Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud has accused the BNP of carrying out extortion across the country in the name of holding rallies.
“BNP has frightened the businessmen and extorted money from them in the name of a rally in Chattogram. They have taken a mega project to extort money to hold divisional rallies, including the one in Mymensingh. Even, I heard that half of the extortion money, which was collected in Chattogram, has been sent to Tarique Rahman,” he said.
The minister, also the joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League, made the allegations while talking to the reporters at the meeting room of the information ministry at the secretariat in the capital on Sunday, reports BSS.
Rejecting an allegation of BNP leaders, Hasan said, “I would like to urge BNP to look back when the party talks about such obstacles. BNP had carried out August 21 grenade attacks. ”
“They also carried out attacks on the rallies of Shah AMS Kibria, Suranjit Sengupta, Ahsanullah Master and at Narayanganj,” he added.
He said, “They (BNP) killed many people through attacking rallies of Awami League in different parts of the country. Even, they had taken a step by giving a permanent barbed wire fence in front of the Awami League office so that none could go outside during their (BNP) tenure, ” said Hasan Mahmud.
But, the minister said, the such incident didn’t happen during the current BNP’s rallies.
He said the administration of the AL government is assisting them so BNP could organise their rallies properly. But, police have to be alert so that they could not carry out vandalism and arson attacks like before, he added.
Showing the scenarios of rallies during the Awami League’s and BNP’s tenures, he said BNP leaders are sitting on the stage with makeup during the AL period. Besides, grenade attacks were carried out on AL rallies during BNP’s regime, he added.
“Even, I was admitted to hospital for long after sustaining sprinters injuries in the grenade attack and I’m bearing 40 sprinters in my body till now. And this is the difference between the Awami League and BNP,” said Hasan.
Replying to a query over the legislation in the House of Representatives of the US which urges President Joe Biden to recognise the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army during Bangladesh’s great Liberation War in 1971 as genocide, the minister extended thanks to the US congressmen for introducing the legislation.
He said the government has been trying for a long so that the United Nations recognises March 25 as Genocide Day. The incident of killing 3 million people and oppressing 200,000 women didn’t happen anywhere in the world after the Second World War, he said.
The minister said the Ruanda genocide has been recognised as genocide. But more people were killed in 1971 and it must be recognised, he added.
He said the government has been trying to get recognition from the UN and other international organisations and the proposal introduced by the US congressmen is the reflection of the efforts.
Hasan hoped that Bangladesh would get acknowledgement of the genocide through these continued efforts.