The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Friday alleged that the people involved in bringing to power the army-backed caretaker government on January 11, 2007 were responsible for destroying the country’s democracy.

The party’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi made the allegation in a press briefing at the BNP central office in the capital’s Naya Paltan.


He said that the quarter tried to taint the image of the politicians by proving them corrupt and toll collectors.

He was opposing an article titled ‘30 years after the demise of autocracy, democracy still remains a distant dream’, published in The Daily Star by its editor Mahfuz Anam on September 15.

He blamed Mahfuz Anam as one of the architects for destroying democracy, saying that he was a representative of the army-backed government that assumed power on January 11, 2007, the take-over widely known as the one-eleven.

He said that Mahfuz Anam dished out false, confusing and motivated information about the BNP chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Ruhul Kabir said that Mahfuz Anam, a key player for the military-backed government, though spoke in favour of democracy but killed democracy for the sake of his own interest and supported fascism.

He also alleged that Mahfuz Anam spoke against the BNP government while dwelling on country’s democracy and praised the present ‘midnight government’, which was tantamount to yellow journalism.

Rizvi protested what Mahfuz Anam said about Khaleda Zia’s role in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally and rejected his comments.

Mahfuz Anam, Rizvi said, was trying to please the government either out of fear or to obtain favour though he had earlier apologised on several occasions for publishing false and concocted stories.


He said that the editor’s father, Abul Monsur Ahmed, was a writer, a politician and a journalist and was respected by all but the editor was tarnishing the name and fame of his father.

Rizvi further alleged that some members of the civil society joined Mahfuz Anam to introduce the unconstitutional rule in the county.

Expressing his pride in bringing to power the undemocratic and autocratic government led by Fakhruddin Ahmed, he said, Mahfuz Anam wrote that the two leaders should be given goodbye and published articles in this regard.

He alleged that The Daily Star published articles by denouncing the democratic governance system.

After 2001, when the BNP came to power with majority they worked for creating unrest in the country, Rizvi said.

On January 11, 2007 when Fakhruddin Ahmed led the establishment of the military-backed government Mahfuz Anam expressed his satisfaction, Rizvi said.

Meanwhile, Mahfuz Anam wrote a signed article saying that the two leaders should leave politics, he said.

During the one-eleven regime, Rizvi said, Mahfuz Anam, after meeting an advisor to the then government told television journalists that the government was an outcome of their movement.

After a few days, he pointed out, AL president sheikh Hasina too said that the government was a result of their movement.

‘There was no difference between the languages of Mahfuz Anam and Sheikh Hasina… . The “game plan” was created then,’ Rizvi alleged.

He alleged that Mahfuz Anam  published false information about the August granade attack to woo the present government.

The BNP leader said that the present government, by controlling the administration, the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies convicted many innocent people in the case and that BNP and Khaleda Zia never believed in the politics of killing.

He questioned why a popular party like the BNP would commit the August 21 attack and would create its own government unstable.

After the incident, he said, the BNP formed a judicial investigation committee and wanted to bring an FBI team from the US but the AL did not cooperate with them.

He said that BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman was implicated in the case after the AL came to power through 2008 national election.

Even the army-backed government did not implicate Tarique Rahman, he said.

He reminded that The Daily Star published a report in September 2004 that Sheikh Hasina was not cooperating with the investigation.

Rizvi alleged that the AL, after assuming power, had politicised the August 21 granade attack case and tried to hide the real actors involved in the incident.

He said that Mahfuz Anam created the background for arresting politicians by publishing reports without sources, which were delivered by intelligence agencies during the army-backed caretaker government.

‘Mahfuz Anam conducted a paper trial,’ he alleged.

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