BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said the sacrifices of the martyred intellectuals will not be fruitful unless democracy is restored in Bangladesh.
“‘Our intellectuals laid down their lives and shed blood only for the independence of the country and for a democratic state. Their sacrifices will never be meaningful if we can’t restore democracy through a movement,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader urged people to take a vow on the Martyred Intellectuals Day to wage a united movement to restore democracy and people’s all lost rights.
BNP arranged the programme at the Institutions of Engineers, Bangladesh, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
The national will observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day on Tuesday commemorating those intellectuals who were killed systematically by the Pakistan occupation forces and their local collaborators at the fag-end of the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
71-like situation prevailing
Fakhrul said there is no big difference between the current situation of Bangladesh and that of 14 December in 1971 when intellectuals were picked up and killed.
“Our youths have now been killed only for raising voice in favopur of democracy and our nearly 150 journalists have already been killed and over 4,500 others implicated in different cases only for depicting the truth. Many of our professors have been sacked from different universities while many of our students have been killed,” he observed.
Fakhrul alleged that the current government always talks about democracy, but it has long been unleashing the steamroller of repression on people.
Denting country’s dignity
“When we’re supposed to consolidate our independence and sovereignty and boost the economy in the 50 years of independence of our country, it’s our bad luck that such a government has been in power now by force which is trashing the country’s image and dignity across the globe,” he alleged.
The BNP leader said the US has imposed sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and its seven current and former top officials as they violated human rights, unlawfully killed people, and made them disappear in Bangladesh.
He said the government and its ministers are now trying to defend RAB and its officials. “But the damage has already been done as Bangladesh has been globally identified as a country where human rights are violated, people have no freedom and the government officials themselves violate the laws and snatch people’s rights.”
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the US sanctions on RAB and its officials is a matter of shame for the nation.
He said the entire world now knows Awami League has taken the country to the brink of destruction by destroying democracy, snatching people’s rights and ruining all state institutions and controlling all the state machinery.
The BNP leader said the entire world is now identifying Bangladesh as an undemocratic country where there is no human rights.
“Those who’ve been staying in power for 12 years by force without the people’s mandate are responsible for tarnishing the country’s image in this way. They’ve been exposed to the world, no matter what efforts they make to hide the real scenario in Bangladesh,” he said.
He urged the nationalist and democratic forces to get united to restore the lost glory of the country, democracy and people’s rights.
Khaleda “first female freedom fighter”
Fakhrul described their party chairperson Khaleda Zia as the “first female freedom fighter” as she had been detained in the hands of Pakistani occupation forces along with her two children from the beginning of the Liberation War. “She was there in custody of the Pakistani forces till December 16.”
He bemoaned that Khaleda is now being pushed towards death without advanced treatment abroad.
The BNP leader alleged that the BNP chief was sent to jail by convicting her in ‘false cases’, to remove her from politics. “The government is now plotting to kill her by not allowing her to go abroad for treatment.”
Stating that Khaleda has been fighting for life at a hospital, Mosharraf said getting the scope for advanced treatment is constitutional and basic human rights of a person, but she has been deprived of such rights.”
Source: United News of Bangladesh