Govt having sleepless nights

Says Fakhrul at Rajshahi BNP rally about Dec 10 gathering
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressing a mammoth rally at Madrasa Maidan in Rajshahi city yesterday. Thousands of people joined the divisional rally from eight districts. Fakhrul urged his party men to join the Dhaka divisional rally on December 10. Photo: Amran Hossain

The BNP yesterday said the government was in constant "fear" of the party's December 10 rally in the capital and that it was having sleepless nights.

"They [Awami League] are talking among themselves that there will be a change of government on December 10. It does not have any confidence in the people and that's why it is in constant fear," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He was addressing a massive divisional rally at Rajshahi city's Madrasa ground, which was joined by party men and supporters from eight districts of Rajshahi division.

Fakhrul said they want to hold the Dhaka divisional rally in front of the BNP's Nayapaltan central office on December 10 like they held rallies there before.

"Nothing happened there previously. But today they know that they have committed many misdeeds and that's why they are in constant fear of the BNP and the people of the country."

Speaking at the rally, senior and mid-ranking BNP leaders asked the audience to join the Dhaka rally to show no confidence in the government.

Police gave BNP permission to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan but the party said they wanted to organise the event at Nayapaltan.

Fakhrul yesterday alleged that the government was now using two "weapons" against the BNP to stop its movement -- militancy and arson.

He said the government "creates militants and uses them against the BNP" whenever needed.

"We don't carry out arson attacks. You [government] do those things and blame it on the BNP."

The BNP faced criticism at home and abroad for arson attacks and violence centering the 2014 national election. Many people were burnt alive during that time.

Fakhrul asked police officials not to carry out any illegal orders of the "unelected" government as the police personnel are government employees and their salaries and other benefits are paid by taxpayers.

He said the people's backs were against the wall.  He alleged that the ruling Awami League men were looting money in the name of mega projects.

Referring to media reports, he said the ruling party men have siphoned off Tk 19 lakh crore abroad in the last 11 years.

The BNP leader asked the audience whether they would stand up to resist the tyranny of the government. The audience responded positively.

Fakhrul reiterated that there would no election in the country without a caretaker government system in place.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina must step down and the Jatiya Sangsad must be dissolved.

Nazrul Islam Khan, BNP standing committee member, said people want a change and that's why ordinary people are also joining the party's divisional rallies alongside its leaders and activists.

He asked the BNP men to stay alert to the government's incitement to engage in violence. "Don't do anything without the directives of the party's high command."

Selima Rahman, another standing committee member of the party, said a one-point movement programme would be announced from the Dhaka rally to unseat the government.

Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, another standing committee member, said they fought the Liberation War to liberate the country and now they all were ready to wage another war to get people's rights back.

"In the month of victory, we will wage such a movement which will inspire people to dream of a new Bangladesh," he said.

Former Rajshahi city mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu said there were only two paths before them -- die or to take to the streets to free the country from the government's misdeeds and misrule.

Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, chief coordinator of the rally, said people would show "red card" to the government from the December 10 rally in Dhaka.

The BNP has been holding divisional rallies protesting price hike of essentials, gas and electricity, killings of party men and demanding "release" of Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Yesterday's rally was the last one held outside Dhaka.


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