12:00 AM, March 07, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:22 AM, March 17, 2013

Unite to resist Jamaat terror

PM calls for committees down to grassroots level for preventing terrorism

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Staff Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged people to set up committees all over the country to resist the ongoing rampage by Jamaat-Shibir activists.
“Form terrorism prevention committees everywhere -- in districts, upazilas, union parishads and wards -- to prevent them from doing any harm to people or public property,” the prime minister said in parliament yesterday.
Hasina, also the leader of the House, said lawmakers, political activists, Islamic scholars and all pro-liberation forces have to unite to resist the ongoing violence.
Taking part in the thanksgiving motion on the president's address, she said people must raise their voice if they want to take the country forward and see the continuation of economic development.
Hasina's remarks came just two days after BNP on Monday announced setting up “committees for public safety across the country to counter the ruling Awami League's threat to resist the opposition's movement.”
Referring to Jamaat-e-Islami's showing in the 2008 parliamentary polls, Hasina said it got less than one percent of the total votes. It means at least 95 percent people, except Jamaat and the BNP chief, want trial of war criminals.
“It is unacceptable that a few people will hold the majority hostage.”
On the recent vandalism and attacks by Jamaat-Shibir men which left more than 60 people dead, she said they continue to indulge in violent activities like bombing, killing and looting.
In her 46-minute speech, Hasina, chief of Awami League, strongly criticised her archrival Khaleda Zia and her party BNP for “their role in protecting war criminals.”
“The opposition leader [Khaleda Zia] will have to take responsibilities for the deaths of general people and policemen [in recent violence].”
“She will not be able to protect war criminals. Trial of war criminals must be done.”
In a statement in parliament on Tuesday, Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir announced that the government decided to take action against central and local leaders of Jamaat and BNP under the anti-terrorism act-2009, holding them responsible for the recent deaths and violence.
Winding up the 16th parliament session that was prorogued last night, Speaker Abdul Hamid said the lawmakers should make people aware about any smear campaigns and help them resist the troublemakers.
Meanwhile, the House passed a resolution giving thanks to President Zillur Rahman for his address to parliament.
The House held discussions for a total of 46 hours on the thanksgiving motion with the participation of 191 lawmakers.
The BNP-led opposition lawmakers refrained from joining the session that began on January 27.

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