Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated a note of warning that tougher actions will be taken against BNP-Jamaat clique if they are engage in further arson terrorism or destructive activities in the name of movement.
"BNP-Jamaat wants to take to the streets in the name of movement. They can do movement and we have nothing to say. But, if they are again involved in arson terrorism, destruction and criminalization, we will not spare them," she said.
The premier said this while addressing a lawyers' grand rally-2023 at the historic Suhrawardi Udyan here as the chief guest following inaugural of the 15-storey Bangladesh Bar Council Bhaban.
She asked the lawyers to take prompt measures for quick disposal of the cases regarding the arson terrorism from 2013-15 in the name of movement, when over 500 people including 29 police personnel were killed and 3,225 suffered burn injuries.
If they don't get punishment for their misdeeds they will be encouraged, she said, adding that many of them who were underground, have now been attending BNP's rallies taking the advantage of their movement.
"The BNP-Jamaat men who were involved in the arson terrorism must have to face the trial in Bangladesh. Take measures to hold trials against those," she told the lawyers.
The prime minister said the culprits must have to be exposed to punishment, otherwise a culture of impunity will reign the country again.
"We the people who have lost their near and dear ones know well the pain of losing own people," she said.
She also said military dictator Ziaur Rahman had killed hundreds of freedom fighter military officials in the name of farcical trials.
The prime minister also unveiled the cover of a book titled "Bangabandhur Ayeni Darshan" (Bangabandhu's Legal Philosophy) and witnessed a colorful cultural programme presented by Bangladesh Silpakala Academy at the function.
Presided over by the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq, the rally was also addressed by Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad Convener Advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor and Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad Secretary General Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Attorney General and Bangladesh Bar Council Chairman, Abu Mohammad Amin Uddin, Bangladesh Bar Council Vice- Chairman Advocate Syed Rezaur Rahman, and Awami League's Law Secretary Advocate Kazi Md. Najibullah Hiru.
Law and Justice Division Secretary Md. Golam Sarwar gave the address of welcome.
At the outset of the rally, artistes sang the national anthem and all stood to show respect to the anthem.
An audio-visual documentary on Bangladesh Bar Council Bhaban, which was built at a cost of Taka 138 crore, was screened at the function.
The Bhaban has housed spacious office space, meeting room, two conference rooms, record room, store room, waiting area, cafeteria, day-care centre, exhibition space, registration room, bank, accounts section, IT section, among other facilities.
Built under the supervision of Law and Justice Division and designed by the Department of Architecture, it has five tribunal rooms, multipurpose hall and separate prayers room.
More than hundred lawyers will be able to be in the Bar Bhaban with TV lounge, kitchen and dining hall.
Sheikh Hasina said she returned home in 1981 risking her life despite the fact that the killers of her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other family members and war criminals were moving freely without getting punishment.
After returning to the country, the premier said she even did not file any case demanding the justice of killing of her family members as Ziaur Rahman had enacted the Indemnity Act to stop the trial of the killings and gave them prestigious posting in mission abroad and thus tarnished the image of Bangladesh.
Upon coming to power in 1996 after long 21 years, the Prime Minister said her government had started working to establish the rule of law and free the country from the culture of impunity that was initiated by Zia and give the countrymen an improved life as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.
"We have taken measures to establish the rule of law and make sure the people to get justice," she said briefly describing various measures taken by her government to this end.
The premier asked the lawyers to stand beside the victims particularly the women and children to ensure that they will get justice.
She said they have been working to ensure overall development of the country for which Bangladesh has globally recognized as a developing nation.
"Make sure that none can play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people and can put hindrance in getting justice," Sheikh Hasina said.
The premier asked all to cultivate what they can using every inch of their fallow lands to boost food production against the backdrop of the global recession and hike in inflation for which price of commodities are being increased globally due to Russia-Ukraine war and now the Israel attacked on the Palestine.
The war will further increase the price hike of food, she said, "So grow whatever you can in every inch of land to ensure food security."
The Prime Minister said she will donate Taka 30 crore more in the benevolent fund for the lawyers from PM's Fund, adding that she earlier donated Taka 15 and 20 crore to the fund.
She said the Father of the Nation initiated the donation of giving Taka 50,000 to the fund.
Sheikh Hasina said she also donated Taka 20 crore for the lawyers during the Covid-19 pandemic period and introduced virtual courts at that time which helped lawyers to generate income and reduce the backlog of the cases.
The Prime Minister asked the lawyers to contribute to the fund for the welfare of the lawyers.