BNP chief Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged that the government had formed a “special force” comprising police and Rab officials of a particular region to abduct people, make them disappear and kill them.
“This special force is being operated from the very top. This government is using the special force to carry out abductions and killings of youth across the country like it was done during the post-Liberation War period,” she said at a hunger strike held at the Jatiya Press Club yard.
The BNP's Dhaka city unit organised the eight-hour-long hunger strike from 9:00am as part of the party's protest against filing “false” cases against Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman, and incidents of abductions, disappearances and killings.
Top leaders of the BNP-led 19-party alliance, Bikolpodhara Bangladesh and other parties expressed solidarity with the programme.
In her 30-minute speech, Khaleda called upon the civil society, professional bodies and political parties to take to the street to “save the country's people and democracy”.
She claimed that the people were prepared and had been demanding tougher programmes to oust Sheikh Hasina's government.
“But we are giving time to the government hoping that good sense will prevail and they will hold a free, fair and inclusive election through discussion,” Khaleda said.
The former premier warned that if peaceful programmes like human chains, hunger strikes, rallies and processions failed [to stop ongoing abduction and disappearances], she would resort to tougher programmes.
Referring to tearful Hasina Begum and Miss Ruma, who during the hunger strike appealed to the government to bring their missing son and husband back, Khaleda said, “We don't want to see tears anymore. Now we will have to wage resistance against the government's criminal activities.”
On the recent seven murders in Narayanganj, Khaleda alleged that “criminals” in ruling Awami League, Chhatra League and Jubo League were involved in murders across the country.
She also raised a question as to why Rapid Action Battalion and police had raided Nur Hossain's house on Saturday seven days after Nazrul Islam and others were abducted from Narayanganj.
The BNP chief alleged that the government was using police and Rab for party purposes and officials hailing from a particular region were being preferred.
Hinting at those Rab and police officials, Khaleda said the AL government must step down one day. “Where will you go then? You must be accountable for all your misdeeds -- the murders you have committed and who ordered you to do so?”
ERSHAD 'MURDERED' ZIA
Khaleda, wife of late president Ziaur Rahman, yesterday lambasted Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad terming him the “killer” of her husband and Maj Gen Mohammad Abul Manzur, who was assassinated in Chittagong in June 1981.
This was for the first time in many years that Khaleda accused Ershad of killing her husband, said BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman.
“Ershad has to be tried. Why the verdict [of Manzur murder case where Ershad is one of the main accused] was postponed?” said Khaleda, adding that the verdict was postponed to keep Ershad with the government.