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10 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 October, 2019 01:38:58 AM

No wholesale ban on student politics: PM

BUET, however, can ban if it wants, says Hasina
Agencies, Dhaka
No wholesale ban on student politics: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday ruled out the demand for banning student politics. Replying to a question in this regard during a press conference at Ganobhaban on the outcome of her recent visits to India and the USA, she said, “Since I myself emerged through student politics, why should I talk about banning student politics?”

The prime minister, however, said if the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) authorities want, they can do it. "They have the Syndicate and a committee. They can do it. We won't interfere in it."

She also said this is an autocratic attitude that student politics should completely be banned, reports UNB.

Hasina said instructions will be given to search educational institutions and their halls to arrest the goons to stop the recurrence of killing like Abrar’s one. She also said it cannot be accepted that students will indulge in hooliganism staying in halls with public money. On the killing of BUET student Abrar Fahad and trial of the killers, the prime minister assured that maximum punishment would be meted out to those involved in the brutal killing of Abrar.

She also questioned the justification of the movement by students when the government is taking action against the offenders. “Why’s this movement? The trial (of the offenders) must be held. It’s necessary to feel the pain of a mother or a father who lost their children. I understand it as I lost all my father, mother and bothers,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She further said, “He (Abrar) was son of a general family. What's the reason behind the brutal and dangerous act like picking up and beating such a brilliant student? So, we’re taking action against them. All kinds of highest punishment will be given to them and there’s no doubt about it.”

Sheikh Hasina said she considers the offenders as offenders irrespective of their political identity. “When anyone commits any offence, I don’t care which party he/she belongs to. “So, I don’t understand anything like party, and the offenders must be punished.”

“I don’t consider who belongs to Chhatra League or Chhatra Dal. I’m taking into consideration the offence as a 21-year-old boy was beaten to death unfairly. It’s an inhuman act,” she said. After receiving information about the incident in the morning, the prime minister said she asked the police to immediately collect evidence from the spot and the CCTV footage.  She said it is regrettable that the policemen were encircled and obstructed when they were returning after collecting the CCTV footage through hard disk. “The IGP informed me that police members were not being allowed to come out with the evidence and footage.”

The prime minister also said it is necessary to find out the reason behind the obstruction to police from bringing the CCTV footage as three hours were wasted for it. Mentioning that there were not much external injuries to Abrar’s body but internal ones, she recalled that many Awami League leaders were killed in such a way after 2001. Sheikh Hasina said she immediately instructed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders to expel all those involved in the murder. “I also instructed the police to arrest them. We had taken steps before students took to the streets.”

About her India visit

Sheikh Hasina said the bilateral ties between Bangladesh and India reached a special height generating a new momentum in the relations between the two neighbouring countries through her recent visit to India. “Overall, I think a new momentum has been created in our bilateral relations through this visit,” she said.

The prime minister said she joined the WEF’s Country Strategy Dialogue on Bangladesh and in the closing plenary session of the WEF’s India Economic Summit held in New Delhi.

In her speech at the closing plenary, the prime minister said, she underscored strengthening joint efforts in further enhancing regional, sub-regional and bilateral ties. Besides, she joined an interactive session with selected CEOs of Indian Organisations, and the inauguration of India-Bangladesh Business Forum.

During the tour, the prime minister held bilateral talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. After the meeting, seven MoUs were signed and exchanged between the two sides to further strengthen cooperation on various sectors, she said.

During her stay in New Delhi, the Prime Minister paid a courtesy call on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. On the other hand, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and President of India’s National Congress Sonia Gandhi called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

About her meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister, the Prime Minister said she proposed introducing air flights on Dhaka-Chennai and Dhaka-Mumbai routes.

Besides, proposal was also given to use Saidpur Airport of Bangladesh for communication and carrying goods to northeastern states of India, she said.

Apart from these, Sheikh Hasina said, she attended an event on 150th birth anniversary celebration programme of Mahatma Gandhi in which a number of heads of the states and governments joined.

No anti-state deal signed, no natural gas to be exported

Asserting that the Awami League government always protects the country’s interest, the prime minister said the amount of water India will get from the Feni river is insignificant and only for the drinking purpose, reports BSS.

“We always protect our interest in all fields… the area of the river (Feni) from where India would take water is a catchment area and that belongs to Bangladesh. That is why we signed an MoU with India,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will export only imported and processed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to India, not the country's natural gas.

She also trashed the allegation that anti-state bilateral documents were signed during her recent India tour, saying it cannot happen that Sheikh Hasina will sacrifice the country's interests.

"Those who have raised questions and talked (about the deals with India) have forgotten the past. It can never happen that Sheikh Hasina will sell Bangladesh's interests and everyone should know it," the prime minister said, adding that it is the BNP-Jamaat clique which came to power in 2001 giving undertaking to sell gas.

"After importing gas in bulk, we'll add value and export it (to India). This how another product will be added to the export basket of Bangladesh," she said.

According to her, "LPG is not natural gas and it's not produced in our country....we'll import LPG from abroad for domestic purposes (in Bangladesh) and export it to Tripura (India) after bottling it."

Outcome of visit to USA

During her visit to the USA for attending 74th UNGA, the prime minister said, priority was given mainly to issues related to climate change, poverty elimination, quality education and inclusive development.

Besides, a number of high-level events were held on some other important issues like sustainable development goals and universal health coverage, she said.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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