BNP standing committee member Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain on Monday asked the government to ensure punitive measures against those responsible for the building collapse in Savar. He said the ruling party should not opt for a “political hogwash” by arresting only the owner of the building. He was addressing a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan central office, after a joint meeting of the 18-party alliance leaders.
“Don’t deceive the people by arresting only Sohel Rana, owner of the building. Arrest everyone responsible for the tragedy, including AL lawmaker Tauhid Murad Jang,” he added.
Mosharraf urged the government to extend cooperation to make the BNP-led 18-party Opposition alliance’s public meeting on May 4 a success.
On Saturday night, the 18-party coalition called a nationwide hartal on May 2 and announced that a public meeting would be held in the capital on May 4, projecting the Savar tragedy as a pre-planned killing incident and demanding punishment for the building owner.
Sohel Rana was arrested from Benapole in Jessore on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, a Dhaka court granted 15 days police remand for Sohel in two cases filed in connection with the building collapse incident.
Following legal measures, several ruling party leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, have asked Opposition leader Khaleda Zia to call off the May 2 hartal on humanitarian grounds.
Responding to a query in this regard, Mosharraf Hossain said the hartal programme has been adopted on the basis of an outcome of the meeting of the 18-party alliance leaders. The decision over withdrawal of the hartal programme will be taken through an alliance forum meeting, if needed, he added.
About the May 4 rally, he said the application seeking permission to hold the meeting at Motijheel Shapla Chattar has already been submitted to the authorities. “If we are not allowed to hold our meeting at Shapla Chattar, we’ll hold the meeting at the Nightingale crossing in the Naya Paltan area. But I believe that good sense will prevail and we will be allowed to hold our meeting at the pre-scheduled venue,” he said.
He also said that the government had allowed several organisations to hold rallies at the place on earlier occasions. “The BNP is a major political party. I hope we will be allowed to hold our meeting at the same place on democratic grounds,” he added.
At a separate programme, Moudud Ahmed, another standing committee member of the BNP, said that his party would sit across the table with the government if the latter decides to hold the next general election under a non-party caretaker government (CG). He was addressing a discussion on “Freedom of the press, humanity and Savar tragedy”, organised by Agamir Bangladesh at the National Press Club on Monday afternoon.
-With The Independent input