This May 5 photo shows Islamic books, prayer beads and mats were not spared during the violence centring on the Hefajat's rally. The photo shows stalls and pushcarts set alight at the south gate of Baitul Mukarram mosque. Photo: Star
BNP Vice-chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka on Thursday dismissed allegations of facilitating the Hefajat-e Islami rally on May 5 in Dhaka city.
In a press statement, Khoka said Hefajat’s Secretary General Junaid Babunagari's ‘so-called’ confessional statement linking him and the BNP-led 18-party alliance to the Islamist group is entirely false and concocted.
The opposition alliance has not any organisational or idealistic connection with Hefajat, he added.
“I'm not personally acquainted with Babunagari. I have only seen him in the media,” said Khoka, also convener of the PNP.
“We (the 18-party alliance) do not have any organisational ties with Hefajat. No-one in the party was keeping liaison with them,” he further said.
Khoka also denounced the accusations of trying to oust the government through Hefajat.
He insisted that the government is responsible for such claims against him and his party.
According to court officials quoted by the media, Babunagari in a confessional statement before a Dhaka court on May 21 said BNP leader Khoka coordinated the whole programme on May 5 and handed over money to Hefajat leaders.
Police arrested Babunagari near the Dhakeshwari Temple on May 6, hours after thousands of Hefajat activists resorted to violence in downtown Dhaka during and after the May 5 rally, causing widespread damage.