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2 October, 2017 11:00:37 AM

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The news may be incorrect but the conspiracy is real

What is the guarantee that those conspirators whose attempts failed in the past will not organise a new assassination plot after their repeated failure to remove Hasina government from power?
Abdul Gaffar Choudhury
The news may be incorrect but the conspiracy is real

Last year Bangladesh could not celebrate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 69th birthday properly, because the day before on 27th September our illustrious litterateur Syed Shamsul Haque died suffering from cancer. The country was in mourning.

Sheikh Hasina cancelled the celebration of her birthday to show respect to the dead poet. The elite citizens from all professions in Dhaka had arranged a big celebration to observe her birthday last year but Sheikh Hasina urged them to cancel it to show solidarity with the people who were in mourning for Syed Haque. This year it was hoped that Sheikh Hasina will observe her glorious 70th birthday in New York surrounded by her near relatives and party leaders because she would be there to attend the UNO General Assembly's annual meeting. She delivered her speech in the general assembly but was suddenly taken ill. Last Monday she had to go to hospital for an urgent gallbladder operation. The operation was successful but she had to cancel her return journey to Dhaka via London. She was supposed to arrive in London on 30th September and was scheduled to return to Dhaka on Tuesday. Now her return to home will be delayed, perhaps for a week and she would observe her birthday in sick bed. We all pray for her quick recovery and hope she returns to Dhaka in good health. Bangladesh needs Sheikh Hasina's leadership to continue at least for another decade. Her government is a democratic one and to stabilise democracy in the country her presence in the state affairs is necessary. So her illness, though minor has created anxiety among the people at large. Her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was also struck by illness suddenly and had to be admitted in a London hospital for his gallbladder operation. The same illness struck his daughter too. As we prayed for Bangabandhu a few decades ago, now we are praying for his daughter in the same way for her speedy recovery. At this critical juncture the country needs her service.

Recently an Indian website, 'Look East' published a news that a conspiracy was hatched to kill Sheikh Hasina. The report said that as Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by her two trusted body guards, the Dhaka conspiracy wants to follow the same method. The attempt on her life would come from Hasina's inner circle. This news was contradicted by the Gono Bhaban officials. They said there is no such conspiracy and it was a concocted news. This timely rejoinder has removed anxiety from the mind of the people and assured them about the safety of the country's Prime Minister. But I think, all the well-wishers of Sheikh Hasina countrywide will be not freed from anxiety for her because of the past attempts on her life not once but several times of which the August (2004) attack was the deadliest. She survived miraculously.

What is the guarantee that those conspirators whose attempts failed in the past will not organise a new assassination plot after their repeated failure to remove Hasina government from power? Before we say the news spread by Look East website is fake we must assure the people of Bangladesh that her safety and security are so strong that no conspiracy can penetrate it. I remember in 1974 when there was flood and famine and there was rumour that a conspiracy was hatched to overthrow the Mujib government there was also strong denial from the government officials. Bangabandhu was also warned by Delhi and Moscow about a possible coup by a section of army officers.

In the month of June, 1975 I went to Dhaka from London and was surprised to see that the city was full of rumours about an impending coup. I talked about this with the-then Awami League leaders including Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni. They all said that it was a rumour spread by gossip mongering people. Mujib government had survived a flood and a famine and the government position is very strong. There was no strong opposition and would not be any in the foreseeable future. I left Dhaka in the end of July and just after a few days on 15th August morning I heard the news of the killing of Bangabandhu with all his family members, except two daughters. In that conspiracy of the killing of the father of the nation his most close friend Khandaker Mostaq Ahmed was involved.

There were several attempts on Sheikh Hasina's life which failed but there is no guarantee that the conspirators are sitting idle. Complacency in regards to Bangabandhu's safety and security made the tragedy of 1975 possible. Almost the same complacency about the safety of Sheikh Hasina seems very dangerous to me. All the evil forces who killed Bangabandhu with his family and were responsible for jail killings still exist and are active in the soil of Bangladesh. They will try to repeat the same tragedy of 75 if they get a chance and if they see that there is not a strong protective ring around Sheikh Hasina.

A democratic leader is always vulnerable to their enemies because they always want to remain with people. Sheikh Hasina especially loves to mix with people and wants to attend any meeting on the people's demand. So her safety and security must get priority above all. An autocrat or dictator lives behind the iron curtain, but a people's leader can't. People give them real security but above all to frustrate the enemy's conspiracy some strong protective measures should be taken by the state. We have seen in different countries at different times how many democratic leaders were slaughtered by their own men. We must ensure this does not happen in Bangladesh again. The report of Look East about the conspiracy against Hasina may not be correct but there is conspiracy. Both conspiracy and the conspirators should be thwarted by strong vigilance.

London, Friday, 29 September, 2017

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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