Trial, not talks
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government would sue BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for "instigating, patronising and financing" the ongoing violence that left around 70 people dead in the country.
She also warned that actions would be taken against civil society members who would make provocative comments in television talk-shows.
Replying to a lawmaker's query in parliament, Hasina said, "Many cases have been filed against her [Khaleda]. Investigation is going on. Proper punishment will be handed down to her if she is found guilty. Her trial will take place in the country."
She said there was no doubt that the BNP chief had "involvement" in patronising and financing the recent subversive activities.
Hasina, also the leader of the House, said the government had been intensively monitoring the "subversive activities" committed by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
"I want to tell through this House that we will be as tough as necessary to resist those resorting to subversive activities," she said.
Replying to another query, she said the government would take all measures to try those who had been resorting to firebomb attacks and violence.
The premier said she had already asked the law minister to form a speedy trial court to sue those involved in such subversive activities.
Terming the BNP chief's activities "acts of terror", she alleged Khaleda had become "a killer" and a leader of terrorists. She added Khaleda did not believe in elections to go to power.
Referring to the barbed wire installed around Khaleda's Gulshan office, Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, said the BNP chief had done it to safeguard herself from public wrath.
Without naming Khaleda, the leader of the House generally said these persons had no right to get involved in politics as they wanted to destroy everything.
"If people want, they will be banned normally," she added.
Replying to independent lawmaker Hazi Selim's query if the government would do anything to arrest those journalists and civil society members who had been instigating violence on talk-shows, Hasina said:
"Those who would make such provocative speeches will be monitored and actions will be taken against them accordingly.
"They [civil society members] can criticise the government for its wrongdoings but they have no right to instigate killing of people. If they do so, they will have to shoulder the responsibility of the killings.
"Some people are trying to benefit from these killings. They have no public support but they desire to go to power. They have no sympathy for those who have been killed in arson."
She said when Dr Kamal Hossain and Mahmudur Rahman Manna had gone to console Khaleda after her son's death, she thought the duo would urge her to call off hartals considering the SSC examinations.
"We were surprised that they [Kamal-Manna] made no such request," the PM said.
Referring to BNP's propaganda that something would happen soon, Hasina asked, "What will happen? Will someone come and take her [Khaleda] to power? Has she been killing one after another with this hope?
"How many of them [civil society members] have visited the arson victims at the burn units?" said Hasina, adding, Kamal Hossain and Manna could have at least inquired about them and helped them financially.
Hasina said her government would give financial assistance to those who had been killed and injured in arsons and also those whose buses and trucks had been burned.
REJECTION OF PROPOSAL FOR DIALOGUE
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday reiterated that there would be no dialogue with “terrorist and militant” groups like BNP-Jamaat alliance, reports UNB.
"Dialogue? With whom? With killers? What dialogue with the killers?" she told reporters after emerging from the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Hasina also criticised those who are describing these killings and arsons as politics.
According to the report, the prime minister harshly criticised those who were pushing for a dialogue.
"If they [advocates of dialogue] have that much interest to hold dialogue then first stop the killing and arson attacks," she was quoted as saying in the report.