BNP’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today said that the government has increased fertiliser prices “abnormally” to meet the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The prices of commodities are going up unusually since the government is raising the tariffs of electricity and gas — accepting conditions of the IMF to stay in power. Now the prices of fertilisers farmers must use have been hiked unusually,” he said.
Fakhrul made the remarks at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office while presenting Eid gifts to family members of opposition leaders and activists who were “victims of enforced disappearance under the current government.”
BNP sources said the party, on behalf of its acting chairman Tarique Rahman, will provide Eid gifts to “1,000 families of the victims of killings, repression, and enforced disappearance across the country.”
Fakhrul said the government urged the farmers to accept the raised prices of fertilisers for the sake of development. “What development and whose development is it? This development is the ruling party’s own development.”
He said discrimination has widened in Bangladesh since the ruling party leaders are “making money, buying houses, and cars, and living a luxurious life by indulging in plundering while the common people are struggling to eat and make ends meet.”
“The prices of all things have gone beyond their purchasing capacity,” he added.
Fakhrul also alleged that the Awami League government has been trying to hang onto power by “resorting to killing, repression, and enforced disappearance after getting isolated from the people.”
“The entire country has now become a killing ground. If you open the newspapers, you’ll only see reports on murder and disappearance,” he said.
The BNP leader said people of Bangladesh did not know the term “enforced disappearance” before the Awami League government came to power in 2009.
He said Awami League has “introduced the culture of enforced disappearance in Bangladesh to eliminate its political opponents.”
The BNP leader claimed that around 700 leaders and workers of their party were disappeared, and over 1,000 were killed during the tenure of the current government. “A horrible situation has been prevailing in the country for the last 14/15 years. The victims’ relatives said here (at the programme) that they could not see their fathers and brothers for 10/11 years.”
He said they send Eid gifts to the victims’ families every year to remind them that BNP has not forgotten them. “We want to remind them that we are with them.”
Fakhrul said the people of Bangladesh have now decided that they will no longer remain silent after being subjected to killing, enforced disappearance, and torture. “People are starting to wake up.”
Stating that their party’s “17 leaders and activists were killed by police on the streets in the recent movement,” he said the blood of the slain democracy-loving people and the cries of their family members and children can never go in vain. “Victory will be ours. We must be able to establish a government of people by removing the current repressive and fascist regime.”
The BNP leader said their party wants to build a truly free and independent democratic country where no one will be subjected to enforced disappearance and where people can live freely with security.