Save people from blockade violence
Members of civil society platform Rukhe Darao Bangladesh yesterday questioned the justification of the countrywide blockade imposed by the BNP-led 20-party alliance that has so far claimed the lives of at least 26 people.
Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman, chairman of the platform, said that the blockade was trampling the constitutional rights of people.
"We want to ask all political parties and the government to give our constitutional rights back. No public movement can be achieved by crippling the country's economy or torturing the people," said Anisuzzaman at a human chain programme in the capital's Shahbagh.
Sultana Kamal, executive committee convener of the platform, referred to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's announcement on Monday to continue with the blockade and asked whom she was imposing the blockade on.
Citing incidents of violence where students, bus drivers, helpers and labourers were burnt in petrol bomb attacks when they were going about their regular works, Kamal asked if the blockade was enforced against them. She urged the political parties not to impose their politics on common people, using "heinous and violent" methods, to assume power.
Speakers also said the blockade had received no public support as there was no mass movement involving national support.
Referring to the ordeals students have been going through, Manusher Jonno Foundation Executive Director Shaheen Anam said the government must ensure security to children who wanted to study and attend their educational institutes.
"We do not care whether political parties are going to stop this violence through a discussion or a dialogue, but this has to stop," she said.
Eminent journalist Abed Khan called for a dialogue to solve the political crisis. He said if any unconstitutional or non-political party appeared in the scene taking advantage of the current situation then both the party enforcing the blockade and the government would be responsible for any untoward happenings.
He also warned that such a restive situation often proved to be conducive to carrying out terrorist attacks.
Liberation War Museum trustee Sarwar Ali and war crimes tribunal prosecutor Rana Dasgupta, among others, also spoke at the programme.