Thursday, May 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Minister: No political prisoners in jail, only BNP activists

  • Accuses BNP of disrupting political process through anarchy
  • Accuses Tarique of controlling party politics
Update : 09 Mar 2024, 03:16 PM

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal dismissed claims by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) regarding the existence of thousands of political prisoners, emphasizing that only BNP activists are currently held in prisons.

The minister made these remarks in response to questions from journalists during an event commemorating Police Memorial Day-2024 at the Police Staff College in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon.

He said: "We have no political prisoners. Those imprisoned include individuals involved in vandalizing the chief justice's residence, assaulting policemen, attacking Ansar members, and engaging in violence against women. Legal actions have been taken based on video footage, and individuals found guilty are in custody."

Addressing BNP's role in the 2014 elections, the minister accused the party of attempting to disrupt the electoral process through anarchic activities and arson.

He added that over time, the influence of BNP has diminished, citing their reduced parliamentary seats from 30 in 2008 to six in 2018.

The minister underscored the government's stance on imprisonment, linking it to specific criminal activities rather than political affiliations.

Addressing the BNP Chairman Tarique Rahman, the home minister said: “He went to England on a bond saying that he would not vote. However, we see that sitting in England, he is trying to control the politics of his party in this country.”

He alleged that Tarique's actions have led to disunity within the party, affecting both its members and the overall political landscape.

Emphasizing the popularity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the home minister expressed the belief held by the people of Bangladesh that the country will continue on a positive trajectory as long as the prime minister remains active.

He criticized Tarique Rahman for his role in creating a disunited party and said that Tarique's decisions, such as instructing the resignation of the party's secretary general, have contributed to the party's internal challenges.

In defence of the fairness of Bangladesh's electoral process, the minister highlighted the conducive environment created by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ensuring a fair and impartial election in accordance with the constitution.

He commended the Election Commission for successfully conducting the elections, with security forces maintaining impartiality.

The minister said that the arrests of numerous ministers and prominent leaders during the last election demonstrated the transparency of the process, refuting claims of rigging or external support.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal accused the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of spreading propaganda in various countries, particularly leading up to the October 28 elections.

He pointed to instances of violence, such as attacks on the chief justice's residence, hospital vandalism, journalist torture, and the burning of judges' compounds, attributing these actions to BNP's anticipation of electoral defeat and their attempt to create chaotic situations.

The minister dismissed BNP's propaganda as baseless and lacking truth.

Asserting that the election was fair, he refuted claims that individuals were arrested unjustly or for political reasons in the country.

He criticized BNP for running a propaganda campaign without a factual basis, suggesting that they aim to attract foreigners by spreading fabricated information after the elections.

The minister highlighted the positive assessments of the election by foreign journalists who observed the process, as well as the endorsement from two American organizations that deemed the election fair.

Addressing the European Union's statement, which suggested that the crackdown silenced opposition voices, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal rejected the notion, stating that no attack cases were committed by the police force or the ruling political party.

He accused BNP of creating chaos and insisted that the statements were false, part of a deliberate effort to create a new narrative of conspiracy.

Responding to inquiries about the basis for BNP's statements and international organizations' opinions, the home minister asserted that BNP is spreading false information and confusion.

He maintained that the events described by BNP did not occur in the countries they claim and emphasized that most nations are supportive and appreciative of the fair and beautiful election process that led to the formation of the new government.

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