BNP turns down Shapla Chattar press note

Opposition BNP on Saturday turned down the government press note on May 5 crackdown on Hefajat-e-Islam activists at Shapla Chattar, terming it ‘the version of the ruling party, not of the government’.

“The press note reflected what the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the ruling party leaders have been saying since the incident. It’s not a government press note; it’s a party version,” said BNP chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu.

Addressing a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, Dudu said the press note did not carry what they demanded. “What we wanted to know from the government about the May 5 late night incident, we didn’t find those in the press note. What we got, we didn’t want it; even the nation didn’t expect it.”

He said they did not expect such a light statement from the government on ‘one of the heinous incidents’ in history. “The government hasn’t formed a local probe panel although we demanded an international investigation

Voicing his apprehension, the BNP leader said, “Foreign investors won’t come to Bangladesh if accurate information is not presented about the incident.”

The government issued a press note on the Shapla Chattar crackdown on Friday, five days after the late night incident.

The press termed the ‘rumor of loss of thousands of lives’ in the city’s Motijhel area during a joint drive to clear Shapla Chattar ‘completely baseless, fabricated and ill-motivated’.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s renewal of dialogue offer, he said his party is always in favour of dialogue, but they want a congenial atmosphere and specific agenda for it.

Renewing her dialogue offer, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged opposition leader Khaleda Zia to join parliament and discuss all issues to resolve the country’s ongoing political impasse shunning the tactic of issuing ultimatums.

Reacting to the prime minister’s remarks, Dudu said, “We’re not against dialogue. But the government must create a congenial atmosphere and specify the agenda for the talks.”

He continued, “Most of the BNP leaders are in jail… people are being shot to death and false cases are being filed against the opposition leaders and activists. So, first create the atmosphere and then talk about dialogue.

Make it clear for what the dialogue is and what its agenda is.” (Source: UNB)

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