BNP wants int’l probe into May 5 ‘genocide’

May 8th, 2013

Staff Correspondent 
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party has demanded an ‘international neutral investigation’ into the ‘genocide’ committed in the operation early Monday to flush Hefajat-e-Islam activists out of Shapla Square at Motijheel in the city.

The BNP standing committee in a statement on Tuesday urged people irrespective of opinion to raise their voice ‘peacefully’ against the ‘killings’ and demand for a ‘fair trial’.

‘We along with the countrymen and conscientious people around the world are shocked at the barbaric killings committed by Sheikh Hasina’s government after midnight of May 5 on lakhs of unarmed people who were attending a peaceful sit-in programme of Hefajat-e-Islam at Shapla Square at Motijheel in the capital,’ the statement said.
‘It is beyond their imagination that a civilised government can kill the people in such barbaric manner,’ it said.
It said para-military force along with law enforcers ‘with weapons used in a war’ was deployed in the late-night operation to break up a rally of ‘unarmed’ people.

‘Whereas the incumbent government did not allow such operation to save the army officers and their families trapped in Pilkhana during the BDR mutiny despite their repeated appeal,’ the statement said.

It said, ‘It has been learnt from foreign media and various sources that 2,500 to 3,000 people were killed and more than 10,000 injured in the Shapla Square operation.’

‘No government press note was issued on the ‘barbaric’ operation nor an exact figure of casualties was made public,’ the BNP statement said.

‘BNP leaders along with the people were horrified watching the video footages and photos of the massive firing in the operation, numerous bodies lying strewn, heavy vehicles ploughing through the bodies and taking them away on trucks,’ the statement said.

It said no media could dare to publish reports of the killings after Diganta and Islamic televisions were taken off-air.
The statement claimed that only government’s statements and publicity materials were being broadcast and published on the domestic media.

The government’s ‘fascist’ character was exposed after it imposed restrictions on the rallies in the capital on the day after the incident, it said.

The statement said the killings were committed in planned way which, it claimed, had been clear when Awami League had deployed its ‘armed activists’, shifted the blame on Hefajat, stopped supply of electricity and drove journalists of print and electronic media out of the spot before the operation.

The BNP standing committee said that the government had carried out the operation to ‘eliminate’ the Hefajat after Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam had issued such ‘threat’ at a news conference on May 5.

It said the BNP supported some of the Hefajat’s demands but differed with others. ‘BNP believes in religious values and wants to build up a liberal, moral and non-communal modern nation,’ it added.

The BNP blamed the ruling party activists for the arson, vandalism and plunder of shops, commercial centres, footpath shops, and burning of vehicles and religious books, including the Holy Quran on the night of May 5.

It said that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had urged the city dwellers and party activists to supply food and drinking water to the Hefajat ‘guests’ in the city but failed to do so due to ‘obstructions by the ruling party terrorists and law enforcers’.
It said that the May 5 ‘black night’ could be compared only to the genocide of March 25 in 1971.

Source: New Age