Hasina urges BNP to give up politics of violence

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to give up the politics of violence amid the incidents of buses being torched in Dhaka during the by-elections.

Replying to a point of order in Parliament on Monday, Hasina said: “BNP MP Harun-ur Rashid spoke about the polls. My question is, do they even participate in the elections? They take nominations but do not campaign. They don’t even appoint polling agents in the voting centres on election day. They lost the support of the people long ago. Terrorism, murder, violence against women – there is nothing they have not done.”

Hasina also asked the BNP to stop spreading rumours, saying people will not accept them, nor would they believe them.

She made the remarks after Rashid alleged that the government was oppressing BNP leaders by falsely implicating them in cases of arson attacks.

So far, 47 people have been nabbed in 16 arson cases on Dhaka transportation.

Before addressing Parliament, the Prime Minister first played out a recording of a phone conversation on the incidents of buses being torched in Dhaka during the by-elections.

“With a heavy heart, I have to say that sometimes BNP MP Rashid makes such statements in Parliament, which we do not respond to. But today, before making the allegation against the government, he should have thought of his own party’s history.

“Thousands of women were brutally tortured after the 2001 general elections. Then came their arson attacks. People were burned alive. They were burned to death. This is how they demonstrated, by carrying out arson attacks.

“They torched buses during the recent by-polls in two Dhaka constituencies and blamed that it was done by government agents.

“We are in power. Why would we carry out arson attacks? It is our responsibility to ensure the security of the people.

“Now there are CCTV cameras everywhere, and those behind the arson attacks are being identified and caught. It is absolutely clear. I even have pictures,” Hasina added.

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