2922Published on December 15, 2018
Referring to an incident when Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain lashed out at a journalist, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said people will not be silenced by a “shut up.”
The prime minister made the comment while addressing a discussion arranged by Awami League to mark Martyred Intellectuals Day, at Bangladesh Krishibid Institution in Dhaka, reports UNB.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader also spoke at the discussion, among others.
Earlier on Friday, Dr Kamal Hossain lashed out at a journalist when he was asked about his stance on Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. The Islamist party had openly opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.
The Oikya Front leader grew visibly angry at the question from the journalist, at one point telling him to “shut up.”
In the morning, Dr Kamal was part of an Oikya front delegation that paid tribute to intellectuals martyred during the Liberation War, at the memorial next to the Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard in Mirpur.
Sheikh Hasina came down heavily on Dr Kamal, Kader Siddique, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, and Sultan Mohammad Monsur for joining hands with “war criminals and corrupt persons.”
She also questioned whether they feel ashamed about such associations.
Referencing Dr Kamal's outburst from earlier in the day, the prime minister said: "Will the people keep silent if you say ‘khamosh’ to stop them from speaking their minds? No, the people will not."
She also wondered how Oikya Front leaders could contest the election under “Sheaf of Paddy” when relatives of war criminals would run under the same symbol.
Mentioning the names of Motiur Rahman Nizami, Mojaheed and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, Sheikh Hasina said: “They were made ministers by BNP and were later convicted for crimes against humanity and their death sentence was also executed.”
"It's shameful for the nation that the flag, which was earned in exchange for blood of millions of martyrs was handed over to them," she said adding that “BNP perhaps has no shame.”
‘Don’t vote for war criminals’
The prime minister urged the people of the country not to cast their votes in favour of war criminals, their relatives, and corrupt elements in different constituencies, in the upcoming general elections to be held on December 30.
She said: “BNP has given nominations to war criminals who committed crimes against humanity, or their relatives, and wives and relatives of convicts, who were involved in the August 21 grenade attack.”
“BNP wants to make corrupt elements get elected as representatives and also the ones who have graft cases against them. The nation didn't expect it," she said.
Sheikh Hasina further said: "People will never accept it. I think they should be more aware in this regard so that such criminals never get any votes. I would like to urge people to never cast their votes in favour of them."
She also questioned BNP’s ability to find qualified candidates other than criminals or whether the party considers crimes as “qualifications.
The Awami League president also told her party's leaders and activists to make people aware of the criminals and corrupt persons so that they would not cast vote in favour of them.
War criminals, relatives, convicts
The names the prime minister mentioned as either war criminals, their relatives and relatives of killers who are contesting the general polls with “sheaf of paddy” symbol are Al Badr member Moulana Abdul Hakim in Thakurgaon 2; war crimes convict Motiur Rahman's son Barrister Nazibur Rahman,Pabna-1; war criminal HM Hamidur Rahman Azad in Cox's Bazar 2; Maulana Delwar Hossain Saydee's son Shamim Bin Saydee in Pirojpur 1; Masuda Momin Talukder, wife of fugitive war crimes convict Momin Talukder in Bogura 3; Rita Rahman, wife of Maj (retd) Khairuzzaman who is one of the killers of the four national leaders, in Rangpur 3 and wife of Lutfur Zaman Babar who is a convict in the August 21 grenade attack in Netrakona 4.
Sheikh Hasina also said to boycott the mentioned people in the election completely.
She also said: “It they come to power again, the image and progress of the country will be destroyed. The development pace of the country will be stopped.”
Terming the next 11th general election as very crucial, she called upon the people to cast their votes for “Boat” in the month of victory. to advance the country towards economic victory.
Pointing out telephonic conversation of a BNP leader with an ISI agent, she said conspiracies will continue over the next general election.
The Prime Minister said they want that the election to be held in a peaceful manner on December 30.
Actress Shomi Kaiser and Dr Nujhat Chowdhury, daughters of martyred writer Shahidullah Kaiser and Dr Alim Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion.