The dreadful incidents that are taking place in the country nowadays are seen by all with astonishment and pains, but it is difficult to find out words strong enough to describe and condemn these. Petrol bomb attacks are being launched on innocent people causing injuries and deaths to them, passenger buses and goods-laden trucks are being torched and the economy of the country is being destroyed as part of the 'political movement.' This is no politics, this is simply brutality. In fact, it is an irony that heinous crimes like violence, arson, sabotage and killings are being committed in the name of democracy. Launching political movement is people's constitutional right. Although calling hartal is allowed under law, there is no provision in favour of blockade that encroach upon the citizen's basic rights. Even the hartal also should be peaceful and without any intimidation on the unwilling people to observe it. Both accepting and rejecting hartal is citizen's democratic right. But the BNP-led alliance is now enforcing hartal and blockade against the will of the people causing terrible sufferings to them. In fact, what is happening in the country in the name of political movement is not politics at all, rather it is clear violence, sabotage and coercion on the people to paralyse the country and thus force the government to quit and pave the way for the BNP-led alliance's dream elections so that they may try to come to power. But neither the government, nor the people are in a hurry for another election just after one year of the tenth parliamentary polls held on January 5. On the other hand, the BNP-Jamaat alliance is getting impatient and bent on going any length to achieve their goal. During the 24 days of blockade from January 6 to 29, as many as 39 people have been killed in crude bomb and petrol bomb attacks, 360 vehicles have been torched and 470 more vehicles vandalised. Besides, the blockade coupled with staggered hartals has shattered the economy and broken down the backbone of the working class of people. A report published in this paper yesterday said, 50 lakh transport workers, 22.75 lakh small traders, 26 lakh construction workers, 70 lakh labourers in 17 thousand chatals and innumerable hawkers are groaning under the pangs of hardship and starvation due to decline in business or lack of jobs for the non-stop blockade. Moreover, despite the sufferings of the people, scream in the burn units of the hospitals and mounting protests by the common men across the country the BNP-led alliance is determined to continue their ‘movement’ until victory. To this end their blockade programme will continue even on February 1, the day of inauguration of Ekushey Book Fair, a traditional cultural event and on February 2 onward when the SSC examinations of 15 lakh boys and girls are scheduled to commence. Not only that, the alliance has called fresh hartal from Sunday to Tuesday apparently in a bid to disrupt the SSC examinations.This is most unfortunate. It may be recalled that this alliance continued blockade even during the two phases of Biswa Ijtema.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of large scale violence and sabotage in the course of blockade and hartal the government has taken a very hard-line to protect the lives and properties of the people. President Advocate Mohammad Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have ordered the law enforcers to take stern action against the anarchists. Law minister Anisul Huq said on Thursday that the government was contemplating enacting a law to ban hartals and blockades. Finance minister Abul Al Abdul Muhit on Friday expressed his opinion in favour of banning hartal and blockade.Many of the people also want this.
There is no reason to oppose political movement, if it is peaceful, but violence, petrol bomb attacks, arson, and burning people to death are totally unacceptable and deserve maximum condemnation. This brutality in the name of politics should be resisted. With the rest of the people of the country, we also demand that politics of burning people must be stopped. We also urge the leaders of the BNP-led alliance to refrain from enforcing hartals and blockade during the ensuing SSC examinations. The examinees should be allowed to go to the examination halls and sit for examinations totally in an atmosphere free from fear, panic and anxiety.