Dhaka, February 22: Coming down heavily on Begum Khaleda Zia and her party colleagues for stepping onto the main platform at the Central Shaheed Minar to pay respect to language martyrs, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said through this misdeed, they destroyed the dignity of the Shaheed Dibosh.
“They made money and owned property through committing plundering and corruption, snatching food from the mouth of the poor and playing ducks and drakes with their fate. So how they would respect our culture, language, tradition and the great victory of the Liberation War?” she questioned.
She added: “There is no place for independent Bangladesh in their mind as it remains in Pakistan, 1200 miles away from Bangladesh. That’s why they get up onto the altar of Shaheed Minar and they don’t know where the wreaths are placed.”
The prime minister was addressing a discussion in the Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh auditorium at Farmgate in the city here this afternoon. Bangladesh Awami League organized the discussion on the occasion of Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.
Deputy Leader of the House and Senior AL Presidium Member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, AL Advisory Council Members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, former Bangla Academy director general Dr Syed Anwar Hossain, drama personality Ramendu Mazumdar and ex-principal of Badrunnesa Girls’ College Merina Jahan took part in the discussion, while eminent Poet Nirmalendu Goon recited a poem on the occasion.
AL Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud and Deputy Publicity Secretary Aminul Islam Amin conducted the function.
Earlier, a one minute’s silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memory of language heroes who laid down their lives for establishing Bangla as the state language on February 21 in 1952.
Citing the love and affection of Khaleda Zia for Pakistan, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said the BNP leader echoing with the remarks of Pakistanis stated that 30 lakh people didn’t embrace martyrdom in the Liberation War.
“They have no respect for the language and they distorted the history of independence … they also dishonoured the Shaheed Minar through which we have got the opportunity to speak and call mother in Bangla,” she said.
In this connection, the prime minister said the President, the Speaker and she herself placed wreaths at the altar of Shaheed Minar to pay respect to the language martyrs. “But Khaleda Zia and her party colleagues got up onto that place and laid wreaths there,” she said.
“Now they are refusing it, but everything was proved as there were CCTVs and photojournalists snapped it. It is also seen in social media that they stepped onto the altar of Shaheed Minar with party leaders and activists,” she said.
The prime minister said Khaleda Zia might have been imbalanced due to placing of wreaths at midnight. But shouldn’t other leaders and activists who were with Khaleda Zia take her properly and show her where the wreaths are laid. “I don’t know exactly whether all of them became imbalanced at midnight,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia earlier used to go to Shaheed Minar at noon and placed wreaths. But the BNP leaders and activists used to shower their party chief with the flowers that were placed by Khaleda Zia,” she said, adding they stopped this culture when newspapers started writing against this.