Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday came down heavily on the then Awami League front ranking leaders for failing to protest and speak against the brutal killing of the Father of the Nation and his other family members.
"There were so many slogans. Where did all those people go? There was not a single person who showed courage to protest the bloodshed. Why could not they do that?" she asked.
The prime minister was addressing a memorial meeting arranged by Bangladesh Awami League (AL) marking the National Mourning Day and 47th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Hasina, also the AL President, presided over the meeting held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
She said that Awami League was a huge party having so many supporters and leaders, but not a single person got that guts to speak against the killing.
She mentioned that the body of Bangabandhu lay on the floor of Dhanmondi 32 number house from 15 August to 16 August.
"He (Bangabandhu) did not take anything with him, rather he gave everything for his people. He gave a country, a nation, identity and self-identity for the people," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest child of the Father of the Nation, said that the kafon (funeral shroud) of Bangabandhu was made of the relief cloths which were supposed to be given to the poor people.
"My father, mother, brothers and sisters did not take anything with them," she said with an emotion- chocked voice adding,"Even their namaz e janaza was not performed."
"I have a question. Many leaders are here (at the BICC). The Father of the Nation phoned many of them, but what did they do," she asked.
She mentioned that everyone remains beside while a person is alive, but no one remains beside a dead person. "That is the painful reality…I do not expect anything…"
She said that her prime task is to bring smile among the mass people of the country which was the dream of Bangabandhu.
The PM alleged that the killers were rewarded and given indemnity from any court trial by the Indemnity Ordinance, which was subsequently ratified by military ruler Ziaur Rahman.
"Even we were not allowed to seek justice before the courts," she said.
In this connection, she said that killers were given jobs in different Bangladeshi missions abroad by Ziaur Rahman.
"If Ziaur Rahman was not the killer or conspirator, why did killer Mustaque make him the army chief, and why did Zia shelter and pamper these killers," she questioned.
She also criticised some countries and human rights organisations for not confronting the countries which still are sheltering the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu.
"They are busy with the human rights violators, killers, militants and terrorists," she said.
She said that BNP founded by Ziaur Rahman is the patronisers of these culprits.
She said that her government was compelled to increase the fuel oil price due to the Russia-Ukraine war that started as the world started emerging from the pandemic loss.
"I know people of the country are facing difficulties," she once again said, "I can realise their pain and to mitigate this we have taken some decisions," she said.
She mentioned that the government is providing Tk 15 per kilogram rice to some 50 lakh families and one crore special family cards will be given so that they could procure rice, lentil, oil and sugar at fair price.
She mentioned that food scarcity has occurred worldwide. Footsteps of famine are being heard. Developed countries are facing serious troubles and Bangladesh has to take steps in facing the situation.
"I will urge the rich people to help your neighbours who are passing through hard days. The government will do whatever is needed," she said.
She also asked her party members to stand beside the distressed people.
She reiterated her call to maintain austerity in using power, fuel and water and utilise every inch of land for production of the essentials.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the welcome speech, while its advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Jahangir Kabir Nanak , Abdur Rahman and Advocate Md Qamrul Islam, joint general secretary Hassan Mahmud, secretary of the Liberation War Affairs Advocate Mrinal Kanti Das, president of Dhaka south unit of Awami League Abu Ahammad Mannafi and president of Dhaka north unit of Awami League Sheikh Bazlur Rahman also spoke.
The event began with the observance of one-minute silence in memory of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the 15 August carnage.