The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday plunged into pandemonium over a heated debate on the Bangladesh Liberation Force and the role of the Gono Bahini backed by the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal after liberation.
The debate was set off when Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal of the JSD, a component of the ruling alliance, took the floor on a point of order and started talking about Jatiya Party MP Kazi Firoz Rashid's statement against the role of the JSD during 1972-75.
At one stage of the chaotic situation, Badal repeatedly sought Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury's attention to give him protection.
Earlier, Firoz of the JP, the main opposition in parliament, launched a blistering attack on the Gono Bahini for its anarchic and destructive politics that left thousands of freedom fighters and Awami League, Juba League and Chhatra League men dead.
Raising his private member's resolution, Firoz proposed bringing up a list of BLF members, who received training in India during the Liberation War in 1971.
Firoz said the BLF was formed to resist any possible revolution after independence. “But Sirajul Alam Khan formed the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, leaving the BLF. The JSD and Gono Bahini later killed thousands of Chhatra League, Jubo League and Awami League men.”
Amid a thumping of desks by the treasury bench, Firoz added: “None would have dared to assassinate Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman if the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Gono Bahini were not formed. But our prime minister [Sheikh Hasina] has tolerated all these.”
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was present, was seen smiling.
Supporting the resolution, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq thanked the JSD that they had been united to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War.
The resolution was accepted by voice vote.
Speaking on a point of order, Badal later said it was unfortunate the treasury bench was lambasting a component of the ruling alliance centring on a proposal of an opposition lawmaker.
Badal added the JSD had been a part of all democratic movements since its birth. “We don't claim everything we did was right… but history will analyse who was wrong and who was right.”
Badal faced severe opposition from a number of treasury bench and JP lawmakers. AL senior MP Tofail Ahmed, among others, asked Badal to speak about the Gono Bahini.
At this stage, Badal sought protection from the Speaker. “I need protection from the Chair… He [Kazi Firoz] is talking without taking the floor.”
The Speaker requested Firoz to sit down and allow Badal to continue.