Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna yesterday firmly criticised the government for its failure to check prices of essential commodities and ensure security of women migrants working in the Middle East.
He claimed the soaring prices of essentials as well as living expenditure in Bangladesh in recent times are “much higher” compared to other countries around the world -- breaking “previous records”.
The seasoned politician made the remarks while speaking at a human chain, formed in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital. Nagorik Nari Oikya, the women’s wing of Nagorik Oikya, organised the event protesting price hike and violence against women.
“How are people supposed to live [a decent life] if prices keep going up like this, with income remaining unchanged? Only a few people in this country have become billionaires, while millions are enduring miserable lives,” said Manna.
“Where are the onions which have arrived by plane and ship? Why haven’t the prices gone down yet?” he asked.
The government has completely failed to control the prices of onion, rice, vegetables and other essential commodities; it has failed to give remedy to public sufferings, he added.
“They [government] are better at persecuting the opposition party leaders and activists, and sending the people who protest government actions to jail,” alleged Manna.
Terming the government “illegal”, he said, “You haven’t been voted by people as you snatched the votes. You have no legal right to remain in power.”
“You cannot ensure public safety and respect for women; you cannot even control the price hike,” he added.
Manna also said the government is planning to increase the price of electricity although there is no valid reason to do so. He urged the authority to step back from such a move and bring prices of essentials within public reach.
He also demanded that the government step down immediately and announce an early national election.
About the torture of female domestic workers in the Middle East, Manna said bodies of several women -- who died because of torture by their employers -- have arrived recently, while many others returned alive but with gruesome wounds.
“The government couldn’t do anything to stop these. It couldn’t even protest such brutalities,” he alleged.
Several other leaders of both Nagorik Oikya and Nagorik Nari Oikya also spoke at the human chain.