Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today questioned about the justification of continuing movement on Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) campus after meeting the demands of the students by its authorities following the killing of BUET student Abrar Fahad.
“The BUET vice-chancellor has accepted the 10-point demand of the students following the murder. After that the students have said they’ll continue their movement … I don’t know what could be its rationality after fulfillment of their demand?” she said.
The prime minister simultaneously reissued a strong warning against wrongdoing on the campus of the educational institutions, asserting that strict actions will be taken against the wrongdoers whoever might be.
“Our words are clear that we’ll never tolerate any crime on campus … we didn’t allow it in the past and will also not accept it in future,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina was addressing as the chief guest the second conference of the Mohila Sramik League at the Krishibid Institute, Bangladesh Convention Centre here this morning.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Obaidul Quader also spoke on the occasion, while President of Mohila Sramik League Raushan Jahan Sathi was in the chair.
Convenor of Conference Preparation Committee and Executive President of Mohila Sramik League Suraiya Aktar delivered the welcome address, while General Secretary of the organisation Begum Shamsunnahar Bhuyan placed the organisational report.
Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the conference by releasing pigeons and balloons.
She also hoisted the national flag, while President and General Secretary of the organisation Raushan Jahan Sathi and Begum Shamsunnahar Bhuyan raised the party flag on the occasion.
A minute’s silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, four national leaders and martyrs of different movements including liberation war.
The prime minister said the government will take stringent action against those to be indulged in the crime on campus for the sake of maintaining education atmosphere.
“We’ll take action against those to be involved in crimes. Because education atmosphere will have to be maintained on the campus,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina continued saying on: “The students will have to pursue education by keeping pace with the world … they’ll also have to build themselves as good citizens and take the country forward.”
The premier said the government did not hesitate to take action against the killers of Abrar Fahad. “We don’t see who belongs which party… we treat killers as killers, wrongdoers as wrongdoers and torturers as torturers,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said she did not wait for movement or directive of anybody after being informed of the killing of Abrar Fahad.
“I immediately instructed the police to arrest the killers and collect all information from video footage regarding the murder. But the police faced trouble while collecting the footage,” she said.
The prime minister said the students obstructed the police when they were collecting video footage. “I don’t know why they (students) did it?” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the inspector general of police rushed to her after the incident and wanted to know that what will they do.
“When I wanted to know him that what the students want, he said that they (students) want copy of the video footage and I asked him to give a copy of the footage to the students,” she said.
“But you also take the footage and after taking it, you can identify and arrest the killers and take action against them,” she added.
The prime minister said the accused could not have fled away and they would have been arrested immediately if 3/4 hours time was not wasted for collecting the video footage.
“There was nothing to be doubtful about this and I don’t know about the issue … it seemed that a scope was given to the accused to flee or else and the protesters can reply to this question, but I cannot say it,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina further said: “I could not delay a single moment and took steps immediately after being informed of the matter … It also can be never accepted after committing such a crime.”
The prime minister said those who grabbed power after the assassination of Bangabandhu made heroes the killers of the Father of the Nation and they rewarded the Dhaka University seven-murder accused.
“We had to wait for 38 years for trial of the killers of my parents and brothers … So, it has become a difficult task to remove menaces from the society where the culprits committed such heinous killings and they were rewarded and protected,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the country witnessed brandishing arms on campuses during the rule of Ziaur Rahman, General Ershad and Khaleda Zia.
“Arms were handed over to the meritorious students at that time and Hizbul Bahar ship that Bangabandhu procured for Hajj pilgrims was turned into a cruise ship for the students,” she said.
The prime minister said no other government except the Awami League held trial of the killings on campus. “The trial of the killing of Sabequnnahar Sony who died due to intra-party clash of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal at BUET was not held,” she said.
“Nobody protested at that time and we didn’t see the BUET Allumni Association to protest that incident and they didn’t speak about it,” she continued.
Sheikh Hasina said everybody has the right to speak when Awami League remains in power. “The people can speak … at least this scope prevails,” she said.
In this connection, the prime minister said nobody protested rewarding the killers of Bangabandhu and seven-murder convicts as well as releasing the war criminals during Zia’s regime. “Where was the thinking of human rights, where was the sense of principles at that time?” she said.
Sheikh Hasina strongly criticized those opposing the MoUs signed with India on withdrawal of 1.82 cusec water from Feni River by India for supplying to Sabroom town, Tripura and bulk LPG supply from Bangladesh to India.
About the water sharing of the 140-km long Feni River, she said both Bangladesh and India have this river along the border and both the countries have the equal right to use its water.
“If any human being wants water for drinking, he or she will be provided with it by anybody, even by an enemy,” she said.
Referring to the historic agreement on Ganges water sharing with India and resolution of land boundary and maritime boundary disputes with New Delhi, the premier said: “If anybody of Bangladesh realised just rights of the country, it was me, Sheikh Hasina.”
She said Bangladesh will export LPG to Tripura of India after its import. “We’ll export the LPG by importing and bottling and another item will be added to the export basket for it.
Recalling the contributions of the people of Tripura during the liberation war, she said they gave shelter to the Bangladesh people at that time by providing shelter and foods.
The prime minister asked the Mohila Sramik leaders and activists to create awareness so that nobody moves abroad by stepping into the trap of the brokers.
Citing the selling of a Bangladeshi woman by members of her father-in-law’s family to a brothel in foreign country, the prime minister said the woman was rescued and brought back to Bangladesh.
“We’re taking proper steps against those involved in such an offence and we’ll continue it … stern actions will also be taken against the culprits in future,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also elaborated her government steps for the welfare of the women and said they have to create their own space in society and build themselves through obtaining proper education.