Sunday, February 25, 2024

BNP sees govt plot to save Savar accused

BNP, on Saturday, accused the government of plotting to help Sohel Rana, owner of the collapsed building at Savar, to flee the country. “The government is hatching a plan to save Rana. Awami League is trying to shift the people’s attention on this, by holding the opposition party responsible for the tragedy that claimed over 300 lives,” BNP standing committee member Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain said.
He was addressing a programme to demand the immediate release of detained BNP leaders. The programme was organised by Jehad Parishad, at the National Press Club.
He warned the government against shifting the blame on the opposition. “Instead, the ruling Awami League must act immediately to book the people responsible for the tragedy immediately,” he added.
Mosharraf alleged that Rana was an influential leader of the ruling party’s youth front, in the area, and, therefore, his business establishment was not declared vulnerable, despite having a cracked wall. “As a result of the government’s negligence, poor and innocent ready made garments (RMG) workers were killed,” he said.
The BNP leader said the arrest of Rana’s relatives was just eyewash. “The ruling Awami League is staging a drama in the name of arrests,” he alleged.
After the tragedy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had assured Parliament that Rana was not involved with her party’s youth front. Besides, home minister MK Alamgir had held BNP responsible for the tragedy.
“The government is deflecting the blame in another direction, by cooking up different stories,” he alleged.
Reiterating the opposition’s demand for a caretaker government (CG), to monitor the election, the BNP leader said the government’s stubbornness on the issue had triggered the present political crisis. “The country’s political arena will not be calmed till the government restored the CG provision in the Constitution. We urge the Awami League government to do so for the sake of holding the next general elections in a free and fair manner,” he added.
In a separate rally in front of BNP’s Naya Paltan central office, Mosharraf accused the government of trying to brush the Savar tragedy under the carpet, like the BDR carnage.
“Sheikh Hasina and her ministers are engaged in a blame game, with a view to conceal the real facts in the Savar tragedy. The government had adopted a similar strategy during the BDR carnage at Pilkhana, in 2009,” he said.
Referring to statements by victims, he said the RMG workers were forced to take part in work on Wednesday, despite the appearance of a crack on the wall of Rana Plaza. “Who forced them inside, and for what purpose? The Premier must answer these questions before the nation,” he said.
The rally was organised to demand the release of detained BNP leaders, holding of the next general election under a non-party CG oversight, and punishment for those responsible for the Savar tragedy.
The BNP leader alleged the government’s wrongdoing has destroyed the country’s political stability. “The situation became worse after the CG provision was expunged from the Constitution. The Awami League will be held responsible if the country plunges into a fresh crisis over the CG issue,” he added.
BNP leaders Moudud Ahmed, Shamsuzzaman Dudu and Barkat Ullah Bulu were among those who spoke at the rally. BNP vice-chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka chaired the rally.
In a separate programme, BNP leader MK Anwar accused the PM of sedition for her “false statements” in Parliament, by denying Rana’s links with her party.
“Parliament is a holy place for a nation. But, the holiness of our Parliament has been tarnished as our Premier has made untruthful statements. This is blatantly seditious,” he said.
Anwar was addressing a programme organised by Rajshahi University Nationalist Student Association, at Bhasani auditorium in the city.
The BNP leader said the media had exposed Rana’s links with Awami League leaders, even as the PM continued to deny this. “Awami League was plotting to save Rana by hiding him in a safe place under the government’s management,” he added.
Anwar criticised the government for not extending necessary equipment to accelerate the salvage operations at the site of the collapsed Rana Plaza, and said it was the government’s failure as it did nothing to protect the lives of poor RMG workers.

-With The Independent input

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