Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Khaleda involved in BDR mutiny: Hasina

The prime minister has alleged that the opposition leader was involved in the border forces rebellion of 2009 that killed at least 74 people.

"She went out of her Cantonment house on the day of mutiny very early, contrary to her habit, and disappeared for three days," Sheikh Hasina said at a discussion on Tuesday.

"She must answer why she did not stay at the Cantonment house for the next one-and-a-half months," she said. "I urge the army authorities to give the matter a thought."

The bloodbath in the headquarters of the Border Guard Bangladesh, formerly known as Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), killed at least 74 people, including 57 army officers deputed to the paramilitary force, on Feb 25-26, 2009.

"Leaders of almost all parties rushed to the scene to calm the situation," she said, adding, "The only people I did not see are the leaders of the four-party alliance."


The prime minister said that despite her party's stance against the use of electronic voting machines, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was beginning to accept them.

"She greeted her party man with flowers after winning the Comilla City Corporation elections," she pointed out.

For the first time in Bangladesh an entire election was held using EVMs in the Comilla city polls.

"Our party believes in democracy and therefore is taking many steps to strengthen the Election Commission," Hasina said.

She argued that by claiming "elections cannot be fair without caretaker governments" the opposition leader had accepted that 2008 elections had been fair.

"A caretaker government wouldn't cradle you to power," she said and added, "Awami League has no plan to steal votes like BNP."

The Awami League president said opposition chief Khaleda Zia was dabbling in a conspiracy with war criminals to destroy democracy.

"They don't believe in liberation and economic freedom, all they believe in is militancy, terrorism, corruption, murder and bombardment," she said.

"Those who do not believe in independence cannot do any good to the nation," she added.


Hasina invited the opposition to join parliament, saying, "If you try to kill, destroy and launch arson attacks on the streets instead, the people will not accept that."

She said there would be no bar on peaceful protests but violence would be dealt with strong hands.

The prime minister said the BNP chief's promises of development were farcical, citing that the World Bank had shut down nine of its projects for corruption during Khaleda's term as prime minister.

Senior Awami League leaders were also present at the discussion.