Shun violence or face tough action, Hasina tells Zia

Dhaka, Jan 10: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday warned a belligerent opposition that her government would be forced to be tough to contain ongoing violence and restore normalcy in the country.

Urging Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia to stop vandalism and killing people, she said: “If you (Khaleda) want to say something, first shun the violence and stop killing people.”

The prime minister was speaking in the Awami League’s first public rally after the Jan 5 general elections, which were boycotted by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance and other political parties, The Daily Star reported.

Hasina said the BNP-Jamaat alliance has indulged in violence in different parts of the country killing people, attacking Hindus, her party’s men and law enforcers, the report said.

“Now we are in the government and people have given us their mandates, so we go tough as much as needed to contain the violence and bring back normalcy,” she was quoted as saying.

Urging Khaleda Zia not to carry on with the destructive activities, Hasina said: “You won’t gain anything from this as you could not prevent the election.”

The prime minister said the war crimes trials will continue and its verdicts would be executed as this was the national demand.

Hasina said her new government would be sworn in Sunday.

IANS