Sunday, December 18, 2011

BNP hand in 'mystery killings': Hasina

Launching a counter-attack on the main opposition, the prime minister has blamed the alliance of main opposition BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami for all the 'mystery killings' and other disruptive activities across the country.

"Not only to protect the war criminals, the BNP-Jamaat alliance is also carrying out these mystery killings, murders and other criminal activities to destabilise the country," Sheikh Hasina said criticising the opposition.

"They will first kill and start crying — this is their characteristic."

Her remarks came on Saturday at a discussion in the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, following concerns expressed by various rights organisations, including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), over the recent incidents of alleged abduction and what the opposition party calls 'extrajudicial killings'.

The prime minister also warned those who want to protect the war criminals by saying that they would also be tried.

She urged everyone in favour of the trials to raise awareness on the matter.

"Everyone needs to be united, so that no Razakar or Al-Badr comes to power again and plays with the people's fate," she told the discussion.

Ruling party presidium member and parliament deputy leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury presided over the programme organised by Awami League as part of the 40th Victory Day celebrations.

Hasina said, "We have executed the trial and the verdict in the Bangabandhu assassination case. The trial of the war criminals will also be held in the same fashion."

Referring to opposition leader Khaleda Zia, she said, "The one carrying out movements, strikes, long marches to protect the war criminals even gave Bangladesh's flag in their hands … what more can be expected of such a person?"

BNP chief Khaleda has long been demanding the release of the seven BNP-Jamaat leaders, who were arrested on charges of committing war crimes. She has also written to the UN secretary-general about her reservations on the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) trying the war crimes.

Top five Jamaat leaders — party chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed, executive council leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee, assistant secretaries general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla — who are charged with war crimes have been arrested and their trial is underway.

Senior BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury was also arrested on similar charges, while another charged with war crimes Abdul Alim, a former minister in late president Ziaur Rahman's cabinet, is on conditional bail.

Saying Bangladesh is yet to reach the desired destination even after 40 years of independence, Hasina said, "The query 'why it did not happen?' must be answered by those — Zia (Ziaur Rahman), Ershad (A H M Ershad) and Khaleda Zia — who were in power for 28 years after the independence."

"The people want to know how they became rich overnight and what people got in those 28 years."

Talking about the killing of Jessore BNP leader Nazmul Islam, she said that BNP is behind the mystery killings, murders and conspiracies.

The latest victim of "mystery killings" is Jessore BNP leader Nazmul Islam, whose body was found in Gazipur on Dec 15 – a day after he was abducted from the capital's Mohammadpur area while returning home from a wedding.

In some recent cases, the victims were picked up by people in the guise of law enforcers, especially acting as Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel, and later their bodies were recovered from various areas.

Amid protests and criticisms, the law enforcement agencies have been denying the allegations.

According to NHRC, at least 27 people have gone missing during the recent part. Bodies of several victims were found later.

The uncanny part, says the opposition party, is that many victims were BNP local-level leaders or activists. Among them was Ismail Hossain, a leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the pro-BNP student body.

A former president of Chhatra Dal's ward-50 unit in Dhaka, Ismail went "missing" on Nov 28. His body was recovered, along with two others, from Dhalehswari river near Munshiganj on Dec 8.

Chhatra Dal members alleged that law enforcers had picked up the organisation's three leaders, including Ismail, from the capital's Hatirpul area. While Islamil's body surfaced 10 days later, the other two are still missing, the organisation claims.

At least seven bodies were recovered from Munshiganj's Dhalehswari river in as many days. 

Source :