Describing the killing of people through arson attacks on buses full of passengers as genocide, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said opposition leader Khaleda Zia is now engaged in ‘genocide’.
“It’s genocide, it’s genocide through violence. What could it be termed other than genocide, the way people are being set ablaze in buses? The opposition leader has now engaged in genocide,” she said.
The Prime Minister came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting patients who suffered burn injuries during the opposition-sponsored recent blockade and hartal programs at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Issuing a note of strong warning against the opposition leaders and activists, Sheikh Hasina said the government would deal with an iron hand the violence. “We’ll get tougher as much as we can, we’ll take actions against these hooligans, even we’ll take action against the instigators,” she said.
Coming down hard on the opposition party for killing people by setting fire, Hasina said this is not politics at all. “This is heinous politics, this is terrorist act.”
The Prime Minister also talked tough against the perpetrators of such heinous acts and warned of taking action. “Action will be taken against those instigating such incidents.”
Criticising the opposition leader for spending the blockade and hartal period in air-conditioned room, Hasina said, “Burning such a huge number of people and killing them are simply unimaginable….what kind of act is this? The families of the affected are going through untold sufferings….You (Khaleda) live in the AC room and kill people by giving orders, I won’t tolerate such acts.”
She requested the media not to take pictures of burning buses or the auto-rickshaws. “Please, take the pictures of those who are setting fire to those, help us to catch the hooligans,” she said.
Urging the opposition leader to stop play with the fate of the country’s people and refrain from committing such crimes, Hasina said, “She (Khaleda) sits in the air-conditioned room, eat in a relax mood and gave orders of killing people….It’s her act to play with people’s lives. Her allies are now Jamaat-Shibir who are conducting genocide like they did in 1971 and I strongly denounce this.”
Referring to a request of a burn victim, ‘Sumi’, at the burn unit of the DMCH to burn the hands of those who are committing such crimes, the premier expressed her firm resolve to take stern actions against the perpetrators of such acts.
Deploring the 18-party’s blockade program through which they are committing killing, burning people to death, Hasina said, “I haven’t seen such politics and movement…this is not politics and movement and this is entirely terrorist acts.”
Expressing her hatred against such misdeeds, Hasina questioned what BNP and Jamaat have gained through committing such crimes-- burning people to death, staging accidents to kill people through uprooting fishplates of railway tracks, burning CNG drivers, private vehicles, rickshaw-pullers and passengers.
“This is not politics …these are entirely terrorist activities. They (BNP-Jamaat) have gone to the path of terrorism and carrying on their activities.”
Of the 51 patients who have underwent treatment at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of DMCH over the last two weeks, some nine patients have died, 37 are now undergoing treatment while the rest have been discharged.
During her visit, the Prime Minister enquired about the conditions of the patients from doctors and gave Tk 10,000 each to the victims. The government is bearing the treatment of the patients at the Burn Unit.
Earlier, the Prime Minister arrived at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) at around 3 pm and talked to the patients, their family members and doctors.
She also asked the doctors and the hospital administration to take good care of the patients so that they could recover from their injuries within a short time.
Local MP Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, PM’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, Health Secretary MM Niazuddin, Burn Specialist and founder of the Burn Unit of the DMCH Dr Samanta Lal Sen, BMA President Dr Iqbal Arsenal were, among others, present on the occasion.
Khaleda engaged in genocide: Hasina