BNP out to protect war criminals: AL

Senior Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim on Friday alleged that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was trying to create unrest in the country right after returning from Singapore.“Main opposition BNP has come out to the field in favour of the mass murderers of 1971,” the ruling party Presidium member told a press briefing after a meeting of the 14-Party Grand Alliance at the Awami League President’s political office in Dhanmondi.
Nasim alleged that Khaleda Zia was a ‘direct friend’ of the war criminals. “The International Crimes Tribunal has awarded death sentence to a ‘known war criminal’ following the nation’s expectation. People from all walks of life except Jamaat have accepted the verdict. And BNP is backing Jamaat.”
“Jamaat-Shibir wants to instigate communal riot in the country in a planned way. They are attacking the administration, law enforcers, leaders and activists of Awami League and people from the minority community. The country’s independence is not safe because of them.”
“BNP has taken the side of the mass murderers who killed three million people in 1971 [during the Liberation War] and violated 200,000 mothers and sisters of the land,” Nasim added.
He said, “Jamaat and Shibir are carrying out violent attacks across the country with their [BNP] direct support.”
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 Thursday noon pronounced that Jamaat-e-Islami executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee would be hanged for his crimes against humanity including genocide, murder, rape, arson, loot and persecution during the Liberation War.
Hours after the verdict was pronounced, Jamaat and its student affiliate the Islami Chhatra Shibir activists engaged violent attacks in different districts across the country. At least 50 people, including four policemen, were killed and hundreds others injured in the fierce clashes.
The party has also declared a 48-hour nationwide shutdown starting from Sunday rejecting the verdict against Jamaat’s number two leader, Sayedee.
Khaleda Zia was in Singapore when Sayedee was given death sentence. She left for Singapore on Feb 19 for treatment and returned Thursday night.
She had an emergency meeting with the senior leaders of BNP last night at her Gulshan office and briefed the media there at 5pm on Friday.
Regarding Thursday’s violence, Mohammad Nasim said, “The law says any aggrieved person can appeal against the verdict. Why then such atrocity after the verdict?”
The Awami League leader also urged the people to be united to prevent the acts of sabotage of the Jamaat and Shibir.
The ruling coalition at the press briefing also announced countrywide protest programmes from Mar 2 to Mar 4 against the ‘rampage of the anti-liberation forces’.

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