Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday called for “speedy” and “exemplary” punishment for arsonists and their backers in the strife-torn country.
Hasina met senior officials and drew attention to the violence and anarchy that have been accompanying the blockade being enforced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led opposition, and said people must be saved from such anarchical activities, according to a bdnews24.com report.
“There should be speedy punishment (for) those caught red-handed… those instigating the incidents, those who are funding them, those who are making the bombs and supplying them,” she said.
The opposition BNP and its allies — having boycotted the general elections held Jan 5 last year — have enforced a non-stop nationwide blockade since Jan 6, demanding fresh parliamentary polls under a non-party caretaker government system.
More than 100 people have been killed so far in the ensuing political violence, and most of them have been killed after firebomb attacks on public vehicles. Numerous strikes have crippled normal life in the country.
A number of cases have been filed across the country, of which at least four name BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia as the key instigator of the turmoil.
The government has announced that it would be forming a special tribunal under the Anti-Terrorism Act to try these cases. Death sentence is the highest penalty for the guilty under that law.