DHAKA: The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that the government is ruling the country in ‘Baksal style’ by repressing journalists as well as the media.
“You were not forgiven by the people for repressing journalists and for shutting down news organizations in the past and it would happen in the future, too,” said party standing committee member Dr Khondokar Mosharraf Hossain at their central protest rally held at Muktangon as part of countrywide demonstrations Sunday.
The opposition staged demonstrations against what they say government’s repression on journalists and interference in the run of the mass media.
Earlier, the party high command had instructed the leaders and activists of all unions, pourasavas, upazilas and districts to make the demonstration programme a success.
As per its scheduled programme, BNP held the protest rallies at different points in the capital with top leaders of the party addressing the gatherings.
The central protest rally was held at Muktangan with Dhaka Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka in the chair, starting from the morning.
Mosharraf alleged the government is repeating the role of the Baksal “in the guise of democracy”.
“The one-party rule imposed by Sheikh Mujib government during 1972-75 period is being replicated by closing down Daily Amar Desh and private television Channel One and by arresting editor of Amar Desh Mahmudur Rahman as well,” he said.
He recalled that the then Baksal government also closed down all but four government-owned newspapers the same way.
Sadek Hossain khoka called upon the people to keep up the continuity of BNP’s victory, which, in his words, ‘started through the CCC poll success’.
Standing committee member Dr. Moyeen Khan, Mirza Abbas, senior joint secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Abdullah Al Noman, among others, were present at the rally.
The rally was followed by a protest procession, led by Dr Mosharraf, which marched from Muktangon to the central office of BNP at Paltan through Bijoynagar and Kakrail.
Earlier, BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia announced a set of agitation programmes from their Dhaka divisional grand rally held at Paltan Maidan on May 19, as part of their planned anti-government movement.
The programmes include a mass sit-in on June 9 at the Engineers’ Institution in protest against the government’s interference with the judiciary, countrywide demonstrations on June 17 against government “harassment” of journalists and interference in the run of the mass media and a dawn-to-dusk hartal on June 27 to protest gas-electricity-water crises, deterioration of law and order, price hike of essentials, and agreements with India.
BDST: 1853 HRS. June 20, 2010