• Sunday, Nov 17, 2019
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Fakhrul: BNP will not accept a gas price hike

  • Published at 09:04 pm March 17th, 2019
File photo of BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir Dhaka Tribune

Fakhrul issued the warning at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office after a joint meeting of BNP and its associate bodies

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday warned that their party will not accept any gas price hike as it will only inflict suffering on people.

"Our position is clear about the government's move to raise gas prices. Neither we, nor the country's people, will accept it," he said.

Fakhrul issued the warning at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office after a joint meeting of BNP and its associate bodies.

He also said their party will launch all-out protests if the government increases the gas tariff.

BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Joint Secretaries General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal and Khairul Kabir Khokon, and other leaders of the party and its associate bodies, took part in the meeting held with Fakhrul in the chair.

State Department’s report

Speaking about the US State Department's annual country report on human rights practices, the BNP leader said it depicts the real condition of human rights in Bangladesh and the December-30 polls.

The US 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released on March 13 said unlawful or political killings, forced disappearances, life-threatening prison conditions, limitation of freedom of speech, negative government pressure on and fear of reprisal by press and media, and impunity for security force abuses were the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year.

On elections and political participation, the report termed the December 30 parliamentary elections "lopsided" and said it was considered to be marred by irregularities, including ballot-box stuffing, and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters.

Fakhrul said, not only the US State Department but also all other global media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, and The Washington Post, clearly said it was not an election at all on December 30. "They also said the people's opinion and desire were not reflected in the election as they couldn't cast their votes."

He said the Bangladeshi media could not properly report on the election due to  serious censorship. "Still, they're vocal about it as much as is possible for them."

"We're very respectful to the media, and we thank them for the role they're playing in such an adverse situation," Fakhrul said.

He also said that the government has indulged in enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and arrest of its opponents to establish one-party rule.

"One-party rule has been established in the country. Now people have no security and they don't get justice. We've been witnessing for nearly 10-12 years that those the government doesn't like are being killed and made to disappear," the BNP leader observed.