Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the two foreign nationals – one Japanese and another Italian – have recently been killed in Bangladesh in a planned way and alleged that the BNP-Jamaat nexus has a link to the two murders, agencies report.
She ruled out the possibility of having organizational activities of the Islamic State or such outfits in Bangladesh and said the present government will not definitely allow such elements.
“The style of killings of these two foreign nationals are the same…these are planned murders. If you assemble the remark of a BNP leader and the reaction after the killing of Italian national in Gulshan area, the matter will get clear,’ she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a press conference at her official residence Ganobhaban to inform the outcome of her recent US visit to attend the UN General Assembly and other programmes.
Hasina said the government is taking steps to find out the culprits. “But, these two killings don’t mean that our all achievements have been battered and washed away. If you think that way then the objective of BNP-Jamaat clique and Razakars will be fulfilled,” she added.
She categorically said there must be a motive behind these incidents. “Surely they (BNP-Jamaat) have hands behind these, there’s no doubt about it… we’re taking actions…the culprits must be caught and tried,’ she said.
The Prime Minister said it would be foolish if anyone thinks that the government will hold the trial the war criminals and they [war criminals] will just sit idle. “How could you hope that? It’s sure they’ll try …now the awareness of people is the big matter here,” she added.
Responding to a volley of questions over the killing of the two Italian and Japanese nationals in Dhaka (Gulshan) and Rangpur, Hasina said, “Of course, there’s something planned…The trial of war criminals are going on…these elements were in power for 21 years after 1975, we’re holding their trial, they’ll demonstrate some reactions.”
Responding to a question from a senior journalist of a private TV channel regarding the link of Islamic State (IS), which she mentioned that the Home Minister recognised it, Hasina said after the killing of Italian citizen there was a social media statement from Chicago that IS is involved in this killing. “But, so far there is no proof of their involvement, we have to investigate it.”
“Naturally, we didn’t find any link, why do we have to accept a status from unknown persons, why should it come from Chicago that IS has done this?” she questioned.
The Prime Minister also said the local intelligence has so far failed to come up with any information regarding this killing. “At this point, how does our Home Minister recognise that …surely this shouldn’t have been said, and I don’t see any logic to say that until we find it out through investigations.”
Responding to a question, Hasina said there was a time when terrorism and militancy were created in Bangladesh, but the present government, after coming to power, has controlled these elements with an iron hand.
“Now I can say here no outfit like IS or like that can carry out their activities here. Our intelligence agencies are very much alert. We don’t want to see any kind of activity of such outfit in Bangladesh and we won’t allow that.”
She said the mass people have to strengthen their anti-militancy and anti-terrorism stance. “People have to come forward, government is with you,” she said.
Hasina also said there is a group who are not happy at all as Bangladesh is carrying on its democratic journey. “They’re trying to destabilise the country and they’ll continue their efforts,” she added.
The Awami League chief also said some people have already said that she had full control over the army. “I have such control over them, they can’t do anything,” she added.
Talking about the gunfire by Manzurul Islam Liton, an Awami League MP from Gaibandha-1, the Prime Minister said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan had talked to her when she returned home from the USA. “I’ve asked him to take actions as per the law and actions have been taken,” she added.
Hasina mentioned that Awami League is a big party and there might be some incidents. “But we never tried to hide anything and never tolerated any unlawful activity.”