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Minister: Caretaker govt arrested Sheikh Hasina to suspend democracy

  • Published at 06:43 pm July 19th, 2019
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File photo of Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud Collected

The Awami League president was detained to resist the voice of the people, the information minister said

Information Minister and Awami League Publicity and Publication Secretary, Dr Hasan Mahmud, has said the caretaker government of 2007 had arrested Awami League President Sheikh Hasina to halt the democratic progress in the country.

“On July 16, 2007, Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina was arrested without issuing any arrest warrant,” he said, while addressing a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Swadhinata Parishad at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) auditorium on Friday.

“Despite their promise of establishing justice and a corruption free nation, the caretaker government did not remain true to their oath; instead, they arrested Sheikh Hasina,” said the minister.

“Sheikh Hasina was arrested to resist the voice of the people and to confine the country’s democracy”, he added.

The president of the Awami League was released after the party’s grassroots leaders and activists waged a strong movement, demanding the release of their chief.

During her detention, Sheikh Hasina got many proposals from a certain vested quarter, but she did not compromise for the greater interest of the country’s people as well as for democracy, the minister said.

The Awami League assumed state power after a landslide victory in the election of 2008.

“Now, about 95% of people have access to electricity while per capita income has increased to $2,000 from $200,” he said, highlighting the various development works that took place under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina during the Awami League regimes.

Hasan said the construction of Padma Bridge is going on, despite BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s remark that the Awami League government would not be able to build the bridge.

He cancelled BNP’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamir’s allegation that some people are gaining benefits from the development projects, saying: “You should not forget that the World Bank had cancelled financing from five projects on graft allegations during BNP regime. We welcome constructive criticism, but do not criticize blindly.”

About BNP’s demands of its chairperson’s release, Hasan said: “There is no way to get Khaleda released without following legal procedures. Thus, let us walk on this path to free her.”

Awami League Dhaka North General Secretary Shahe Alam Murad, and its leaders MA Karim, Akhter Hossin and Aminul Islam Amin, among others, spoke at the discussion, with Shadhinota Parishad adviser Adv Jahangir Alam Khan in the chair.