BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said their party will free their chairperson Khaleda Zia and realise their demands for a fair and credible election under a non-party administration through a movement.
“We want a fair election in which people will be able to put a government of their choice in place. But the government is making the situation complicated. Our leader (Khaleda) was conveyed that her punishment has been enhanced. She said she won’t bow down, no matter how much punishment she is given,” he said.
Speaking at a mass-hunger strike programme, the BNP leader further said, “Let’s get united and defeat the current regime. We won’t bow down as we’ll realise our rights and demands through a movement.”
As part of its countrywide programme, BNP observed the hunger strike in the city, protesting the conviction of its chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
The protest programme began around 10am at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in the capital at 10amand continued till 3:15pm.
BNP leaders and activists broke their hunger strike by taking water provided by ex-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Emajuddin Ahmed.
Jatiya Oikyafront leaders and Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and JSD-Rob general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan and some 20-party leaders expressed their solidarity with BNP leaders by joining the mass-hunger strike.
Fakhrul said the government has kept Khaleda Zia in jail with a political motive. “The judiciary has now gone under the government’s control. The two verdicts of Khaleda Zia’s cases given this week have also demonstrated it.”
He also alleged that the country has now turned into an autocratic one as the government has destroyed its all the institutions.
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Musharraf Hossain said the Awami League has set up a trap with its offer for talks on the election. “We know Awami League very well. It won’t work if you try to deceive us and push us into a trap through the dialogue.”
He said the next general election will not be held unless their seven-point demand is met. “No election will be held without the participation of Khaleda Zia. We won’t go to polls without the implementation of our seven-point demand.”
The BNP leader also called upon their party leaders and activists to take preparation for waging a strong movement. “If the political crisis is not resolved through talks, we’ll settle it on the streets.”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed urged their party men to take both physical and mental preparation for waging a movement to have their chairperson freed from jail.
“We’ll continue our movement until our demands for releasing our leader (Khaleda) and installation of the election-time government are accepted,” he added.
The BNP leader said the entire nation is now united to realise their demands. “The Oikyafront is moving ahead with a big expectation of people for ensuring a fair election under a non-party administration.”
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists joined the programme amid tight vigilance by police.
On Wednesday, the party formed human chains in the capital and elsewhere in the country while staged demonstrations on Tuesday.
The party leaders and followers chanted various slogans demanding Khaleda’s release.
On Monday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced a three-day countrywide programme, including, demonstration, formation of human chains, and the mass-hunger strike, protesting the conviction of Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable graft case.
On Monday, a Dhaka court sentenced BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment each in a graft case.unb