Referring to the recent clashes between the Bangladesh Nationalist Party men and police at Chandrima Udyan in the capital, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday wondered why BNP activists get involved in fights when they are well aware that Ziaur Rahman’s body is not there.
“BNP got involved in clashes at Chandrima Udyan. Don’t they know that there’s no grave or body of Zia there? They are well aware of that, so why do they stage this drama? Khaleda Zia is also aware of this,” she said while addressing a programme virtually from her official residence, Gonobhaban, in the capital.
Dhaka city north and south units of Awami League jointly organised the memorial meeting at AL’s Bangabandhu Avenue central office on the occasion of National Mourning Day.
Sheikh Hasina asked whether Khaleda Zia or Tarique Zia could claim that they saw Zia’s body in the box (that was brought from Chattogram) as a body riddle with bullets could easily be recognised. “No one saw it as there was no body (of Zia) in the box,” she said.
The AL president further said she heard from HM Ershad that there was a body in combat dress in the box.
“Are the BNP men not aware that the president can’t combat dress? Even then they haven’t given up getting involved in clashes over there,” she said.
Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said the objectives of 15 August conspirators were to make Bangladesh a failed state, thwart the achievements of the (country’s) independence and destroy the ideals of the Liberation War.
She said the name of Bangabandhu that the conspirators erased from the history for 21 years is now internationally recognised. “Now no one can erase the name anymore…. The history they had distorted is now very clear to people,” she added.
Reiterating that Ziaur Rahman and Khandker Mustaque Ahmad were the masterminds of the 15 August carnage, she said Bangabandhu made Ziaur Rahman the deputy army chief, bringing him from Cumilla Cantonment in order to keep his family unbroken.
She said Ziaur Rahman never believed in the existence of Bangladesh. “It’s true. No such history can be heard that Ziaur Rahman fought in any field or anywhere.”
The PM said the AL Chattogram leaders, including Mosharraf Hossain MP, named him ‘Mr Retreat’ at that time as he used to stay three miles away from any fighting spot.
Hasina said Mustaque became president depending on Ziaur Rahman but could not cling to power for a long time as Mir Jafar could not. “All use the traitors, but no one trusts them. Ziaur Rahman did exactly the same thing, and Mustaque had to step down even before completing three months in power,” she said.
In her emotion-choked voice, the PM said she got the love and affection from AL leaders and activists and the people of Bangladesh when she returned home in 1981 after losing her family members. “So, AL is my family and Bangladesh is my family… I don’t have any fear of death or any desire,” she said.
Hasina thanked the AL leaders and activists for helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s the Awami League leaders and activists who are standing beside people,” she said.
AL Dhaka city north unit Sheikh Bazlur Rahman presided over the discussion meeting moderated by its general secretary SM Mannan Kachi.
AL Dhaka city south unit president Abu Ahmed Mannafi, general secretary Humayun Kabir, vice president Nurul Amin MP, joint general secretary Morshed Kamal and organising secretary Akter Hossain, and AL Dhaka city north unit vice president Kader Khan, joint general secretary Matiur Rahman Matin and organising secretary Azizul Haque Rana spoke at the function.