Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Sunday asked BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to clarify her stance on the Fatikchhari violence that took place on April 11 and her support for the actions the government is taking against the perpetrators.
Inu also pointed out that some of the opposition leaders are giving speeches hailing the attackers, an irresponsible act that is putting the democratic culture of the country at risk.
“Some of the BNP leaders including standing committee members, Dr Khandokar Mosharraf Hossain and Abdul Hannan Shah, and Vice Chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka are giving speeches instigating their activists to perpetuate acts of violence again, which is not a positive sign for democracy. “However, as party chief, Khaleda Zia has kept mysteriously silent, giving an impression that she tacitly supports such acts.
“She will have to clarify whether she supports action against the criminals,” the minister told reporters at the secretariat.
He also advised her to condemn the incident and keep her party leaders away from instigating things that go against the democratic culture in the country.
“At least three ruling party workers have died in the [Fatikchhari] incident and a number of people are still missing,” the minister added.
“Known Jamaat-Shibir henchmen attacked the peaceful demonstration from behind,” he said adding that this is most probably the first violent ambushing of this nature since Bangladesh’s independence.
“This cannot happen in a democratic country, penalties are a must for both those responsible and those who instigated them.”
Inu went on to claim that the ruling party’s procession was a “peaceful” demonstration against an “illogical” shutdown and that none of the participants went to attack any mosque or Imam.
The instigators used loudspeakers of a mosque to invoke religious sentiments and motivate people to attack the demonstration. At least 3 died and over 50 were injured in the violence that led to over a 100 vehicles being torched.
When asked whether the government is moving to sit with the opposition and settle their differences, Inu said, “We can sit and talk about the next poll, but we cannot discuss the killings or the destruction that has taken place recently. The law will run its course there.”