Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said the government will be compelled to take tough actions if BNP disrupts the lives of the people and tries to hold rally at Naya Paltan with the intention of creating chaos by blocking busiest road of the capital.
"We know that the arsonists are hiding in Dhaka city and they are trying to come out marking the rally. The BNP leaders, who are vocal and giving statements, are the financers, patrons and order givers of the arson attacks. The government would take tough actions against them, if needed," he said.
The minister said these to reporters while replying to a query at CIRDAP in the capital.
Hasan said BNP held a rally in Cumilla yesterday where they did a picnic by slaughtering hundred cows. Many people were in the picnic on Thursday night while many of them left the place on the day of the rally, he added. He said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had told the rally that they want to hold their public meeting at Naya Paltan in the capital while the government has allocated the Suhrawardy Udyan. He said the government cannot give any scope to anyone to create anarchies and disrupt the security of people's life. The government has allocated the Suhrawardy Udyan with a good intention, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
But, he said, BNP wants to hold rally in front of Naya Paltan in a nefarious intention as there is no ground in front of Naya Paltan and it is the busiest road of the city. "Why do they (BNP) want to hold the rally there?" he questioned.
He said they had initially told to allocate the Suhrawardy Udyan. But, Mirza Fakhrul is giving such statements with ill intention, he added.
Earlier, the minister addressed a seminar over making a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040 at an auditorium of CIRDAP organized by Development Organisation of the Rural Poor (DORP).
The seminar discussed the abolition of designated smoking areas, ban on display of tobacco products at points of sale, ban on CSR of tobacco companies, increase the size of warnings on tobacco packets, ban on sale of retail cigarettes and ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Hasan agreed on all the issues and extended thanks to the Health Ministry for its timely initiative to revise the Tobacco and Tobacco Products Use Control Act. National Tobacco Control Cell coordinator additional secretary Hossain Ali Khandaker, Retired Government Employees Welfare Association president Freedom Fighter Kazi Riazul Haque and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Bangladesh grants manager Md Abdus Salam Mia, among others, addressed the seminar as special guests with DORP president Md Azhar Ali Talukder in the chair.