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Dhaka Tribune

Khaleda seeks UN intervention to stop ‘forced disappearance, killings‘

Update : 04 Feb 2014, 08:02 PM

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged that 300 activists of the opposition had either been abducted or killed in between December 26 and January 27.

She urged the right bodies including the United Nations to intervene to stop such “enforced disappearance and killings.”

Issuing a note of warning she said they cannot go on urging the government for talks and compromise for an indefinite period. However, she said they would take some time to reorganise the party as many leaders and activists were either in jail or on the run while many were killed.

The former premier said the figure of 300 “killed or disappeared” activists were collected by the BNP office. She mentioned another figure of “killed” activists quoting media reports. 

“According to different media statistics, since the start of the opposition movement against the farcical election, 276 opposition leaders and activists were killed, 34 fell victim to extrajudicial killings after they were detained and 29,262 were arrested,” she claimed.

“I am drawing the attention of all the human rights organisations including the United Nations to the poor state of human rights and also urging them to take effective steps,” she said.

Addressing a press conference at a city hotel Khaleda reiterated her call to the government to initiate a dialogue immediately to find out an amicable way out of the political standoff.

On the movement strategy Khaleda said BNP knows when to take a decision. “There is no reason to think that we will urge for dialogue and compromise for an indefinite period. So take necessary steps keeping time in hand,” she warned.

Accusing the government of “resorting to various conspiracy” to prolong its “autocratic tenure” Khaleda said people of the country would not accept and tolerate the “autocracy and authoritarianism” for a long time.

The BNP chief alleged that not only the law enforcers or “state sponsored terrorism”, Awami League’s associated bodies have also been resorting to armed attack publicly in the country.

“The illegal government has resorted to the path of political repression, killing, abduction and arrest,” she observed.

Terming the January 5 election farcical the former premier alleged 153 were elected uncontested through “distribution” and they also wanted to give a share to the BNP. “We did not want seat sharing rather wanted a free, fair, neutral and competitive elections.”

Khaleda said they formed the Rapid Action Battalion to curb militancy and criminal activities but (the government) ruined its image and turned it into a dreadful force.

Soon after the formation of the RAB the then ruling BNP launched “Operation Clean Heart” drive in which many opposition men were killed drawing flak from both home and abroad.

The BNP chief said the BGB was being misused to uproot political opponents keeping the border insecure.

Replying to a query she said the party’s decision to boycott the January 5 poll was right. Asked why they were contesting the upazila polls now, Khaleda said: “Upazila election is a local body election and anyone can participate in the polls.”

On the ruling party’s call to quit the Jamaat, Khaleda said: “We will decide on it ourselves. Who are they to dictate us?”

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