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Thousands say no to sabotage

Published : 23 Dec 2023 10:50 PM | Updated : 24 Dec 2023 12:47 PM

People from all walks of life came down on the streets in the capital Dhaka on Saturday in protest against arson attacks and killing of innocent people in the name of anti-government movement sponsored by BNP, Jamaat and their allies across the country.

Under the banner of ‘Amrai Bangladesh’ teachers, artists, actors, actresses, freedom fighters, journalists, theatre activists, victims of arson attacks and their family members, among others, join a symbolic road march programme titled ‘Nashokotake Na’ (Say no to Sabotage).

Starting from Shaheed Minar at 11:20 am on Saturday morning, passing through Doel Chattar, Motsho Bhaban, Engineering Institute and ending at Shahabagh.

Before the starting of the road march, Bangladesh Group Theater Federation performed a street play called ‘Guidana’. Alongside protest against BNP-Jamaat’s terror acts, victims of different arson attacks and atrocities expressed their miseries and described their horrific experiences at the function. 

Of them, Mizanur Rahman Mizan, who lost his wife Nadira Akter Poppy and his three-year-old child Yasin in a dreadful fire on the Mohonganj Express on Tuesday, addressed the programme.

“I sent my wife and children home for vacation. But I had to carry the charred bodies of my wife and children. What did we do wrong? What was wrong with my little boy?”

Demanding exemplary punishment of the arson attackers, Mizanur Rahman Mizan, who lost his wife Nadira Akter Poppy and three-year-old Yasin in a dreadful fire on the Mohonganj Express on Tuesday, asked the questions in tears.

He was speaking at the protest march organized by “Amrai Bangladesh” on Saturday morning.

Mizan said: “I was living a beautiful life with my wife and children. But the arson attack turned my life upside down. Who will I seek justice from? Just a request to the prime minister that those who killed my wife and child to death should be given an exemplary punishment.”

He was saying the words, but half of the words were disappearing due to tears. Those who were on the stage or in front of the stage also became emotional hearing tearful words from Mizan.

Mizan further said: “I have lost my wife and children. I will never get them back. I am a very ordinary man…I urge arson attackers to stop burning people's children and wives. Use your conscience.”

He continued: “What is the pain of losing your own child, create that feeling inside yourself. Then you will understand what the pain is if your child burns in fire. He understands who loses. My wife and my child were burnt in front of my eyes…I am mentally disturbed. I want everyone to pray for my wife and children.”

Not only Mizan but also many people including the mother of Naheed, who died in the arson, demanded exemplary punishment for the arsonists.

Actor Riaz Ahmed said: “We don't want a Bangladesh like this. Today, when a child dies in a fire in the mother's arms in a train, we have to say that it is not really politics, it is something else. This sabotage is a plot to push back Bangladesh.”

Actor Nipun said: “A few days ago, a mother died in a fire while holding her child in the train. We want protection of our children, property. We don't want sabotage.”

Dr Zia Rahman, professor of Criminology Department of Dhaka University, strongly advocated for a proactive stance against arson attacks, emphasizing the importance of vocal opposition and the imposition of appropriate punishments.

Quoting Mizan, Dr Zia Rahman affirmed the shared call for justice, saying: "We all demand punishment for the attackers. Burning people in fire cannot be politics."

National Press Club President Farida Yasmin said in the rally: “Today, people from all walks of life have gathered here to say no to sabotage. You know how people are burnt to death in buses and trains. You have seen that the mother along with the child was killed by fire in the train. It cannot be politics. We strongly condemn it. Demanding exemplary punishment for the arsonists.'

In the closing speech, former information advisor to the Prime Minister and senior journalist Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that BNP-Jamaat is a weak force, which has failed in the movement, and the election preparations have failed.

“They chose the path of arson to thwart the 12th Parliament elections. They are conspiring to hinder the development progress of the country. People of the country are against their sabotage as they want peace,” he added.

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