BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is unlikely to go to the Central Shaheed Minar on February 21 on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day and Amar Ekushey.
A source close to Khaleda told UNB that the BNP chief is going to skip for the first time in 30 years the programme for paying tributes to those who sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as the state language on that day 63 years ago.
However, a BNP delegation will go to the Central Shaheed Minar with party activists to pay homage to the language martyrs on behalf of the party.
In a press release, BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed on Thursday said their party like every year will pay tributes to the martyred language heroes and place wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar marking the International Mother Language Day and Amar Ekushey.
He urged the leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies to gather in front of Balaka Cinema Hall at the dawn of Saturday and march towards the Central Shaheed Minar from there.
The nation will observe the 63rd Amar Ekushey commemorating the Language Movement martyrs on Saturday.
On February 21, 1952, Pakistani police fired on peaceful protesters, who had taken to the streets in the capital demanding that Bangla be made one of the state languages of the then Pakistan. The police firing left many people, mostly students, including Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and Shafiur, killed.
The day will also be celebrated as the International Mother Language Day worldwide as per a Unesco declaration on November 17, 1999.
Party sources said Khaleda will not go to the Central Shaheed Minar this time as she and BNP leaders fear that government will not allow her to return to her Gulshan office once she leaves it. She has been staying in her office since January 3.
According to the sources, the party is also unwilling to relax their ongoing non-stop transport blockade on the Amar Ekushey. ?UNB