BNP leaders and activists on Thursday took a fresh vow to free its chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and restore democracy in the country.
“Today (Thursday) is the 38th death anniversary of BNP founder and late president Ziaur Rahman who introduced multiparty democracy. The nation always remembers this day with due respect,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Talking to reporters after paying homage to Zia by placing wreaths at his grave, he also said the current government destroyed democracy and sent ‘mother’ of democracy Khaleda Zia to jail in ‘false’ cases. “On this day, we’re taking a fresh pledge to free Khaleda Zia and restore democracy holding the ideals of Ziaur Rahman.”
Fakhrul said though Zia’s political life was short, he had played an outstanding role in developing the country. “He restored democracy, freedom of expression and strengthened economy. But it’s unfortunate that now misrule has been imposed on people by snatching their voting rights.”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said their party will continue its struggle for the restoration of democracy. “BNP will remain with people and carry out a movement until the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and democracy are restored in Bangladesh.”
He also said it will not be possible to remove Ziaur Rahman from Bangladesh’s history. “As long as Bangladesh remains, the country’s people will remember him for many reasons, including for the restoration of democracy.”
Several hundred BNP leaders and activists, led by Fakhrul, and party standing committee members, placed wreaths at Zia’s grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar at 11:15am, marking the party founders’ death anniversary.
They also offered a munajat there seeking eternal peace of Zia’s departed soul.
Zia founded BNP in 1978. He was assassinated by some army officers at Chittagong Circuit House on May 30, 1981.
After paying homage to Zia’s grave, Mirza Fakhrul distributed iftar items among the destitute in Tejgaon’s Arjat Para arranged by the local unit of BNP, marking the day.
Movement to continue
Earlier BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said their party’s movement for the ‘restoration’ of democracy will continue under any circumstances.
“Many of us are now upset. I think, there’s no reason to be frustrated. Our main target is to restore democracy, free Khaleda Zia and our numerous leaders and activists from jail and end the misrule,” he said.
Speaking at an iftar party, the BNP leader further said, “We’ll face many obstacles towards reaching our goal. We must go ahead braving all the barriers, and carry out our struggle for democracy under any circumstances.”
Kalyan Party, one of the components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, arranged the iftar event at the auditorium of Bangladesher Communist Party Bhaban in the city.
Fakhrul said Awami League has been working in a planned way for over a decade to eliminate opposition parties from the country. “They sent our chairperson (Khaleda Zia to jail) implicated our thousands of leaders and activists in false cases, arrested them and killed many others.”
He also alleged that Awami Leagued usurped power by staging a farce in the name of 11th parliamentary election.
The BNP leader said no one of the MPs of the current parliament represents people since voters could not exercise their right to franchise in the December-30 election. “The same way, we think, the current government also doesn’t represent people.”
He said though their MPs joined parliament, neither the 20-party nor the Jatiya Oikyafront considers the current parliament and the government a legitimate one.
Fakhrul called upon the people of all walks of life to get united to establish a pro-people government through a fair and credible election.