Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said BNP is carrying out extortion across the country in the name of holding rallies.
"BNP has frightened the businessmen and extorted money from them in the name of rally in Chattogram. They have taken a mega project to extort money to hold divisional rallies, including the one in Mymensingh. Even, I heard that half of the extortion money, which was collected in Chattogram, has been sent to Tarique Rahman," he said.
The minister said this to reporters at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat in the capital.
Rejecting an allegation of BNP leaders, Hasan said, "I would like to urge BNP to look back when the party talks about such obstacles. BNP had carried out August 21 grenade attacks. They also carried out attacks on the rallies of Shah AMS Kibria, Suranjit Sengupta, Ahsanullah Master and at Narayanganj," he added.
He said they (BNP) killed many people through attacking on rallies of Awami League at different parts of the country. Even, they had taken a step by giving a permanent barbed wire fence in front of Awami League office so that none could go outside during their (BNP) tenure, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
But, the minister said, such incident didn't happen during the current BNP's rallies.
He said the administration of AL government is assisting them so BNP could organize their rallies properly. But, police have to be alert so that they could not carry out vandalism and arson attacks like before, he added.
Showing the scenarios of rallies during the Awami League's and BNP's tenures, he said BNP leaders are sitting on the stage with makeup during the AL period. Besides, grenade attacks were carried out on AL rallies during BNP's regime, he added.
"Even, I was admitted to hospital for long after sustaining sprinters injuries in the grenade attack and I'm bearing 40 sprinters in my body till now. And this is the difference between the Awami League and BNP," said Hasan.
Replying to a query over the legislation in the House of Representatives of the US which urges President Joe Biden to recognize the atrocities committed by Pakistani army during the Bangladesh's great Liberation War in 1971 as genocide, the minister extended thanks to the US congressmen for introducing the legislation.
He said the government has been trying for a long so that the United Nations recognizes March 25 as Genocide Day. Such incident of killing 30 lakh people and oppressing two lakh women didn't happen anywhere in the world after the Second World War, he said.
The minister said the Ruanda genocide has been recognised as genocide. But more people were killed in 1971 and it must be recognised, he added.
He said the government has been trying to get the recognition from the UN and other international organizations and the proposal introduced by the US congressmen is the reflection of the efforts.
Hasan hoped that Bangladesh would get the acknowledgement of the genocide through these continues efforts.