Hasina warns of ‘exemplary’ punishment to curb political violence

Hasina warns of ‘exemplary’ punishment to curb political violence

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The government has warned that it will give exemplary punishment to those involved in political violence in the first three months of this year to discourage such acts in future.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government would not tolerate any activities that harm the people.
She distributed 222 cheques of over Tk 83.7 million among relatives of 15 arson victims, seven injured in firebombing, and owners of 185 vehicles damaged during the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami’s agitation.
The agitation that started from January left over 150 people dead, hundreds of vehicles damaged and the economy bleeding, according to official figures.Many more were injured and some maimed for life.
“We’ll make sure that those behind the violence are punished,” the prime minister said.“None of them will be spared. We’ve already started taking legal actions against them.”The BNP, which led the agitations, has been trading charges with the government over the violence.Its chief Khaleda Zia and several of her party’s senior leaders have been accused in cases filed over the deaths.Hasina said the perpetrators would be encouraged to repeat such crimes if they were let off.“We’ll make sure that they are given exemplary punishment so that they won’t dare commit the crimes again,” she added.She said what the BNP-Jamaat coalition was doing were “acts of terrorism”.“I’m in politics for the welfare of the people,” the Awami League chief said. “But when politics harms the people, it turns into acts of terrorism and militancy.”“It’s unimaginable that anyone would harm the people to such an extent for personal gain,” Hasina said alluding to her archrival Khaleda.The prime minister said her government was standing by the victims and their families.
So far, she has given financial assistance to the tune of Tk 334.7 million to 318 arson victims and their families and 667 bus owners.
“I know your loss is irreparable. But still we’re trying to stand by and assist you,” the prime minister added.

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