Dhaka: Left wing leader and chairman of the Jatiyo Mukti Council (National Liberation Council) said, “Awami League (AL) knows that it is not possible to try war criminals because of Bangabandhu’s mistake. That is why Awami League makes a political pact with Jamaat when it suits them and then wants to keep them quiet by inflicting pressure on them”.
“Sheikh Hasina made a pact with Pakistan like Sheikh Mujib did in 1973. That is why the tribunal to try war criminals, “International War Crimes Tribunal” was changed and renamed the “International Crimes Tribunal” to try crimes against humanity”, said Badruddin Umar.
Badruddin Umar made these comments in the afternoon of Tuesday 5 March at Paltan’s Liberation Building at a seminar convened by four left wing parties on “Trying war criminals, Jamaat and Shibir’s country-wide anarchy, state sponsored terrorism and massacre and the question of governance by the people.”
Badruddin elaborated his statement by adding, “Sheikh Mujid said in 1973 that ‘Bangalee knows how to forgive’ and forgave 195 known war criminals by making a pact with Julfikar Ali Bhutto. The injustice that he left behind has transformed taken a dangerous shape now.”
Badruddin added, “In keeping with the example set by Sheikh Mujib, Sheikh Hasina made a deal with Jamaat in 1986 and participated in the election under Ershad. Awami League betrayed Jahanara Imam’s 1992 verdict of Gono-Adalot (People’s Court) by initiating political activities with Jamaat from the same stage in 1994. After coming into power in 1996, Awami League gave Jamaat two parliamentary seats reserved for women as a thank you.”
Regarding the Shahbag movement, Badruddin Umar said, “Shahbag’s youth initially rose up against the government’s secret pact with Jamaat and it was a credible movement. However, Awami League assumed full control of the movement later and it became weak and restricted within the government’s parameters. Now, the unpopular Awami League are trying to win votes by exploiting the Shahbag movement.”
Badruddin Umar said, “Shahbag’s youth need to understand that those who came to power in the last 42 years did not try war criminals for their own political gain; Awami League will also not be different.”
The chairman of Jatiyo Gono-Front, left wing leader, Tipu Biswas said, “Bringing to justice Pakistani army personnel and their collaborators from Bangladesh, Rajakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams and giving them due punishment was the demand of the people of this country. And the ruling Awami League party turned a blind eye to this demand in 1972.”
Tipu Biswas said, “In 1973, Awami League allowed 93,000 Pakistani army personnel and 95 known war criminals to be repatriated to Pakistan without bringing them to justice. They also gave a general amnesty to the likes of Rajakar and Al-Badr without any qualms. Now, this unpopular government wants to use this issue to overcome the next election.”
The co-chairman of new Democratic Gono-Morcha, Saifuzzaman Dudu said, “Shahbag has now turned into a picnic spot. Who goes to Shahbag and who controls this movement? Who did they start this movement against? Now who is the movement targeted at? There was a public outcry and that is why there was a huge public support at the beginning. Now Shahbag’s position has become clear. They have turned into an excuse for the government.”
Dudu also said, “What kind of movement is this when it is safeguarded by the government, given cold water to drink and three meals a day? They would understand what real movement is if they got hit by pepper spray and beaten up by the police. Who is the Shahbag movement against? Who are they appealing to with their demands? If their movement is against the government, why is the government providing them with protection? Actually, the net gainers of Shahag are the 14-party alliance and Awami League.”
Leader of UPDF, Michael Chakma said, “when slogan is given at Shahbag – ‘Who are you and who am I? Bangalee, Bangalee!’ This hurts our sentiments very much, because we are not Bangalees, we are part of Bangladesh’s small ethnic minorities”.
Chaired by the convenor of National Democratic Gono-Moncho, Masud Khan and hosted by the general secretary of Jatiyo Mukti Council, Faizul Hakim, also were present political science expert Hasan Fakri and general secretary of National Writers Forum, Hasibur Rahman.
Source: Daily Natun Barta