BNP thinks police crackdown on militants, fears repression on opposition

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Dhaka, June 10: The BNP on Friday expressed its apprehension that the government might swoop on the opposition activists in the name of launching combing operation against militants and extremists across the country.

“The combing operation is their (government) tactics, through which they suppressed the peoples’ movement. This time, we fear that they will again swoop on the opposition on pretext of the crackdown,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters after visiting injured BNP nominated UP chairman candidate Azizur Rahman at t the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) in the city.

The party’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir thinks this operation of the law enforcers is a government ‘ploy to repress the ‘people’s movement’.

“We fear they will use this crackdown to attack the opposition again,” he told reporters on Friday.

Against the backdrop of the rising spate of killings in suspected militant attacks, police launched the seven-day crackdown throughout Bangladesh from the morning.

The victims of these attacks in the past one year include secular writers and bloggers, online activists, publishers, foreigners, members of various religious minorities and rights activists.

Police have blamed Islamists for these killings, most of which took place in the northwest region of Bangladesh.

Police’s announcement on the crackdown on militants came on Thursday, five days after the murder of a decorated SP’s wife in Chittagong.

Leaders of the Awami League have been blaming the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami for the murders, while the BNP holds the ruling party responsible.

Mirza Fakhrul referred to the deaths of nine people, including five who police claim were militants, in ‘shootouts’ with law enforcers in the past few days.

“They have announced this crackdown and the number of crossfires or so-called shootouts have increased.”

Rahman, who was elected chairman at Bharendabari Union, was shot in a union council polls-related violence early this month. Physicians at Orthopedic Hospital amputated his left leg two days ago.
Police on Friday launched a weeklong crackdown throughout the country against the backdrop of the rising spate of killings in suspected militant attacks.

Fakhrul said the incidents of crossfire have already increased while trumpeting for the combing operation as nine people have already killed within in a short time.

“They have announced the crackdown and the number of crossfire or so-called shootouts have increased,” he said.

The BNP leader said the recent incidents showed that there is no rule of law anywhere in the country.

“People are not safe and the amount of violence that has taken place centring the UP polls had never happened in the past. It is unprecedented,” he said.

The BNP leader said Rahman is a freedom fighter and popular person that’s why he was elected chairman with huge votes even after he was shot injured. The incident shows the total reflect of the country, he added.Fakhrul visits ailing leader

He said the criminals shot Azizur to kill him, but he is alive at the mercy of Allah.

On June 2, unidentified miscreants shot Azizur Rahman in the legs through a window while he was asleep at home just two days before the polls, leaving him seriously injured.

BNP organizing secretary Asadul Habib Dulu and Gaibandha BNP vice president Md Hasan Ali, among others, were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, speaking at a discussion meeting a National Press Club, BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed termed the militancy and extremism as a national crises.

He warned that violence and militancy are going to take a severe shape in the country.

The BNP leader said the government could not hold trial of any killing including the Biswajit murder but they are playing blame game involving the name of BNP with incident of each killing.

“The government blames the BNP after each killing. But the BNP hates the militancy,” he said.

Moudud called upon the government to stop this blame game.

The BNP organized the meeting to pay tribute to world boxing legend Mohammad Ali, the greatest.

BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman, Maj (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed and Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, among others, were present the meeting.

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