The Daily Star yesterday was denied access, without giving any reason, to cover Awami League's programme of unveiling a photo album by the party containing pictures of last year's political violence by BNP-Jamaat. The publication ceremony of "Bloodstained Bangladesh" was held in Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital. There has been an unofficial embargo on the newspaper in covering any event of the prime minister as well as of ruling Awami League at Gono Bhaban and its Dhanmondi office, since April 5.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said those who killed people in the name of movement did not believe in healthy politics, democracy, the country's constitution, and independence.
“Each party has its own decision over participation in an election. But to resist an election and launch attacks on people is not acceptable. Killing people in the name of movement, burning people in the name of movement, attack on public servants, what's this?”
She was addressing the launching ceremony of a photo album "Roktakto Bangladesh" (Bloodstained Bangladesh) in the capital's Osmani Memorial Auditorium, containing photos of the barbaric acts of BNP-Jamaat last year, which left many civilians dead too.
Killing people is not a movement at all, said the president of the ruling Awami League, which published the album. “Please don't push any family into the dark abyss by killing its members.”
Separately, the prime minister conveyed the urgency of signing the Teesta water sharing deal with India when a state minister from the neighbouring country met her at Gono Bhaban yesterday.
The agreement should be signed quickly as Bangladesh needs more water during the lean period, she told VK Singh, union minister of state for development of northeastern region, external affairs, and overseas Indian affairs.
PM's press secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury talked to reporters after the meeting.
Briefly describing the BNP-Jamaat attacks in 2013, Hasina said, “My question is how much will independent Bangladesh bleed? How many wives will turn into widows, how many fathers will lose their children, how many children will lose their parents? Why? Why the massacre was carried out? Was that just to stop an election?”
She said 17 police personnel, two BGB personnel, and two of army intelligence personnel, and many innocent people were killed during the BNP-Jamaat atrocities in 2013.
Hasina said BNP-Jamaat movement failed to attract the mass people and that was why they tried to make the movement a success by taking lives.
Talking about BNP, she said the party was born through the illegal capture of power. "Let me tell them one thing, 'if you want to do politics then do it, but don't play with the lives of people'.”
A few of the people, affected by violence in last one year, narrated their experiences at the programme.
Among those were Ramzan, father of Monir, who was burnt alive; police personnel Pearul Islam, who was wounded in an attack on a police station; Helal Uddin Pearu, who sustained injuries in an attack at Fatikchhari in Chittagong; Layla Khatun, wife of police constable Hazrat Ali, who was killed while guarding a police post in Gaibandha, and Khodeja Nansin, who was injured when a bus was set afire at Shahbagh.
While describing her woes, the widow of the policeman, Layla, fainted. She was given first aid immediately, and the prime minister comforted her.
Earlier, a 16-minute documentary on BNP-Jamaat's atrocities last year was screened.