4 more days to trace Elias: Khaleda
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia issued a four-day ultimatum to the government to locate Elias Ali and his driver, or her party will go for “tougher agitation” from Sunday.
The main opposition party will stage demonstration on Thursday across the country and at all upazila headquarters on Saturday, she said.
The former premier was addressing a crowded press conference at her Gulshan office yesterday evening as the nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal for a third consecutive day ended.
“There is no scope to stop the movement. We have showed great patience. We have lost many of our leaders and workers. Many lives met untimely ends, but not any more. Tougher agitation will start from Sunday,” Khaleda warned.
The BNP high-ups will announce its next course of action on Saturday.
When asked about the possibility of getting back Elias Ali alive, Khaleda said she is hopeful and the government has to return the leader immediately. She said the “democratic world” is expected to support them.
It was her first formal appearance before the media after Elias Ali, the party's organising secretary and former lawmaker, along with his driver had gone missing in the early hours of April 18.
Elias's wife Tahsina Rushdir Luna and their three children were also present in the briefing.
Reading out a written statement, the leader of the opposition also touched upon issues like bribe scandal of railway and resignation of ruling party lawmaker Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj.
The administration and law enforcement agencies have become over-enthusiastic to making up stories after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself said “Elias went into hide at Khaleda Zia's suggestion”, the BNP chief added.
“The country has become a Moger Mulluk [a country of anarchy]. One-person dictatorship has been established here. The nation is in a state of panic over the current trend of disappearance. Every one has become apprehended. The situation must be changed,” she said and asked the government to stop killings and forced disappearances.
The prime minister was alone is responsible for this situation, which was a result of her whims and autocratic attitude, Khaleda said.
Expressing sympathy towards the families of two drivers killed in last three hartals, the opposition leader said the government is to blame for all this as it has created the chaos by deploying ruling party cadres to repress opposition.
She demanded release of all leaders and workers arrested during the last three days, or tougher movement will be forged. The agitation will be stronger day by day.
The BNP chairperson said Sheikh Hasina rewarded corruption by reinstating Suranjit Sengupta as minister without any oath. Suranjit had resigned amid widespread criticism after his APS was caught with bribe money on way to his house.
The prime minister unconstitutionally had paid salary to Sohel even after his resignation as state minister, she said. “Finally he stepped down as a lawmaker to protect his own dignity. I thank Sohel.”
Khaleda claimed the foreign media published a list of 100 BNP leaders who were targets of abduction or murder; even a secret killing squad was formed for this purpose. She did not go into details.
BNP standing committee members and senior leaders, including acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were present at the conference.