Khaleda Zia has lambasted the government for preventing pro-BNP lawyers from holding a rally, asking it not to ‘go overboard’.
“Excesses are not good,” the BNP chairperson said in her address at a rally of the Jatiyabadi Ainjibi Forum at the National Press Club on Saturday.
The BNP-backed lawyers moved to the National Press Club when police prevented them from holding their scheduled rally at the Supreme Court premises.Khaleda said police thwarted another meeting of the party two days ago at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
“Why don’t they allow (us) to hold a meeting anywhere? Because they are so weak that they fear people,” she said.
“They are still in power being backed by their foreign friends. They are using RAB for political gains and to abduct and murder people.
“But this situation cannot continue for a long time,” the BNP chief said.
The ruling Awami League cannot take any criticisms now, she said. “Hold election under an impartial government. The situation will take a different turn if it’s delayed too long.”
She told the party leaders and activists that the BNP will launch programmes against the government at right time.
She said more time was needed for that. “We need to give them (Awami League) more time to rot. We need to be patient about that.”
Khaleda hoped this government will surrender to the people and leave power when people will rise against it.
Regarding the recent murders in Feni and Narayanganj, she said the killings took place due to internal feuds of the ruling party over money.
This government have killed numerous people including 310 supporters of the BNP during its movement, she alleged.
The BNP chairperson had reached the Press Club around 12:15pm.
On Thursday, police thwarted a rally of the BNP at the auditorium of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).
The forum’s rally also faced a similar fate.
Police closed all entrances to the Supreme Court and nabbed several pro-BNP lawyers in the morning.
But the lawyers started the rally around 10:30am. Later they moved to the Press Club.
On Friday night, police damaged the stage prepared for the rally and removed seats from the site.
Policemen were deployed at all entrances to the Supreme Court since morning.
So far, seven lawyers have been arrested, pro-BNP lawyers alleged to reporters.
The lawyers organised a protest march after police picked up advocate Khorshed Alam, Zahirul Islam and others from the gate of High Court shrine.
“We will hold the rally,” Jatiyabadi Ainjibi Forum’s Secretary General and Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Mahbub Uddin Khokon said.
The rally started beside the damaged stage with Khokon in the chair.
The BNP-backed lawyers’ body organised the rally to protest the murder of fellow lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar in Narayanganj and spate of abductions across the country.
Khaleda Zia on Saturday again demanded immediate disbanding of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) as it was being used for ‘political gains’.
She said the elite force was created during her government’s term to fight terrorism and militancy which gained ground during the Awami League’s past regime (1996-2001).
The military’s image was also being tarnished because of the controversial activities of the RAB, she claimed.
The former prime minister of Bangladesh also demanded that all cases against Awami League President Sheikh Hasina should be reopened. The cases were filed against the incumbent prime minister during the last caretaker government’s term in office.
Khaleda recently was indicted in the ‘Zia Charitable Trust’ and ‘Zia Orphanage Trust’ corruption cases.
“Plot is on to frame me. There were 15 cases against Sheikh Hasina, but those were withdrawn. Those cases against the prime minister must be reopened,” she said. – bdnews24.com