AL smells a rat
Awami League high-ups believe there was a secret agenda behind Sunday's abrupt chaos created by BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling AL, and several influential leaders of the party sat on Sunday night to review the opposition's sudden move paralysing life in and around the capital.
The meeting decided to politically counter opposition's move aimed at toppling the government by creating unrest, meeting sources told The Daily Star.
As part of the preparation, the AL chief has decided to sit with the like-minded political parties in and out of the ruling alliance.
The party sat with Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) at the prime minister's Gono Bhaban residence yesterday to discuss strategies to counter the opposition.
Sources close to the prime minister said the aim of the talks with the coalition partners and other like-minded parties is to improve understanding with them and also to extend the present alliance to challenge the opposition and anti-liberation forces.
The AL-led 14-party alliance sits today at 7:00pm at Gono Bhaban to discuss the current political situation of the country and work out a tactic to deal with possible future unrest by the opposition.
On Sunday, a series of crude homemade bombs went off in central Dhaka as hundreds of activists of BNP and Jamaat clashed with police, smashed more than a dozen vehicles and set some of those on fire.
A 24-year-old youth was killed in a bomb explosion at the capital's Motijheel while a man died when some unruly people torched two vehicles in Sylhet, police said.
Violence also erupted outside the capital with the opposition activists torching at least 10 vehicles across the country.
The government and the opposition blamed each other for the violence.
Against this backdrop, the AL high command has decided to take on the opposition men on the street. “Awami League will be on the streets from now on to resist BNP-Jamaat's conspiracy against the government,” AL Presidium Member Matia Chowdhury, also the agriculture minister, told The Daily Star.
AL PRESS BRIEFING
Awami League at a press briefing yesterday alleged that BNP and Jamaat on Sunday resorted to secrete killings and other criminal activities to foil the trial of war criminals and also to save BNP chief's two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko from different corruption charges.
Briefing journalists at party chief's political office in Dhanmondi, AL acting general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif accused Khaleda Zia of lying about Sunday's mayhem.
“The nation doesn't expect such falsehood from the former prime minister who is now the Leader of the Opposition in parliament,” he added.
The ruling party also alleged that Khaleda's object was to gain politically from the "unstable situation".
“It won't be good either for Khaleda Zia or for the politicians,” AL leader Tofail Ahmed told the press briefing.
Tofail urged the people of the country to unite against all the evil forces, and compared Sunday's incident with the simultaneous bomb blasts in 500 places in the country in 2004 when BNP was in power.
“We want to build a greater political unity with all the pro-liberation political parties to resist the anti-liberation forces' attempt to create anarchy in the country to hinder the war crimes trial,” Hanif told The Daily Star after the meeting with CPB leaders.
Apart from the AL chief Sheikh Hasina, the meeting was attended by AL leaders Abdul Jalil, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Abdul Latif Siddique, Kazi Zafarullah, Mahbubul Alam Hanif and Dipu Moni, among others.
CPB General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim said they agreed with the AL to launch simultaneous programmes to drum up public support in favour of war crimes trial.
“Every pro-liberation war political party with their individual capability will take to the streets for a month demanding the trial of the war criminals.
“We've also suggested devising strategies to isolate Jamaat by neutralising all other forces that are backing the anti-liberation party [Jamaat],” Selim said.