Govt mulls over banning hartal

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Law Minister Anisul Haq on Thursday said the government will consider banning hartal if the country’s people want so and hinted that the violent acts that BNP is committing during hartal will be dealt with the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The minister came up with the remark at a ‘Meet-the-Reporters’ programme at Dhaka Reporter’s Unity (DRU) in the capital.

Anisul Haq also termed BNP a terrorists organisation said there will be no dialogue with terrorists.

Saying that it is not possible to force the government to sit for discussions at gunpoint or by bombing, Anisul Haq said, “They’re committing terrorist activities on one side and urging for dialogue on the other…they can’t do it simultaneously.”

He also raised questions about the necessity of a dialogue. “An agenda is needed for sitting in a dialogue, what is their agenda?”

The Law Minister said discussion with BNP will only be possible if they come up with a constructive discussion proposal and they have to stop the terrorist activities in the first place.

Responding to a question on BNP chairperson’s confinement, he said 500 people would have died if Khaleda Zia had not been restricted in her office on January 5.

Urging that the government did not block Khaleda’s political activities, he said what BNP is doing in the name of blockade is not political any activity, rather it is a terrorist act.

“BNP organised rallies all over the country in the past, we didn’t bar their activities; but at present, BNP is committing terrorism so that they are not allowed to arrange rallies,” he said responding to a query why BNP is prevented from arranging rallies.

Speaking about BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman’s return to the country, the Law Minister said the government is taking initiatives to bring him back to the country as he is a fugitive in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft and August 21 grenade attack cases.

DRU president Sakhawat Hossain Badsha and its general secretary Elias Hossain were also present at the programme.

Source: BD Chronicle