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Bangladesh’s Opposition leader Khaleda Zia demanded a shutdown of the Shahbag protest against Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals, and branded the protest a platform of “atheists and spoilt people”.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia threatened that there would be a counter protest if the Shahbag uprising did not come to a halt, and said that people would march to capital Dhaka to bring the Government down, a Daily Star report said.
“Shahbag Square is an atheists’ square. There are five crore youths in the country and less than a per cent of them are in Shahbag,” she said.
“These youths scream death penalty for war criminals … they sing and dance and do many evil deeds there.”
The leader of the Opposition was addressing a rally Munshiganj district on Friday.
In her 29-minute speech at the rally, Khaleda alleged that a section of law enforcers from a certain district were very active in attacking the Opposition activists.
She denied Jamaat involvement in the “genocide” during the recent violence maintained that police had carried out the brutalities, according to the report.
She claimed that the Government was patronising youths in Shahbag by providing them with food and money.
“The Government is putting mosques under lock and key while providing security to Shahbagis [Shahbag protesters],” she claimed.
The BNP chief repeatedly said that the Shahbag demonstrators were biased towards the ruling Awami League and that the Government was using them to play “a game of trial”.
Referring to the Shahbag movement, she said the government “staged the drama to divert people’s attention from its corruption”.
She said Shahbag demonstrators want punishment of war criminals but the Government only targets people of specific parties, and brands them war criminals. Every war criminal should be punished, she said.
She accused the ruling Awami League of having many war criminals in its ranks, and said the Government sued only BNP and Jamaat men for war crimes, whereas there were many war criminals in the Awami League, the BNP chief said.
Khaleda said the Shahbag demonstrators had blocked roads in Dhaka for days on end, but when the Opposition party wanted to organise a rally in front of its office, police fired rubber bullets on them.
(Source: Daily Star)