BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Saturday warned that the government will have to face a ‘strong student movement’ if it does not stop ‘repressing’ those involved in quota-reform movement.
“The quota-reform movement has no link with any political party. But the government has showed its intolerant attitude by repressing Rashed, Nuru, Sohel, Tariqul and others who were leading the movement,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader further said, “I would like to tell the government to stop arresting the demonstrators and release those who were arrested. Stop the repression on them immediately. Or else, the students will wage a serious movement further, and people will join hands with them.”
Zia Adarsha Academy arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and her proper medical treatment.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the government is citing a High Court verdict regarding freedom fighters’ quota as an excuse since it is not willing to reform the quota system as per the Prime Minister’s commitment.
“People aren’t fool to understand that the High Court’s verdict can’t be any obstacle to reforming the quota. If there’s any verdict, the government should take steps to review it so that the Prime Minister’s pledge can be kept by reforming the quota,” he observed.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament, “There’s a High Court verdict for keeping the freedom fighters' quota. How can we defy the High Court verdict? ... We can’t do this.”
“I (PM) had earlier spoken of cancelling the entire quota system. But, there’s a verdict of the High Court in this regard. If I defy the verdict, I'll face contempt of court,” she added.
Moudud said it will not be possible to oust the current ‘fascist and autocratic regime’ through a regular movement. “The only way to unseat is forging a national unity.”
He called upon the people of all walks of life to get ready to take to the streets to restore democracy, the rule of law and press freedom. “We’ll announce the action programme at a suitable time.”