Dhaka, Oct 07: Coming down heavily on BNP’s attempts to give political shape to the recent heinous crimes of women repression, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today iterated the government’s determination to ensure exemplary punishment to culprits, regretting that the BNP is out to politicize those incidents.
“It’s not right to do politics over the incidents of women repression. The rapists don’t belong to any party. The culprits, who were involved in the incident of Noakhali, all are miscreants,” he told newsmen after a meeting with the leaders of Broadcast Journalists Center (BJC) at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat here.
Hasan said the government considers the culprits as miscreants. “Every such incident is being brought under trial and the government is determined to ensure exemplary punishment to the miscreants,” he added.
BJC president RezwanulHaque Raza, general secretary Shakil Ahmed, Syed Ishtiaq Reza, Rashed Ahmed, ManashGhose, Mamunur Rahman Khan, Dip Azad and Harun Talukder, among others, were present at the meeting.
He said the BNP-men raped women in Bangladesh under the party shelter. “An eight-year-old baby was raped after the 2001 elections. They (BNP) repressed and raped hundreds of women after blocking a village for voting for Awami League. But, they didn’t hold trials of rape incidents. So, the party that didn’t take any steps against those incidents, does not have ethical right to talk on this issue,” he added.
Criticising a comment of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the information minister urged the BNP leader to read different economic indexes carefully. “I would like to urge him to kindly read those indexes attentively,” he added.
He said many had expressed their apprehensions of having a sorry state of economy, life and livelihood when general leave was declared in the country and everything got stuck due to the Coronavirus. Many predicted that the country would face a horrible situation in terms of life and livelihood, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
But, he said, it did not happen in Bangladeshby the grace of Almighty and the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and apprehensions of all including experts have gone wrong.Income from export between July and September this year is 9.9 billion US dollar which was 2.58 percent more from the same period of the last year, he added.
The information minister said remittance is $6.71 billion between July and September this year which is 48.5 percent more from the last year. Besides, he said, many told that thousands of expatriates would return from abroad.
But, now the expatriates are going abroad with valid documents, he said.
Besides, Hasan said, the revenue income has increased by 0.16 percent during the prevailing COVID-19 situation from July to August. The foreign exchange reserve was 39.31 billion US dollar till September 30 which is about eight billion US dollar more from the same period of the last year, he said.
As per the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the information minister said the economic growth of Bangladesh is above 5.2 percent, which is 1.8 in China and the rate is minus in most of the Asian countries. This has been only possible for the dynamic leadership and pragmatic steps of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and for giving financial incentives, he added.
In the beginning, Hasan praised the journalists for their courageous role during the COVID-19 situation and prayed for early recovery of the journalists who are infected with the virus.
The information minister also prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of those who died due to the virus.
He said there were no leave for the journalists when general leave was declared in the country due to COVID-19 situation. “I’ve also worked with you. The Premier took steps for giving special supports to the journalists considering theircondition,” he added.
He said the law ministry gave vetting to the proposed mass media employees’ law.
About Bangladeshi TV channels, the information minister said anyone in the country can start a pay-channel and there is no bar to do that. The TV channel authorities will decide if they would go for starting pay channel or not, he said.
“We are going for making digitalization of cable operating system,” said Hasan.
The information minister urged all to maintain health codes. The government is trying to bring vaccine of COVID-19, he added.