Indrajit GhoshThe BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, addresses a press briefing at her office at Gulshan in Dhaka on Friday. — Indrajit Ghosh

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Friday termed the current spate of killings across the country as ‘genocide’ and asked the people to come out on the streets to ‘resist’ it.
She reiterated that BNP wanted trial of war crimes
but it would have to be ‘transparent’ maintaining domestic and international standards.
‘We do not support serving political purpose in the name of holding the trial,’ she told a crowded press conference at her Gulshan office in the afternoon.
Khaleda announced a nationwide dawn-to-dusk general strike for March 5 to protest against the government’s ‘corruption, misrule, repression and genocide’.
She also announced countrywide protest processions for today against ‘the terrorism’ and genocide sponsored by the government’.  
‘As the largest responsible political party, we cannot sit back and watch when the government is pushing the country into a dangerous situation and carrying out genocide,’ the opposition leader said in a written statement.
She said: ‘At this critical juncture I call upon the countrymen to come out on the streets’ to voice their protest against the undemocratic activities of the government.’
On the ongoing trial of the war criminals of 1971, Khalead said any verdict of the international crimes tribunal would be ‘questionable’ following the prime minister’s statement in parliament endorsing the Shahbagh protesters’ demand and urging the tribunal judges to deliver verdict considering the demand of the youth.
In this situation, she said, it is not possible for any judge of the tribunal to carry out the trial process or deliver judgments independently and neutrally.
Khaleda asked the government and the police administration not to obstruct ‘peaceful’ demonstrations and not to fire any more.
She warned that her party along with the people would build up ‘resistance’ if the government chose the path of ‘repression’.
The BNP chief said she had no language to protest at and condemn the way the government was carrying out acts of ‘genocide’.
She said it seemed ‘forces of a different country’ were involved in the ‘barbaric’ killing of people of Bangladesh.
Khaleda said the people had liberated the country in 1971 standing against such kind of ‘genocide.’
She asked the government to stop the ‘genocide’ forthwith or face ‘dire consequences’.
The BNP chairperson urged the police and para-military force not to kill people ‘indiscriminately’ with the guns purchased by taxpayers’ money.
Khaleda expressed solidarity with the ‘people’ struggling to resist ‘fascism.’
She said an ‘evil quarter of conspirators’ in the name of materialising the spirit of the Liberation War was involved in maligning Allah, His Prophet (SM) and Islam.
The opposition leader alleged that the government was killing ‘religiously-minded’ people when they were staging ‘peaceful’ demonstrations for trial of the ‘ugly campaign’ against Islam.
She alleged that armed terrorists of the ruling party had joined the law enforcers in the killings. The top quarter of the government has encouraged such killings, she claimed.
Khaleda said the government had not taken any initiatives to investigate any killings or to prevent them.
Rather, she alleged, the government was extending support and indulgence towards a group in staging ‘provocative’ and ‘unlawful’ activities, a reference to the Shahbagh movement.
Hinting at the Shahbagh protests, Khaleda said their ‘ill-attempts’ were threatening the peace of public life, stability and economy.
Khaleda said the government had lost all moral rights to stay in power by giving in to the youths’ ‘pressure’ over the trial process, pushing the country into ‘confrontation’ by dividing the nation and carrying out ‘genocide’.
She demanded immediate resignation of the government.
Khaleda also accused the government of attacking houses of minorities to divert the people’s attention from the ‘democratic movement’.
She, however, did not take any question from reporters at the press conference.
BNP leaders Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, RA Gani, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, MK Anwar, Rafiqul Islam Mia, Mirza Abbas, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Abdul Moyeen Khan, M Morshed Khan, Abdullah Al Noman and Sadeque Hossain Khoka were present.




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