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AL irreligious in guise of secularist: Khaleda

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Staff reporter
Branding Awami League as an irreligious party in the guise of secularist, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday said the ruling party men attack all religions whenever they get a chance.
“Secularism is just their (AL) mask. Awami League, in fact, is an irreligious party undercover of secularism. So, they attack all the religions whenever they get a chance,” she said.
Khaleda came up with the remarks while exchanging greetings with members of the country’s Hindu community at Institution of Engineers Bangladesh following Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the community.
She further said, “Those who claim that their party is a secular one are attacking their own religion and the religions of others.”
The BNP chairperson accused the current regime of resorting to repressive acts like killings, enforced disappearances and looting and widespread corruption. “People of no religion are safe under this illegal and usurper administration.”
She urged all, including the Hindu community, to get united to save the country and its people from the grasp of the current ‘illegal, looter and killer regime’.
Khaleda alleged that the Hindu community members are coming under regular attacks and being repressed under the current regime.
She claimed that the ruling party men are grabbing land property and worship places of the Hindu community and destroying their temples. “But they (AL men) are at large after committing such heinous crimes. No punitive action is taken against them as they belong to the ruling party.”
Khaleda alleged that the ruling party always tries to save their people by shifting the blame for attacks on the community onto others.
She said Awami League men killed many innocent members of the Hindu community, including Biswajit Das in old Dhaka and senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar in Narayanganj.
The BNP chief claimed that her party has respect for all religions as it believes in religious harmony. “We have respect for all religions as we love ours.”
“BNP is a patriot political party and it wants to maintain friendly relations and harmony with the people of all religions and all countries. We’re now seeing a sign that our friendly ties with the people of all religions are consolidating and growing fast with the increased participation of you in our all programs,” she told her audience.
Calling upon the Hindu community to rally round under her party, the former Prime Minister said, “You’ll be able to differentiate between BNP and all other parties if you come with us.”
Khaleda further claimed they had given equal treatments to people of all religions when her party was in power. “All had been able to enjoy the equal facilities when we were in office.”
Mentioning that Bangladesh is a wonderful and potential country, she said if her party returns to power, they will work together with all irrespective of their believes and opinions, and develop the country. “We’ll create an example for others by forging a unity and establishing peace and harmony in our country if we get a chance in the future.”
The five-day Durga Puja ended on October 4.
At the beginning of her speech, Khaleda said her party could not arrange the program earlier due to Puja and Eid-ul-Azha vacations.
Several hundred members of the Hindu community from different parts of the country joined the program. They greeted the BNP chief presenting her bouquets.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members MK Anwar, Hannan Shah, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Mirza Abbas, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian Oikya Front convener Gautam Chakraborty its adviser Netai Roy Chowdhury and central leader Jointa Kumar Kunda were, among others, present.