Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets President Abdul Hamid in his residence Bangabhaban in the capital yesterday. Photo: PID
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said massive drives would be conducted to arrest all those involved in the recent attacks on the Hindus.
Warning the culprits of stern action, she said, “None will be spared. A drive has been underway in Jessore since Monday night, and some culprits have been arrested.”
The PM was speaking at a meeting with the leaders of the Awami League-led alliance at the Gono Bhaban last night.
Earlier, she had met President Abdul Hamid at the Bangabhaban, and apprised him of the current political situation and the government measures for checking post-polls violence.
Hasina also discussed with the president the formation of a new government, as her party won an absolute majority in the election, said sources in the ruling party.
Hasina, also president of the AL, said she had directed the authorities concerned to compensate and rehabilitate the affected minority families.
She urged BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to “stop attacks on the minority community”, and said the government, otherwise, would take appropriate measures.
In an oblique reference to the international community's call for initiating dialogue to resolve the political crisis, Hasina said the option of holding talks was still open.
“If you [Khaleda] want to talk after severing relations with the Jamaat and war criminals, we could then see how to move forward. But they [the BNP] must cut ties with the Jamaat, and this is the reality.”
Hasina also called upon the BNP chief to shun hartal and agitation for the sake of O and A-level exams. Children had been the worst victims of hartals, as they could neither attend schools nor concentrate on studies.
The PM said nothing could be gained by enforcing hartal. The BNP and the Jamaat wanted to thwart the polls to destroy democracy by creating a constitutional crisis, but they failed.
She said people had given the AL a mandate through the January 5 polls, and her government's prime objectives were to serve people and build the nation in light of the spirit of the Liberation War.
The PM criticised the role of a section of civil society members, and said many newspapers published reports to make the polls controversial.
The media people have a responsible role to play in the society and they must not encourage terrorists and militants, she said.
Hasina reiterated her government's resolve to continue the war crimes trial and execute the verdicts in the trial.
The leaders of the AL-led 14-party combine congratulated Hasina on her re-election.
Earlier in the afternoon, Hasina told the president that her government was firm to protect people's life and property, and it was doing everything possible to ensure that.
"The prime minister apprised the president of the polls and post-election situation," President's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting between the president and the PM.
The president congratulated the people, the Election Commission and the candidates on the holding of “a peaceful election”, said Ihsanul.
Asked whether the two leaders discussed the formation of a new government, Ihsanul said the process of forming a new government starts after the election results are published through a gazette notification.
AL Organising Secretary Bahauddin Nasim told this correspondent last night that the Election Commission had already been working on the publication of election results.
Ruling party sources quoted Hasina as telling the 14-party alliance leaders that the new government would take oath in three to four days.
The AL secured an absolute majority in parliament by winning 232 seats in the January 5 polls that was boycotted by the main opposition BNP.
AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam and PM's Adviser Shafique Ahmed were present at the one-and-a-half hour meeting that ended at 5:45pm.