"No legal action was required to be initiated hastily"
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has disapproved a planned government initiative to expose Priya Saha to sedition charges ahead of obtaining her explanation about her comments during an interaction with US president Donald Trump, road transport minister Obaidul Quader said today.
“The Prime Minister last night sent me a message saying no legal action was required to be initiated hastily,” Quader, also the general secretary of ruling Awami League, told a media briefing at the party’s Dhanmondi office, reports BSS. He also said Saha must make a public statement explaining what she actually wanted to tell Trump.
Quader said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque was set to lodge a sedition case against Saha but he already conveyed the premier’s message and talked to law minister Anisul Huq and home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in this regard.
Quader had previously said that Saha should be given a chance to explain herself. He also termed Saha's remarks as "absolutely false."
The foreign ministry suspected that she was led by an “ulterior motive” while the home minister said “we will certainly ask her (about the remarks) when she returns” from the United States.
The law minister, meanwhile, said Saha made utterly false allegation to gratify her personal desires and she should be ignored but “I think we should not give so much importance to this Priya Saha”.
“We should highlight the truth and ignore her. I think it is not right to term such small matters as ‘seditious offence’, but it is up to judiciary and judges to decide,” he told newsmen on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a judges training programme.
When asked about chances of any group’s backing behind such blatant lies against the country, the law minister said it was not an impossible proposition but it was matter of investigation.
An organising secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (HBCUC), Saha attended a meeting at the White House in Washington DC recently and a video of the meeting with Trump subsequently went viral on social media and sparked widespread controversy back home.
In the video Saha was seen identifying herself as a Bangladeshi and telling Trump that 37 million people of minority groups disappeared from Bangladesh.
HBCUC, meanwhile, tended to disown Saha’s comments with one of its senior leaders saying the comments she made were of her own and she did not represent the Council in the meeting with the US President.
But he said compared to previous governments of Bangladesh, the incumbent one of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was “much more minority-friendly, and we (minorities) want to live here amid harmony”.