The BNP will restore the democracy introduced by the party's founder and former president Ziaur Rahman, the party's standing committee member Moyeen Khan said today (18 January).

"The democracy ushered in by Ziaur Rahman is dead today. We will restore that democracy in the country," Moyeen said while addressing a discussion programme in the capital organised on the occasion of Ziaur Rahman's 88th birth anniversary.

"We have courage. We will quash all weapons, bullets of the dictatorial government," he said at the event at the Ramna Engineers Institution Auditorium.

"On the night of 25 March [1971], Ziaur Rahman resisted the attack of the Pakistani invasion forces on the 70 million people of Bangladesh. On that day, no person of the current government protested and resisted. They fled to the neighbouring country," Moyeen said. 

Addressing the leaders and activists, he said, "Each of you should cherish the ideals of martyred president Ziaur Rahman. Only then we can return all the rights of our people. The struggle of establishing human rights in the world is not easy. We have to keep fighting for this. All the weapons of a dictatorial government will be defeated by movement."

He continued that the people of this country have tarnished the image of the 'fascist government' by not voting on the 7 January national elections."People around the world called this election a drama and a farce."

He added, "We do politics to serve the people. We have told the countrymen that we have not joined politics for power. Our politics is for returning the people's rights… BNP is a party of decent people."

BNP Vice Chairman Abdullah Al Noman presided over the meeting. 

Also speaking on the occasion, BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan said, "Zia's ideals and memory will never be lost. Because he lives [in the hearts of ] the people of this country.

"By killing democracy, the current government had established 'Bakshal'. Ziaur Rahman buried it and created a 'multi-party garden'. When the dictator Ershad killed democracy, Begum Khaleda Zia, wife of Ziaur Rahman, established democracy by overthrowing him.

"Now those who are in the government cannot tolerate a word about Ziaur Rahman. Because Ziaur Rahman succeeded where they failed. Food production doubled during his time despite a famine… Millions of dollars of remittances started coming in during Zia's tenure."

He also alleged that people who are accused of smuggling billions of taka are getting bail, treatment abroad, but the authorities are not releasing party chairperson Khaleda Zia "who has done so much for this country and has been sentenced in a false case." 

"She is not allowed to go abroad for treatment. Did we fight for such a country?" BNP Standing Committee member Selima Rahman also spoke at the event.

She said, "Those who are still fighting despite being oppressed in hundreds of ways, are the true soldiers of Zia's ideals. No one can stop them.

"If Ziaur Rahman was not born, this country would not have got independence. He took Bangladesh to a new level in terms of ensuring the rights of women and children in just three years. From a bottomless basket, he made this country self-sufficient in food.

"This government is afraid of the Zia family, afraid of the BNP. They couldn't break us in any way. They won't be able to. This government is fake. There are more than 650 members in the parliament. So think, where is our freedom, where is our freedom?"

Khasru gets bail in 4 sabotage cases

BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury has secured bail in four separate cases filed over alleged attacks on law enforcers during the party's rally on 28 October last year.

The court of Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Tofazzal Hossain passed the order on Thursday (18 January) following a hearing on the bail petitions.

Confirming the matter, Amir Khasru's lawyer Syed Zainul Abedin Mejbah told that the BNP leader has been granted bail in four out of the eight cases filed against him in two different police stations. 

A total of 10 cases were filed against Khasru on charges of sabotage activities during the BNP's 28 October rally in 2023. Among those, the BNP leader got bail in six cases. 

Earlier on 3 November, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) detained Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury from his Gulshan residence.