Prime minister's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy has hit back at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia over her statement that senior journalist Shafik Rehman was arrested for "collecting information on his involvement in siphoning off Tk 2,500 crore".
Rejecting outright the BNP chief's allegation, Joy in a Facebook post on Sunday night wrote: “A woman who has stolen money from orphans, one whose son is a fugitive accused by the FBI for corruption, really should not be throwing mud at Bangabandhu's grandson.
“Madam, if you know where the $300 million is, please let me know. I would like to donate it to orphans,” he added.
Joy's comments came hours after Khaleda made the allegation at a workers' rally at the city's Suhrawardy Udyan.
The BNP chief said Rehman as a journalist had gathered the information. “But he neither disclosed the information nor written anything on it. You [people] couldn't have known about Tk 2,500 crore had he not been arrested.”
The government arrested Rehman on “false charges” of his involvement in a plot to abduct and kill Joy, said Khaleda. “Now they're implicating Amar Desh [acting] editor Mahmudur Rahman in it.”
She demanded the government release the two journalists and arrest Joy to grill him over the “laundered Tk 2,500 crore”.
About Shafik Rehman and Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman's alleged involvement in stealing FBI documents on his bank account, Joy wrote: “Your henchmen Mahumudur Rahman and Shafiq Rahman stole secret FBI documents listing all my bank accounts, but could not find it. The military regime of 1/11 who arrested my mother could not find it. Even the FBI could not find it.
“That's because I have never had anything close to $300 million. I am not that rich. Khaleda Zia on other hand is a liar and a thief.”
He also posted a Bengali version of the status.
KHALEDA AT MAY DAY RALLY
Khaleda accused the government of plundering public money in the name of development saying that the ruling Awami League siphoned off Tk 30,000 crore in the last seven years.
“The ruling party often talks about development…they've plundered more public money than what they spent on development. Now they're taking up mega projects in the name of development and looting a huge amount of money,” she added.
Expressing fear of being arrested, she said: “I want to say they [government] might put me behind bars, but that's not a problem as you [people] will be with me as my brothers, sisters and friends.”
Referring to the prime minister's recent complaint that the BNP has chosen the path of secret killings having failed to return to power, Khaleda said: “Where's the scope for returning to power as there has been no such elections? We don't want to go to power through backdoor other than through polls.”
About the recent killings of bloggers, writers, publishers and people of different faiths, Khaleda said these killings are being carried out with the government's patronage.
“Incidents of murders are taking place regularly, but nobody is being arrested and punished in connection with these incidents as the killers belong to the Awami League,” she claimed.
She urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to hand over power to a neutral government for holding a national election.