Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned that her government won't tolerate any arson and atrocities, in the name of movement, before the next national election.
"There will be no scope left to spare if arson terrorism or likewise incidents or attacks on the people take place before the election, in the name of movement,'' she said while speaking at a community reception hosted in her honour at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster in London on Monday.
The prime minister reminded the countrymen that the BNP-Jamaat alliance carried out mayhem across the country by "burning people to death, destroying public and private properties, hurling petrol bombs on vehicles that included buses, trains and launches" during 2013-14 in the name of so-called movement.
Many, including women, suffered critical burn injuries in the arson attacks and they have been living inhuman lives with their injuries, she said.
"Killing people through arson terrorism and destroying the country's properties are their movements. They have earlier killed 29 police personnel. If any such attempts are made on the lives of my distressed people, no mercy will be shown,'' she warned.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and AL Publicity and Publication Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap were present at the event.
UK AL President Sultan Sharif presided over the function while General Secretary Syed Sajedur Rahman Faruk moderated it.
Sheikh Hasina, also president of Awami League, said BNP had played ducks and drakes with the voting rights of the people during its time in office.
BNP held a farcical election on February 15, 1996 and the people of the country ousted them from power soon after, she said.
"The people of the country never allow vote riggers to hang on to power,'' she said.
The prime minister also reminded the countrymen that the BNP-Jamaat alliance had prepared a voter list with 1.23 crore fake voters and attempted to hold an election with the list.
On the contrary, the leaders and activists of Awami League had struggled for long to establish the voting rights of the people and democracy, she said, adding that many of them sacrificed their lives in doing so.
The PM reiterated her pledge to hold a free and fair election, saying that her government has made all reforms needed including enacting law for forming the Election Commission (EC) alongside making it financially independent.
She said they have introduced transparent ballot boxes and prepared a voter list with photographs to hold a free and fair election.
She said that she allowed Khaleda Zia to stay home after suspending her jail term in a corruption case, over embezzling money of orphans, with the executive power vested upon her as the head of the government.
The prime minister said she had nothing to do in case of sending Khaleda Zia abroad for treatment, adding that she did what he could as per the law.
"Many are now saying that I can show more sympathy to Khaleda Zia despite the fact that the law will take its own course,'' she said.
Referring to August 15, 1975 carnage, August 21, 2004 grenade attacks, turning the house of Sheikh Rehana - which she got under law to ensure security of the family members of the Father of the Nation - into a police outpost, and the incident of not allowing her (Sheikh Hasina) to enter Khaleda Zia's house after the death of her son Koko, the prime minister said: "How can they expect more sympathy from me for Khaleda Zia?''
The prime minister called upon the Bangladeshi expatriates in the UK to send remittance through banking channels, recalling their contribution in every progressive and democratic movement including the Liberation War in 1971.
Against the backdrop of inflation and price hike due to the ongoing Ukraine war, sanctions and counter sanctions, she asked all not to leave a single inch of land unused, to cut dependency on others for food.
"Grow whatever you can by using every inch of land,'' she said.
Briefly describing her government measures to make Bangladesh socio-economically advanced, she said her government has transformed Bangladesh into a developing and digital country and is now working to make it a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041.
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