Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the opposition leader to refrain from indulging in destructive activities and said there is nothing to gain through inflicting sufferings on the country’s common people in the name of movement and hartal.“Stop destructive activities and don’t play with people’s lives… let people live in peace. Why are you pushing the country into darkness again?” she said.
The Prime Minister made the remarks when Antu Barua, who suffered splinter injuries in her right eye in crude bomb explosions during hartal called by the opposition in Chittagong on March 28, met her at Ganobhaban. Antu’s parents were also present.
Taking a swipe at the opposition leader for enforcing hartals on the dates of appearance before court by the opposition leader, her sons and her other party leaders, Hasina said Khaleda enforces hartals as she does not want to face the court as she feels guilty of her crimes.
“The opposition leader shows excuses that she refrains from appearing before the court due to insecurity, but it is true that the opposition has created such an insecure situation,” she alleged.
Turning to war crimes trial, Hasina questioned, “What more game you (Khaleda) would play to protect war criminals?”
She alleged that attacks are being launched on the common people along with subversive activities during hartals and even Antu suffered splinter injuries in her right eye in bomb explosions during hartal.
Hasina said that her government has curbed militancy and terrorism with an iron hand during the last four years of her tenure, but the BNP-Jamaat-Shibir activists again resorted to bombing and subversive activities.
“Now, they’re burning people in buses, killing drivers throwing brick chips, torching trains and rail tracks and removing fishplates in the name of hartal,” alleged Hasina.
The Prime Minister questioned why the opposition leader and her party along with the Jamaat-Shibir is playing game with public life to gain political interest and pushing the country into darkness. “What do they want to gain by calling hartals day after day?”
Hasina mentioned that during the hartals the common people are falling victims to violence. “Antu and her mother could have died in the bomb attack. Country’s people and conscious citizens won’t accept such a game.”
The Prime Minister also called upon the opposition leader to stop inhuman works, or else, she warned they would have to pay a high price for that.
“You (Khaleda) don’t think about the poor people what they eat during the shutdown, why are you kicking on poor people’s bellies. I would like to see how much food is in stock in your (Khaleda) deep fridges,” Hasina said.
The Prime Minister said that her government has brought the entire education system under discipline with various pragmatic steps by holding examinations and publishing results in due time.
But she alleged that the government now has to reschedule the examination time and again as the opposition is enforcing hartals repeatedly affecting the mental preparation of students to appear in their examinations.
The Prime Minister talked to Antu and her parents, provided financial assistance and assured them of providing all possible help to continue Antu’s treatment. She also patted Antu and gave her chocolates. Antu also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister for taking prompt steps for her treatment.
Hasina also enquired about the condition of Antu from physicians Dr Deen Mohammad and Dr Uttam Barua.
PM’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, eminent journalist Baby Moudud, MP, PM’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Md Jainul Abedin and Special Assistants Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap and Mahbubul Hoque Shakil were, among others, present.
Earlier, the Prime Minister took the responsibility of medical treatment of Antu Barua.
Antu was moved to Dhaka and admitted to National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital for her better treatment at the directive of the Prime Minister.
On March 28, Antu, a class-IX student sustained injuries in her right eye as two homemade bombs were exploded in Chittagong city during the second day of the opposition-enforced shutdown.
She along with her mother was going to a coaching centre. UNB