Denunciation of violence, calls for talks continue | The Daily Star
12:30 AM, January 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:04 AM, February 16, 2015

Denunciation of violence, calls for talks continue

Staff Correspondent

People of different sections of society yesterday continued their denunciation of the ongoing violence and called on the political parties to find a peaceful solution.

They also demanded punishment for those burning civilians to death.

"Peace will be never achieved if we don't sit and talk," said Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, addressing a token hunger strike before its Kakrail office in the capital.

The special envoy to the prime minister urged the "judicious" politicians to organise a dialogue.

On Sunday, Ershad sent letters to the heads of all political parties including the BNP and the Awami League seeking a national convention but has not received any response yet.

The former military ruler asked his party leaders to say "no" to the AL and the BNP because both have "failed" to ensure peace and progress in the country.

"They can't stop the fire. I know this. We cannot have faith in them," he said.

At a news conference at the capital's Jatiya Press Club, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) leaders said violence was restricting women's mobility on the streets.

Women's empowerment has been thwarted, they added, urging the major political parties to act responsibly.

“We hoped a bill proposing election of women to reserved seats would be placed in parliament in the winter session. But irresponsible political decisions by the parties have made it uncertain,” said BMP Advocacy Director Jana Goswami.

She said the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami's programme in the name of restoring democracy had held the general public hostage. She urged the ruling party to protect the democratic rights of others and the protesters to shun violence.

BMP President Ayesha Khanam said the culprits behind petrol and crude bomb attacks should be given exemplary punishment through speedy trial.

BMP General Secretary Maleka Banu and Joint General Secretary Seema Moslem also spoke.

Meanwhile, Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) demanded that the government hunt down the bomb throwers and bring them to book, and urged the BNP-led alliance to immediately stop violent protests.

Duta General Secretary Prof Maksud Kamal said the government should enact a law to deal such bombing.

In a written statement, he also said, “The government must rehabilitate the victims of violence including financing their treatment to help them cope with their future livelihoods.” With a call for peace, Duta will bring out a procession on the campus on February 2.

Addressing a human chain before the Jatiya Press Club, leaders of Bangladesh Shikkhak Karmachari Oikya Parishad said education at schools had been seriously hampered because of indiscriminate arson attacks that made the roads unsafe for students. Abu Bakar Siddique, its convener, urged the BNP-led alliance to compensate the burn victims.

Speaking at a separate human chain at the same place, Delwar Hossain Saifee, president of Bangladesh Jamiyatul Ulama, accused the Jamaat of misinterpreting Islam to perpetuate violence and demanded its banning.

Meanwhile, a faction of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, led by its President Ruhul Amin Gazi, held a rally on the press club premises and termed the ruling party “autocratic”.

Kader Siddique, president of Krishok Sramik Janata League (KSJL), yesterday continued his sit-in for the second day in front of its office at Motijheel, calling for a dialogue and an end to the blockade.

Meanwhile, Bikolpodhara Bangladesh President Badruddoza Chowdhury's ultimatum for a dialogue between Hasina and Khaleda will end tomorrow. On January 25, he threatened to go for a mass hunger strike if they do not sit for talks within seven days.

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