Senior BNP leader Tariqul Islam believes the ongoing war crimes trials have been targeted against Jamaat-e-Islami, its key ally.He came up with the observation a day after the International Crimes Tribunal-2 delivered its first verdict, condemning former Jamaat-e-Islami member Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu r to death, which promoted the party to express concerns.
Tariqul, however, said his party did not have any reservations about the trial being run.
“The people will not accept a trial only for punishing the leaders of a certain party out of political motive,” the Standing Committee Member said at a discussion without naming the party.
Nine of the 11 accused facing war crimes trials are leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, a component of the BNP-led 18-Party Alliance.
Jamaat has also been alleging that the Awami League is holding a ‘politically motivated’ trial.
Claiming that there had been crimes against humanity after the War of Liberation, Tariqul said that those should be tried alike.
“There had been crimes against humanity in 1971. The offence was committed after independence and is taking place nowadays too. So, I would tell the government to ensure a transparent and credible trial of international standards.”
Tariqul referred to the post-Independence situation to back his claim.
“After the Liberation War, the then government’s Rakkhi Bahini killed 40,000 progressive political activists and freedom fighters. Their parents and family members are also crying for justice.”
He recalled the killing of communist leader Siraj Shikder.
“After killing him (Shikder), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had said in Parliament, ‘Where is Siraj Shikder’? His killers are not yet tried.”
He said that the BNP was a ‘party of freedom fighters’ and added: “This party cannot be communal anyway. We too want trial of the crimes against humanity.”
“But the trial must be transparent, credible and of international standards. The people will not accept the trial if it’s for implementing agenda of any political party.”
The discussion was held at the auditorium of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh by Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal, the woman wing of the BNP, to mark the birth anniversary of party founder Ziaur Rahman.
He referred to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s inaugural speech at the Police Week programme on Tuesday that the law enforcers were not being used to serve political purposes.
“On one hand the Prime Minister is saying that the police are not political tools and the police officer who humiliated and assaulted the opposition Chief Whip was awarded Presidential Medal on the other.”
“We’ll request the government for not using the police force as their front organisations. Let them work neutrally.”
He alleged ‘supremacy’ of police officers from a certain district in the force.
Justifying his party’s demand for a non-party government to conduct the next elections, he said: “The BNP acting Secretary General (Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir) is being kept in jail in false cases, and Chhatra League cadres are killing innocent people like Biswajit Das on the streets while top criminal like Bikash is being released from jail.”
“This attitude has created confusion among the people over the coming elections. That’s why we’re demanding a neutral government for ensuring holding a credible election.”
He asked the government to put their popularity to test by holding the next parliamentary elections under a non-party caretaker administration. (Source: banglanews24.com)