The government is turning Bangladesh into a failed state by snatching away people’s voting rights, says BNP
“We know that those having pro Awami League backgrounds have been given the responsibility for holding the two city corporation elections. We also know who went to a minister for getting approval for a vehicle and who took government land for getting permission for one’s own school,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He was speaking at a program arranged by Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Help Cell at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports UNB.
The program was arranged as Jatiyatabadi Help Cell provided financial assistance to 10 families of party leaders who were either subjected to enforced disappearance, killing, or maiming by law enforcement and ruling party ‘cadres.’
“Those who lack ethical values have been given charge of conducting voting through EVMs. Most countries have already rejected these machines as they can be manipulated,” Fakrul said.
The BNP leader said their party is against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the city polls as it thinks the people’s verdict will not be reflected if the voting is held using the machines.
About Monday’s by-polls to Chittagong 8 constituency, he said voters were not allowed to go to the polling stations as supporters of the ruling party exploded hand bombs and attacked people with sticks.
“Many people may say such acts could not be prevented.. How will decent and common people tackle hooligans and those who resort to terrorism. This is the reality. Common voters do not engage in violence and they want to cast their votes, but they are not allowed to do so,” Fakhrul said.
He said the government is turning Bangladesh into a failed state by snatching away people’s voting rights.
The BNP leader, however, urged their party people not to get frustrated. “Never give up, no matter how much suffering, pain and repression you are going through. The people of the country will stand up and put up a resistance as they did repeatedly in the past.”
Fakhrul said the Awami League has long been resorting to serious repressive acts using state machinery to hang onto power by ‘restoring’ one party rule.
“They (govt) have turned the entire country into a torture cell. Those of us who took to the streets protesting the government’s misdeeds, many of them were made to disappear and went missing after being picked up by law enforcement, and many others were killed or sent to jail,” he said.
The BNP leader turned emotional pointing to children present at the program whose fathers have remained missing for a long time. “These children always think their fathers will return, while mothers wait to get back their children, and wives wait to get back their beloved husbands. This is an unbearable and suffocating situation.”
He bemoaned that though the ruling party is carrying out ‘serious repression’ on their opponents, they never show any repentance, arrogant with power. ”Dictators are never remorseful."
Fakhrul urged all to be united to get rid of the country’s current situation.
Expressing concern about the growing incidents of killing, rape, and road accidents, Fakrul said: “If you see the newspapers you will get an impression that a grand festival of killing is going on across the country. They have created a reign of terror, spreading fear and panic.”
The BNP leader said the ruling party has created such an appalling situation in the country that even journalists are now imposing self censorship to avoid the government’s wrath.