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Shahnoor Wahid
We know that roads and bridges minister Obaidul Quader speaks on the basis of evidence. He has the reputation of being quite measured in his speech when it comes to criticizing the opposition. Hence, when he says that most of the BNP’s arrested leaders on the list submitted to the Election Commission (EC) are shontrashi (terrorists), anyone whose memory is still strong today will tend to believe him. In this connection he has challenged BNP leader Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to prove their innocence as the latter claimed.
Obaidul Quader’s assertion makes us pause for a while and we go back to the violent days of 2014 and 2015, when the terrorist workers of BNP, with the tacit support of the central leaders including the chairperson, let loose a reign of terror for days together and threw petrol bombs on the common people and killed dozens of them. Their main aim was to destabilize the newly formed government and thereby create a constitutional crisis. Many badly burnt victims from those days still remain bed-ridden and they have lost ability to work and sustain their families.
Another election is knocking at the door and we see all the political parties of the country are busy interviewing candidates to contest in the elections. But, the common people are already apprehensive remembering the days of 2014-15 of deterioration of law and order in the upcoming elections. After what they have seen in front of BNP party office on 14 November, they remembered the English proverb “Morning Shows the Day” and they feel it was just a tip of the iceberg. That means bigger and bloodier violence is likely to come during the actual polling, especially in areas where they have more support among people.
Today, the pertinent question that is ringing in the collective minds of the people is, will the citizens be subjected to similar petrol bomb attack on them if BNP and its partners fail to ascertain victory in the polls, and should they allow this to happen without protesting? No.
Citizens of the state feel that they must protest strongly because this country is known as “People’s Republic of Bangladesh,” which means it is the people who are the owners of this state, not any particular group or groups. It is the masses of the people who constitute the nation state, therefore, if they come under attack by any terrorist group it should be treated as an attack on the state and action should be taken by the government accordingly. Attack on the common people is simply as grave as an attack on the members of parliament, police, armed forces or the judiciary.
We, therefore, hope the government will treat any political attack on a single member of the public as an attack on the state and laws must act in that light so that the nomenclature ‘People’s Republic of Bangladesh” becomes meaningful to the people.