Govt reshuffles police, admin in attempt to manipulate elections: Fakhrul

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addresses an event at Dhaka Reporters, marking the ‘Black Day of Newspapers on Thursday.UNB

The government has started reshuffling police and public administration to hold another stage-managed election through vote rigging by controlling the state machinery, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has alleged.

Speaking at a discussion on Thursday, he, however, said the country’s people will thwart all the ‘blueprints’ of the government through a mass uprising in the days to come, reports news agency UNB.

“They (AL) have started the process for holding another election as per their will by rigging votes and controlling everything. There’re reports in some newspapers about massive reshuffle and promotion in the police. They’ve also reshuffled the public administration with a motive to arrange everything as per their desire ahead of the next election,” Fakhrul said.

He recalled that many fascist regimes, including the one of HM Ershad, had done the same in the past, but eventually they had to quit power in the face of public wrath.

“You (AL) also had established Baksal with all such arrangements, but how many days could you stay in power? Pharaoh, Nimrod, and Ershad also tried to hang onto power but failed. When people wake up nothing can resist them,” the BNP leader observed. 

Jatiyatabadi Sangskritik Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the event at Dhaka Reporters, marking the ‘Black Day of Newspapers.

On 16 June 1974, the then Awami League government shut down all the newspapers, except four ones loyal to the government. A group of journalists has long been observing the days as a ‘Black Day’ commemorating the closure of the newspapers.

Fakhrul said there is no alternative to intensifying the ongoing movement to oust the current government by creating a strong mass wave.

He said the current Awami League government has established a one-party Baksal rule under cover of democracy. “They have snatched our all rights, including the freedom of speech, writing, and the freedom of association and assembly.”   

The BNP leader said the government has also been regulating media outlets through the Digital Security Act.

He said it is the characteristics of the Awami League that it cannot tolerate dissent. “Our struggle has begun and it would not end in a day or two. We must continue our struggle as our opponent is so authoritative that they don’t hesitate to kill people and make them disappear using the state machinery.”

The BNP leader said the current government must be removed through a strong movement to restore democracy, press freedom, and all the lost rights by establishing a government of people.

He alleged that their party chief Khaleda Zia was jailed unlawfully in ‘false’ cases’ out of political vengeance to remove her from politics.

Stating that Khaleda has now been fighting for life at a hospital in the capital, Fakhrul said her family repeatedly submitted applications seeking permission to send her abroad for advanced treatment as per physicians’ advice but the government has not yet paid heed to it.

He also slammed the ruling party leaders for accusing BNP of doing politics over Khaleda’s illness. ‘We don’t have a language to condemn such a remark. “We would give a reply to it through a mass upsurge of people.”