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BNP must shun path of violence

Published : Wednesday, 27 December, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 345

BNP must shun path of violence

BNP must shun path of violence

The act of sabotaging and destroying public property in the name of protest is a dangerous path that jeopardizes the very foundation of democratic governance.  Resorting to destruction tarnishes these principles, replacing the discourse with chaos and impeding the democratic process. It contradicts the very purpose of political advocacy, which should aim to enhance, not undermine, the well-being of the public. One of the major political parties in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has taken the way of sabotage to disrupt the upcoming 12th Parliamentary election of Bangladesh and come to power forcefully. On the other hand, the ruling party Awami League is determined to carry the upcoming election to uphold the present constitution and democratic journey of Bangladesh.

Atrocities of BNP in 2023: On the eve of 12th parliamentary election, Bangladesh sees an unsettling surge in arson attacks directed at trains, trucks, and buses. Concerns over potential interruptions to transport networks and public safety have been raised by these instances. BNP is calling for strikes and blockade on a regular basis from 28th October 2023 onwards as a part of their protest for the demand of unconstitutional poll time caretaker government. BNP leaders remarks over the upcoming parliamentary election are ill-intended and provocative. In fact, BNP and its ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, are accused of these heinous attacks on the public property and people of Bangladesh to disrupt the upcoming election. They have unfortunately made the people of Bangladesh their opposition and they are damaging their lives and properties. Some of the recent activities of BNP and its allies are:

o    The BNP is engaged in covert arson operations similar to those of an underground party in several parts of Bangladesh.They are attempting to vandalize the January 7 national election by engaging in subversive operations such as setting fire to buses and trains.

o    On 28 October 2023, on the occasion of the assembly of BNP, there was huge clash between BNP, AwamiLegue and Police force at Nayapaltan, Dhaka. In that destructive clash, one police member was killed brutally, and many other police members were brutally beaten. BNP and its allies attacked many police boxes, the residence of the chief justice of Bangladesh, attacked the police hospital and set fire on ambulance in the hospital.

o    In the month of November 2023, 223 arson incidents have been recorded to the Fire Service and Civil Defence, most of which involve vehicles. This includes 132 buses, 35 trucks, 16 covered vans, eight motorcycles, and two private vehicles. The vehicles that were set on fire also included microbuses, pickups, CNGs, trains, fire service vehicles, and police vehicles.

o    The arsonists are now focusing on the railroads and trains after previously merely setting fire to buses, trucks, private cars. Bangladesh has witnessed a series of alarming acts of sabotage targeting trains and railways and there has been at least 27 attacks on rail lines and trains since violence started from 28October 2023.

o    A total of 7 coaches of a Dhaka- train derailed near Bhawal railway station in Gazipur on 12 December 2023 as miscreants deliberately removed 20-foot stretch rail tracks by BNP men. It not only caused the death of one of the passengers but also caused injury to many passengers. Seven leaders and activists of BNP are arrested on this criminal attack.

o    Inhuman arson attack on the Mohanganj Express on 19 December 2023 resulting in four deaths including one innocent child and one woman and severe injuries of many people. Later, it was found that the mother was holding her child while getting burnt in the train. This incident has shocked the whole nation. The arson act should be thoroughly investigated, according to the UN.

BNP is killing the innocent citizens who have no connection with Awami League or politics. How do the leaders of BNP want to come to power by destroying peoples property and burning people in fire? There is no such example in the whole world. People will never forget this brutality and cruelty of BNP activists and top leaders who order these actions.

In the opening campaign for vote in Sylhet, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina made it clear that Bangladesh opposes any acts of terrorism and militant extremism. She vowed to take swift action and sent a severe warning to the culprits of the most recent arson incidents.

As a result of these destructive actions, the Federal Court of Canada classified the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to be a terrorist organisation rejecting the judicial review petitions of many Bangladeshi citizens over their asylum issues. The people of Bangladesh do not understand why the USA supports a terrorist political party like the BNP.  A political party is not expected to damage public property or kill common people. This is something only terrorists can commit. The BNP has lost its identity as a political party by inciting and practicing terror. They have no right to act as a legal political party in Bangladesh let alone rule Bangladesh. In addition, sabotaging public property also has repercussions on the global stage. Nations that aspire to democratic ideals draw scrutiny for actions that contradict these principles. The international community expects adherence to democratic norms, and parties engaging in destructive protests risk damaging the reputation of their country and diminishing its global standing.

Voters Responsibility: Citizens participation in elections is a cornerstone of a thriving democracy. It plays a crucial role in shaping the character and effectiveness of democratic governance.Let us remember that every vote cast is not just a choice, but a powerful act of participation in shaping our nations future. Let us make our voices heard, engage actively, and uphold the true spirit of democracy through our informed and conscious participation in elections.It is very important for the people of Bangladesh to participate in this election to make the election credible this time to the international community. To continue the march of continuous development and to protect the democratic process, citizens of Bangladesh will show their interest to cast vote. All voters particularly the young and informed voter should come forward to utilizing their voting power to tackle the national and international conspiracies against Bangladesh.

The path to political power cannot be paved with the wreckage of public property. Any political party engaging in the destruction of public assets under the guise of protest risks losing its claim to legitimacy. Respect for democratic principles, adherence to the rule of law, and a commitment to peaceful dissent are the hallmarks of legitimate political movements. Parties seeking power must recognize that true leadership is built on the foundation of public trust, not on the ruins of public assets.

The writer is a researcher, academic teaching advisor with extensive experience in ICT sector. Currently he is working as a full-time member of University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC)

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